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Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia

By Will Stewart
12 February 2014

There are only two places in Russia where Whooper Swans come for winter.

The Altai Region authorities protect Svetloe Lake as a part of the Swans' State Wildlife Preserve, which also acts as a big resting zone for hunting birds and animals during the hunting period. Picture here, and all images below: Alexey Ebel

Most of the swans fly much further south in search of a less harsh climate, but as the pictures show, February finds this stunning spot teeming with activity. 

Its real name Svetloe Lake but to many locals it is known, not surprisingly, as Swan Lake. The nearby village is called Urozhainoe, which means 'Prolific'. 

The only other place in Russia where the swans come for winter is in the Anadyr district of Chukotka, which is the extreme east of Russia. 

Svetloe lake is fed by many warm springs that keep the water always above zero. Even when the air goes down to minus 40C, the water in the lake stays at around plus 5C or 6C. Locals say the first swans appeared here in 1967, and only 15 birds were recorded then. Now they number 350 annually, with the numbers rising each year. 

The Siberian Times thanks Alexey Ebel, who provided us with these fantastic pictures.

Alexey, 46, is an acclaimed Russian wildlife photographer, based in the Altai region of Southern Siberia. By training Alexey is a professional biologist; seeing ornithology as a 'serious hobby', he collaborates with several scientific magazines and also writes a blog to share his knowledge of Altai's magnificent nature.

Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia


Welcome to the magnificent real life Swan Lake in the heart of Siberia

Comments (7)

So very beautiful, am so happy that the swans have found a safe and welcoming home.
ellen, USA
25/02/2014 01:56
1
0
It is easy to see why this photographer is 'acclaimed'; his photos of the beautiful swans on this lake are amazing. What a treasure this lake must be to this area.
Marion , Vancouver, BC, Canada
25/02/2014 01:06
0
0
Let's all who appreciate or recognise magnificence, beg, plead and implore The Siberian Times to hire more of Alexey's services.
The photographic mastery by this camera enthusiast is astonishingly rare, and can only enhance the prosperity and success of this Newspaper.
Quintessential exemplary photography, Thank you Alexey ps Keep clicking ,
Patrick
Patrick Travers, Perth Australia
13/02/2014 19:22
4
0
what a wonder from Siberia. The world is great, many thanks for sharing the pictures, fantastic job
Anne, Norway
13/02/2014 13:51
4
0
stunning
May, China
12/02/2014 22:19
7
0
sensational pictures. Thank you for sharing them, Alexey.
Nick Dave, Ontario
12/02/2014 21:24
7
0
Alexey, you are a genious, and so are your pictures
Alan, UK
12/02/2014 17:08
6
0
1

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