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Swans and More Swans - Post Your Images, Please.........

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Retief, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. Add your images to this thread, let us see how we each handle Swans as subject matter. Limit yourself to your 3 favorites, change them over time if you'd like.

    Trumpeter Swans:

    These magnificient birds winter here in Washington and the farmers plant fields for them as well as the migrating Snow Geese. We are lucky enough to have a number of places to see them nearby, within an hour or so drive.

    One place is a reserve which is a night roost, the birds fly out around 8-9AM in the morning, but often the light is still dim at that time during the winter here.

    Dancing in the mist - this was a trial for me, as I am usually quite reluctant to try anything when fog or mist is present, but I think this worked out well.

    I've shown you mine, now you show me yours :wink:

    Synchronicity - the same morning

    I'm Outta Here - earlier in the year, a brighter day in the farm fields of the Skagit Valley
    NIKON D70    ---    500mm    f/6.3    1/500s   
  2. Luv that first shot Bill, blow it up, looks like a wall hanger to me!!! Nicely done
  3. drueter


    Apr 24, 2005
    Southeast Texas
    Wow, Bill! Those are wonderful shots -- particularly like the first one! BTW - I also like your species specific idea.
  4. I love the first one and the second is very good sharp birds with the grainy/diffused colors for the background.
  5. Bill, that first shot is killer!! Way to go!
  6. Excellent shots Bill. I have to say I love the second one.
  7. Bill, I really like the first one! Second one is great too. We have these overwinter here on the South Thompson as well. I hope to have a go at them next winter.
  8. Thanks, all. The first two are my two favorites from this past season as well.

    Now, however, we NEED to see OTHER FOLKS images in this thread, that is the purpose. Perhaps I was TOO specific in the thread title, so please, please, post Swan shots of ANY type here, let's get this going :wink:
  9. Bill, I do love that first shot - yes it has an early morning haze appearance and that's what really makes it for me.

    Since you asked specifically, I'll add a few of my own here...
    My love of swans started spring 2004 when I first got my kayak. I discovered this lady and her mate working a nest in the wild area of Toronto Islands. They came to accept me, I would sit by the nest for hours. She then started to show me her eggs, then she wd leave me to guard them while they ate! I was amazed, I was in awe that they wd come to trust me. Here she is sitting on the nest:
    E5700    ---    35mm    f/3.8    1/222s    ISO 100

    She was a good mom, and laid a good clutch:
    E5700    ---    27mm    f/7.4    1/271s    ISO 100

    Here she is leaving the nest to feed, leaving me in charge (forgive the blown highlights CP5700 :( 
    E5700    ---    9mm    f/5.7    1/181s    ISO 100

    Sadly I found out the authorities had oiled her eggs to smother them, a form of birth control so I had no little cygnets to shoot (figured if they trusted me that much, I was going to get some terrific close shots!). Broke my heart and I actually had to remove the eggs from her nest so she didn't waste away the whole summer trying to hatch them. (Grown woman crying in a kayak in a swamp is not a pretty sight, trust me!)
    This year I was rewarded with a pair of swans having a little one, just one egg and he turned out to really make my heart sing! I watched the mating antics, esp the father chasing away any other suitors.
    Then he and his lady set about to making a family
    and we ended up being parents (notice I include myself - one DOES get pretty attached to the whole thing! LOL
    and I've been having fun watching him grow under the watchful eyes of both parents - they're VERY protective!!!
    Hope you've enjoyed these and my little story. Was supposed to go visit them today but a wet front is moving through. Maybe tomorrow with some updates on how Sydney, the cygnet is doing. Cheers, Sandi
  10. Sandi, great images and great story. I can understand the Birth Control thing, but why would they oil all the eggs and not leave one or two? Seems that would create better genetic diversity if each pair had just one for example. I still think you should mount a tripod on your kayak to relieve your Photographer Elbow
  11. mrtac2man


    Jun 3, 2005
    Not the best pic.. was just learning the camera.. but here is my only swan pic


  12. Thanks Bill. I was actually going to get one or two eggs this spring, bring them back to the house and incubate them until after they'd oiled the eggs but it seems this year, they've done the egg culling like you suggested. I have seen one family with five little ones - probably had a nest hidden from view somewhere.

