I noticed the first Whooper Swans of the season on the morning of October 8. They flew across the road in front of me on the way to work. Most of these photos were taken at Fukushimagata, Niigata on Monday, October 12. I went there again this morning and read the local community notice board which claims the numbers are already over three and a half thousand. They're certainly beautiful birds no matter how common and are an important feature of the landscape here from about now until early April. I'll probably put more photos of these up as they're hard to resist.