Two Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) in Bodega Harbor, 22 January 2013
Tundra Swans (formerly known as Whistling Swans) are the smallest of the three swans in North America. You may be more familiar with the introduced Mute Swan that has a mostly orange bill. Tundra Swans, and the larger Trumpeter Swans, have mostly black bills.
I wish I had better images, but they were pretty far away and I didn't have time to try to get a little closer. These pictures were taken from Doran Beach (that's Whaleship Road in the background across Bodega Harbor).
As the name suggests, Tundra Swans nest near northern tundra lakes and ponds, especially near coastal river deltas. They also winter in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, but along the coast Sonoma County is at the southern edge of their wintering range. Most Tundra Swan sightings in this area occur between November and February.
P.S. Here's your swan trivia for the day: Do you know what an adult male swan is called? And an adult female? (Answer below.)
An adult male swan is known as a cob, and an adult female is known as a pen.