【Series】Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (27) Swans thread through iridescent clouds towards Russian Far East

Swans flying amidst iridescent clouds

Sunlight announces that spring has arrived, but there is apparently still cold air in the skies, creating beautiful iridescent clouds. Swans fly across gaps in the clouds in their travels northward.

From late March through April, the skies above Eastern Hokkaido’s town of Kushiro are filled with birds returning north. A flock travels along the coastline headed to the Nemuro Peninsula, migrating birds head to the Okhotsk region through the Kushiro Marshland skies. The silhouettes of birds flying through a sunset-tinged sky herald the seasonal change from winter to spring.

The body of the swan appears lithe, but is surprisingly heavy, exceeding ten kilometers in mature swans. Because of this, long running starts and strength are required to take flight into the air. Swans feed on aquatic plants and the like at migratory resting areas to keep their strength up. They fly over three thousand kilometers for two to three months, aiming for breeding areas in the Russian Far East.

When swans are no longer visible in the skies, true spring has come to Eastern Hokkaido.
(Words and photo: Shigeru Tadanobu)


Kushiro City