Getting around to working on more of my images from Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Here are some of the Tundra Swans we saw at the refuge. Most of the time they were far out in pools along the Wildlife Drive. But occasionally we saw some fly by giving us an opportunity for some flight shots. These were on an overcast grayish blue sky day. The higher up the Swans were flying seemed to be a little bluer sky. Because of the gray day I had to raise my ISO higher than I usually use to get a shutter speed fast enough to stop the wing movement.
Pair of Tundra Swans in Flight – 400mm, 1.4x teleconverter
Higher Flight of Tundra Swans – 400mm, 1.4x teleconverter
When we were at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey, photographing the large groups of Snow Geese, this group of Tundra Swans flew by. Unfortunately all the large groups of Snow Geese and Tundra Swans were very, very far out in the water. Usually you see multiple large groups of Snow Geese taking flight. On this trip there were a few flying in and out, but no large groups taking off all at once. It was still nice to get out and take some photos.
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.
There was quite a bit of photo opportunities with the Tundra Swans also at Blackwater NWR. It is a very large refuge, but most of the photo ops for large groups of birds, either on the ground, in the water or flying are along the Wildlife Drive or Tubman Trail. They frown on stopping on any of the public roads within the Refuge. We sometimes ride through just because you can usually see quite a few Eagle nests from the road. There are many trails, but have limited sky views because of the thick concentration of trees. The refuge includes more than 28,000 acres of rich tidal marsh, mixed hardwood and loblolly pine forests, managed freshwater wetlands and croplands. There are also a couple of boat launching paved areas off the main roads in the Refuge with views of trees off in the distance that Eagles roost in. If you wait there you might get a few somewhat close flybys, but it usually takes a while. Or if you have really long lenses (800mm with teleconverters) you might get some shots in the trees. At this time of year, if you are lucky or have long lenses, you might see the small group of American White Pelicans flying. Usually they are just in a small group floating in the water fairly far out. Most people probably would not notice them. In the warmer months there are larger numbers.
It is interesting to see the different wing patterns/positions as a small group fly by. If close enough the sound of there wings flapping is really cool!