Finished Day 1 of Trumpeter Swan shoot at Squaw Creek NWR. I have to admit I was a little disappointed … head count for Tuesday was 95 Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator), and when we arrived yesterday morning, only saw ~15-20 of them. An arctic cold front had moved through and a lot of the refuge had iced over. I guess that some of the swans decided to “get out of Dodge”. Also, the 150,000 Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens) looked considerable smaller than that number to me, although Snow Geese continuously arrived from the north all day long … by the end of the day, there were at least 150,000 there. The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) counts (36 on Tuesday), however, appeared to be significantly lower than the actual numbers we saw, so that was a good thing.
But we had a great day and got some nice Bald Eagle and Snow Goose images, and some nice Trumpeter Swan flight shots, although we were quite a distance from them. I’ll post some of the nicer images when we get back home and I have my wide screen monitor to work from (instead of my “antique” laptop monitor!).
The image I’m posting today is titled “Mega Goose”. I spent quite a bit of time photographing the Snow Geese, especially when they were landing. To get the best possible images, I tried to get the sun to my backside (as much as possible) and also had the wind at my back. If you photograph birds very much, you probably know that birds always take off and land into the wind, whenever possible. So by placing the wind at my back, I was able to shoot the geese head-on as they landed. This post’s image is a fun image, one of those that you don’t plan for!
Rest assured, this is not a mutant goose! As I was photographing incoming Snow Geese, there happened to be one goose, right on another’s tail, and when I depressed the shutter button, the trailing goose was lined up perfectly with the leading goose and you could only see the 2 feet and the 2 wings of the trailing goose! But ya gotta have love it! :o) Besides, this image will fit in real nicely with my “Goofy Animal” gallery images on my website!
Well, as this goes to press, I’m heading outside for some more fun image-making! Hmmm, any “Mega Eagles” out there for me?