    As far as the tripod idea, things are pretty cramped inside the kayak with all my gear, etc and I'm afraid the tripod actually might be the cause of swamping. I tend to keep the camera really low in the boat (ie on the bottom) when paddling and not shooting. Wdn't want it so high up in case it went over. If I dumped that camera and lens into the water, you'd hear the wails from here, trust me!! LOL I do take the tripod out for land work tho. I'm also making my left hand do more of the work to compensate. Life could be worse! LOL

    Nice image Tim. These mute swans are incredible beasts, quick tempered (OK it's not temper, it's guarding). You've managed to get the shot with no blown highlight- not easy when you're shooting in high sun. Aren't those wings majestic!!!???
  13. Sandi, shorten the tripod so it is mounted as low as you would hold the camera. Then for stability you simply add a couple of outriggers to the kayak, that way you don't have to worry about overbalancing and getting wet. While you are at it, you can then hang a quiet eletric trolling motor off the outriggers and save yourself the paddling trouble. Oh, yeah, you may as well deck over it while you are it. Oh, wait, you say this isn't a KAYAK anymore :?: :?: :?: :lol: In other words, as my favorite cartoon Chicken says..."Just a JOKE, son, just a JOKE!"..... :wink:

    Good to hear that they are being more reasoned with the eggs now. My guess is that it will not take too much time for the smart swans to figure it out, and hide the nest sites better. Natural Selection.

    Tim, welcome to the Cafe, glad you posted. As Sandi points out these are not the easiest subjects to expose well, especially on a nice sunny day. Good job.

    C'mon folks, got to be more Swans out there.....
  14. Black-necked swans

    Chiloe Island, Chile:

  15. sfoxjohn


    May 1, 2005
    Marlton, NJ
    Here are three that I posted back in July. While they look placid here, they had been chasing the Canada geese all over the place. Regret that I wasn't fast enough and they were too far away (for my lens) to catch the action.




  16. sfoxjohn


    May 1, 2005
    Marlton, NJ
    Here are three that I posted back in July. While they look placid here, they had been chasing the Canada geese all over the place. Regret that I wasn't fast enough and they were too far away (for my lens) to catch the action.




  17. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Here's a Couple

    From Plum Island...where else??? :) 

    These are all from last year when I was just starting to learn what the heck I was doing.

    If memory serves me, these were all but one, shot with either an 80-400 or a 300f4 on the D2H (one is a D70 shot I think)

    This year, there are no baby swans..not one. They've decided that there were too many of them and that they're driving away native and migrating birds, so they went out and literally shook all of the eggs in the nests to destroy them prior to hatching.

    I was so looking forward to the little fluff balls this year and watching them grow...I kinda miss them :( 



    NIKON D2H    ---    300mm    f/8.0    1/750s    ISO 250

    NIKON D2H    ---    300mm    f/8.0    1/1000s    ISO 320

    View attachment 12754
  18. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA

    I tried posting these on another site and they show up just fine????
  19. Pa, I love the colouring of those south american swans. Any idea what type they are??? I like the little white wisps around the eye region.

    John, great shots. These look like males - they really puff up the wings to look larger. Love the blues of the water in the third shot.

    Swans are a very misunderstood bird. They seem to be more like pet dogs than actually members of the avian family. Their hiss is worse than their bite. They guard their family fiercely and yet, if you have treats, you are the boss!! LOL
    Now if I could only get RID of my new family - they just won't leave me alone - even when I'm trying to have a nap in the shade after hours of paddling! *LOL* They now recognize the kayak and my voice and come straight over.
  20. Our guide, whose English is excellent, just called them "black-necked swans".
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