Swan lake in Cardinal Valley
Randy Haas, manager of the Cardinal Valley Habitat, alerts us to the possibility of seeing a trumpeter swan on the lakes by County Road 230 (Madison Street).
He said an immature trumpeter swan has been hanging around on one of the lakes in the habitat for several days. That particular lake is on the east side of the road. You could see the swan from the road, from a point south of the yellow gate on the opposite side of the road.
However, on Wednesday, Haas said the swan wasn’t there. He said it could have flown away or could be on one of the other nearby lakes. There have been previous swan sightings in the wetlands west of the road, but you couldn’t see them from the road.
Haas wondered if the swan had been separated from adult swans or had just wandered off temporarily from a flock.
The trumpeter swan, the largest waterfowl in North America, flies south during the winter looking to nest in shallow lakes similar to those in the habitat.
“It’s kind of unusual” to see them in Missouri, says Haas. “Not uncommon, but not common either.”
The Cornell Lab has a nice guide about the trumpeter swan and other birds.
Most of the land between Hawthorne Road and Center Creek is within the Cardinal Valley Habitat, which is meant to reestablish the native habitat that was destroyed during the mining era.
In case you missed it, Haas recently announced the opening of a second public trail in the habitat on the west side of County Road 230.
The first public trail, along the Webb City/Carterville border on the north side of Sharon Drive, was opened a year ago.