Mute Swans Swimming In Gull Pond

On our recent trip to the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville, NJ we saw 2 groups of a pair Mute Swans. They usually do not stay around this long as it gets colder this time of year. One pair were in Gull Pond by the 2 way section of the Wildlife Drive and the other pair were in the water by the end of the Wildlife Drive in Doughey Creek. It was fun to see and be able to photograph them swimming in the waters at Gull Pond. I was not able to photograph them at the end of the Drive because so many cars were blocking the view of them waiting to photograph them so we just drove past the cars to go through the Wildlife Drive again.

Mute Swans in Gull Pond, 150-600mm Tamron @ 600mm, Canon 1D mkIV (-2/3rds exposure compensation to hold detail in the white swan)
Mute Swan in Gull Pond, 150-600mm Tamron @ 600mm, Canon 1D mkIV (-2/3rds exposure compensation to hold detail in the white swan)

Misty Morning @ The Celery Farm Nature Area

The Celery Farm is a small 107 acre freshwater wetland in Allendale, NJ. There is a small lake, Lake Appert, so there is a wide range of birds to photograph in a somewhat confined environment. There has been 240 bird species sighted here with 53 species breeding there. The best times for photos were early morning and early evening. I used to like photographing Ospreys fishing here in the afternoon. The most I had seen there was 6 at the same time circling above. With the small lake it was great for photographers to get Ospreys diving in the lake for fish. Years ago it was a carp farm, so it was strange to see them flying off many times with a bright orange fish! If you walk the trails you can also find a wide range of birds and mammals. So you have a lot of photo opportunities in a relatively small area. Especially for flying birds.

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Happy Mothers Day

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Mute Swan TakeOff

Swans seem to need a lot of space to take off! Plus the sound of the takeoff is impressive. Their feet slapping on the water and their wings flapping make quite an interesting sound  for an interesting takeoff to photograph.

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Sleeping Mute Swans At Brigantine

When we first got to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Brigantine Division in Oceanville, NJ, it was an overcast day and very early in the am. On the first leg of the Wildlife Drive, by Gull Pond, I found these sleeping Swans. I was photographing them and then they started to move around giving me a few more options for photos. Then I heard a piercing rattle and knew it was a Belted Kingfisher. It landed a few trees away from me, but I was able to get a few images, even though it was not large in the frame and had poor light before it flew on. I wish it had been a little sunnier, but I got what I could. All images here were with a Canon R, 400mm f/4 DO lens with a Series III 1.4X teleconverter.

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Mute Swan Swim By

Mute Swans are some of my favorite birds to photograph. They seem sort of expressive in their postures and movement. Plus they are a big subject so easier to see and fill the frame to get a nice image. Plus they do not seem to shy away from you and tend to come right up to where you are shooting. But you can see they keep an eye on you. You just have to make sure you do not blow out the highlights and lose detail in the feathers. Also their wings make a really cool sound when they fly by you!

Tundra Swans Flying Off at BWR

A group of Tundra Swans flying off after a large group of Snow Geese took off in mass, disturbing the Swans that were off to the side of the Snow Geese at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. The Swans took off and flew to an area farther away from the Snow Geese where it was quieter.

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Mute Swans

Most of the Wildlife Drive was closed for repairs so access was limited to the refuge. Some of my favorite areas to photograph birds were not accessible. But I did find a few Mute Swans that cooperated and did a slow swim by for a few photos.

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