Friday, March 21, 2008

Swans at Monticello -- part 1

Yesterday morning Les' & my schedules meshed so we decided to meet at Monticello to see what was left of the winter Trumpeter Swan population. If you are not familiar with the wintering swans there, you can read about them here and here.

We agreed to meet at sunrise, about 7:15, with the hope of getting some misty, artsy shots of the fog rising from the river. Well -- there was no fog -- but there was a beautiful, orange sunrise.

It was fun to see how the birds had paired off.

After a quiet night's sleep, it's time for a long stretch to loosen up.

At 8 a.m. other swans decided to fly in. By the way, if you have not noticed, your digital images most likely contain the date & time when they were taken (assuming you have set the camera's clock & display the photos in an editing program). This is useful in keeping track of your pictures and recalling events.

Some of the swans seemed to be content in just showing off. It also seems that the stretching is part of their feather preening regimen.

Les discovered the woodpecker we had been hearing for a while -- a Red-bellied.

Meanwhile, back on the river, what looked like a barbershop quartet practicing . . .

. . . was actually a dispute about territory or a mate.
By now we were getting cold -- it was like being in Nebraska two weeks ago. I was glad that I had worn my winter parka and insulated boots. I again made the mistake of wearing light gloves so that I could handle the camera better.
For those who care about such things, all of the above shots were taken with a Canon 20D, Canon's 400mm f5.6 lens, on a tripod.
more tomorrow