My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Another quickie

This will be a quick post of a series of images of a mute swan that I shot as she chased an interloper away from her nest.

Female mute swan starting after an interloper

The female must have made a poor choice in mates, usually the male will chase any intruders away, but he left it to the female.

Female mute swan starting after an interloper

I thought about zooming out to keep both swans in the frame…

Female mute swan starting after an interloper

…but this was my chance for close-ups of a single swan in motion.

Female mute swan chasing an interloper away

I also thought about going to a faster shutter speed, but I didn’t really have time to do so…

Female mute swan chasing an interloper away

…and I like the amount of motion blur that’s in these images…

Female mute swan chasing an interloper away

…while freezing the action enough so that the swan’s head and eye are good and sharp.

Female mute swan chasing an interloper away

I may have cut off her wings slightly…

Female mute swan chasing an interloper away

…but I was concentrating on keeping the single focus point where it needed to be…

Female mute swan chasing an interloper away

…while following the action.

Female mute swan chasing an interloper away

 

Female mute swan chasing an interloper away

 

Female mute swan chasing an interloper away

 

Female mute swan chasing an interloper away

With the chase over, I couldn’t resist shooting this photo.

Female red-winged blackbird watching the action

With the female swan off chasing the intruder away, the male went to the nest to make sure that the eggs were protected, I’m hoping to see cygnets soon.

Mute swan eggs, along with the male swan’s foot for size

Here’s the male on the nest, I was worried that he may come after me, but he didn’t.

Male mute swan ready to protect the eggs

I was a little surprised that the male didn’t cover the eggs immediately, but when the female returned, I learned something.

Both swans on the nest

After carefully inspecting the eggs as you can see in the photo above, she spent several minutes drying herself off before finally settling back down to cover the eggs. That makes sense after I had watched her, the water is still cold and may have harmed the eggs if she had gotten them wet. Once the female had settled back down on the nest, the male hung around, picking up some more dried reeds and dropping them where the female could reach them, and she used them to fortify the nest, and to make herself more comfortable while she incubates the eggs.

Of course I have no way of knowing how old these swans are, but I’ve found it odd that the male doesn’t stick closer to the nest than he does. In my visits to the area, he’s often completely out of sight, leaving the female completely alone, which I’ve found odd from having watched swans before. It was also odd that he didn’t chase the intruder away also.

I do know that a pair of swans built a nest in the same general area last year, and that eggs were laid in the nest. However, that nest was abandoned with the eggs still in it. So, I wonder if these are two very young swans just learning how to be parents? Also, I don’t know if this is the same pair as the one that abandoned the nest last year.

One quick personal note, I’ve made the final payment on my medical bills from my hospital stay two years ago. That’s a relief. That means that I can begin saving money for the fall vacation that I have scheduled, which I’m really looking forward to, as it will be my first vacation in three years!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

18 responses

  1. Amazing action shots- I can almost hear the water splashing! Hope the male takes care where he is placing his feet…they look big! It must be such a relief to have paid off that bill. Start planning that holiday now…looking forward already to more photos.

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    May 27, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    • Thank you very much Marianne! Yes, it was very noisy during the time the swans were in action, it was quite an exciting experience. The male was very careful where he placed his feet, and he also made sure that the water dripping off from him didn’t land on the eggs. I won’t start seriously planning my holiday until very late summer, early fall. The weather and how quickly the leaves change color is extremely variable year to year.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 27, 2019 at 3:53 pm

  2. Pingback: Mute Swan — Quiet Solo Pursuits | huggers.ca

  3. Beautiful captures and awesome action!

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    May 27, 2019 at 7:40 am

  4. Judy L Crankshaw

    Wow, Jerry. This is fantastic. The first photo of the female gathering herself for action is pure poetry. And to finish up with a shot of the eggs and the male’s foot is genius.

    This post is definitely one of my favorites, ever. Congratulations.

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    May 27, 2019 at 6:58 am

    • Thank you so much Judy! This post is what I’ve been working towards all of these years. It’s a small story, a short story, but I do think that I told it well with good images that don’t require many words to explain what happened.

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      May 27, 2019 at 4:18 pm

  5. Well done for paying off the bill It remains a persistent mystery to us why the richest country in the world turns its back on a system of free medical care for all. Still, we can look forward to some good holiday pictures now though you will be hard pressed to beat today’s swan selection.

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    May 26, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    • Thanks Tom! I don’t want to debate health care systems, but there’s no such thing as free health care, some one is paying for it in one way or another. And if it’s so great, why do rich celebrities from around the world that do have “free health care”, such as Mick Jagger did recently, come to the US for treatment? I hope that the weather cooperates for a change while I’m on vacation, and that I am able to shoot at least a few great images.

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      May 27, 2019 at 4:03 pm

  6. I am so pleased you’ve paid off that bill at last!
    I loved these action photos! I also love that great big foot in the nest next to those fragile eggs.
    We have noticed similar behaviour to your swans with the greylags that nest on our pond. The nest was abandoned this year so this is the first spring we have been without nesting geese and goslings! Young birds take a few years to learn what to do and are easily distracted it seems.

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    May 26, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    • Thanks Clare! I think that there is still much for us to learn about bird reproduction, such as how long it takes some species to successfully raise their young, and if older birds lose their fertility in their “golden years” and therefore abandon the infertile eggs.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 27, 2019 at 4:06 pm

  7. Superb!

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    May 26, 2019 at 5:24 pm

  8. Great images and reporting on the action. 🙂

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    May 26, 2019 at 5:07 pm

  9. Well done for paying off that medical bill. Good luck saving for your forthcoming vacation, I wish you well.

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    May 26, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    • Thank you for both of your thoughtful comments Susan! It is a relief to not having that bill hanging over my head any longer, and I’m really looking forward to an entire week off from work this fall. As for the swans, I was able to stay focused on one aspect, catching the female doing the chasing while ignoring everything else and concentrating on getting the best possible images of her in action.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 27, 2019 at 4:10 pm

  10. Your shots of the swans in motion are to die for, I am so impressed!

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    May 26, 2019 at 5:05 pm