Daily Image - Mar 2011 Archive - sonofjohan

03 Mar 11. Most of the photographers that I know who travel to Fir Island are generally interested in either raptors or water fowl. The majority of what I have shared over the last four years has been either Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens) or Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) with a smattering of raptors, with by far the majority being geese images. There is another goodly sized gathering of birds there, although nowhere near the size of the geese in number, which are Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator), an absolutely beautiful bird! I've been kinda close to a group of 3 while we were in Yellowstone in 2007, but never really close enough to show off their beauty. At Fir Island I've never even seen one up close on the ground or water's surface, but have on several occasions seen them in the fields sufficiently distant to be white blotches on a green or brown surface. So getting a good Trumpeter image has eluded me for the most part. However, they tend to fly overhead or at a distance somewhat frequently, and last Friday there were several flights of 2 -7 that passed overhead. I tried to capture several of the flights, but with a 300 mm equivalent lens (the 18-200 equates to a 27 - 300 for a film camera or full frame censor) the birds were, for the most part, not a significant part of the image. But I've selected one for today's submission in which I've severely cropped away all but the most important parts (mountain & birds) to give you an idea of just how elegant these birds are in flight. They will be in the area for a few more weeks so for those of you in the greater PNW's western side there is still time to go up into the Skagit Valley to observe them. I feel confident you will delight in what you see. If these birds, or distant cousins, live in your area, I would encourage you to go out and let them bring some true beauty into your lives. I would have preferred better lighting, definitely less blue, for showing off the birds, but the window incident precluded my staying late enough to get same, so we'll go with what I got. ISO 200; 1/1000 sec @ f / 11.

water fowltrumpeter swans