It is rare to find Trumpet Swans very far south in the US in winter. They mostly migrate to Wyoming and Minnesota. In 1992 a flock of them migrated to a small lake in Heber Springs, Arkansas. It is believed they were blown off course in a winter storm. They have returned each year since then, and the flock grows in number each year. My mom told me about them after she recently heard about them and drove to Heber Springs to check them out. They can be found on Magnes Lake, which is on personal property and has since become a wildlife refuge to protect the swans.
The first time Mom went to photograph them it was a very cold, windy, miserable day. She listened to weather reports all week in hopes of finding a day nice enough to enjoy the trip to Arkansas to attempt to photograph the swans again. We decided the best day would be the day we were heading back to Texas so we just made a detour on our trip and she followed us. I'm glad we took the time to stop. The day was fairly warm (for the Ozarks in December especially!) and there were 87 swans present according to Marty. There have been as many as 120-130 found there this winter and they usually arrive around Thanksgiving and stay through Valentine's Day.
All of us in front of the lake:
(left to right) Marty, Me, Jerry, Mom, JoAn, Heather (with Missy)
Marty, Me, Heather (and Missy)