Tundra Swans flying east over the marsh at Bear River – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Seeing a few flocks of Tundra Swans in flight two days in northern Utah was a reminder that these big, white swans have already begun their migration to their breeding grounds on the tundra of northern Canada and Alaska. There are far fewer of them here now than there were just a month ago.This past winter I’ve been fortunate to photograph them up close at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in good light and not so good light. I’ve photographed them on the water and on the wing.
Tundra Swan flying and cloudy sky – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I’ve sat and listened to them calling, photographed and watched them bathe, preen and fluff, eat, and even get a touch aggressive with each other. I’ve photographed them landing, taking off and in flight up close and from a distance.
Low light Tundra Swan in flight – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
We only see Tundra Swans here during the winter and early spring because they overwinter here and for me at least the time they are here doesn’t seem quite long enough because I can’t always get to the refuge as often as I would like. They are amazing birds to observe and photograph though for the time that they are here. This summer when it gets hot here I know I will wonder how their breeding season is going on the tundra.
Winter scenery at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge – Nikon D810, f11, 1/2000, ISO 500, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 50mm, natural light
I had forgotten that I had taken this landscape of the refuge & Promontory Mountains on the 6th of March until I uploaded the cloudy sky photos I took up north two days ago. I smiled as soon as I saw them on my monitor. We didn’t see much snow on the Promontory Mountains this winter so the day I took this photo I felt I had to because of the clear sky, the snow and how the mountains reflected on the calm, icy cold water at the refuge.
It was an exceptional winter for photographing the Tundra Swans of Bear River MBR.
Life is good.