Tony McLean's East Yorkshire Wildlife Diary

Wildlife photography in East Yorkshire

Cormorants & Swans

Cormorant-dawn silhouette

So far, it’s been a rather quiet autumn. The good news is that sunrise is now at a reasonable hour. Unfortunately, it’s now too late in the season to enjoy a leisurely hour or two of photography after work. Never mind, the rich autumnal colours and the sweet earthy smells more than compensate for this minor inconvenience.

Cormorants and Swans seem to have provided the best photographic opportunities for me during the past few weeks. The good news is that these birds both possess contrasty plumage and are rather large too; so autofocus issues haven’t been a problem. In fact, I have been delighted with the performance of my D800 in that department.

I have been tending to use my Nikon D800 in DX mode with just my 500 f4 lens. This combination gives me an effective focal length of approximately 750 mm and still at f4. I have found that I prefer this combination to my Nikon D3s with a 1.4x on the 500 mm f4 lens, as this loses me an additional stop of light and to be frank, the quality of the image detail is far superior without a converter.

Of course, the D3s comes out to play when the sun has set. I have started to bring my D3s and a 300 mm with me, ever since I met face to face with an Otter as I returned to my car. The family of Mute Swans that have been defending the lake for the past few months are still resident and quite remarkably, still displaying their combined aggression to any unwelcome visitors. The resident fox has been laying low and the Barn Owl seen very infrequently, and usually well after sunset.

Anyway, here are a few images taken during the past few weeks. I hope you enjoy them and please don’t be afraid to leave your comments.

Cormorant-returning to roost_3

Cormorant-returning to roost



Mute Swan-flight in the rain

Mute Swan-dawn flight

Wren-in autumn

Finally, here’s a picture of a A Cessna F150M ‘G-HULL’ from Beverley Airfield. How I wished it was a Heron or a Raptor!


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4 thoughts on “Cormorants & Swans

  1. Love #5, the Cormorant with blurred wings… and the Troglodytes (so noisy for a tiny bird) is a lovely close-up too! As always… your work is a pleasure to look at.

    • Hi Ed I hope you are well? Many thanks for your very kind comments. I love Wrens too! Marvellous little birds.
      I was also impressed with your recent Blog about La Brenne. It looks like a stunning location. Very best wishes… Tony Mclean

  2. Beautiful shots! I love the photo of the swan in profile and the little wren is awesome! You can see every feather on the little fellow.

  3. As usual, some excellent sharp pictures. Wish I could get that degree of sharpness with my Sigma 150-500/D7000 combination. The pics of the cormorants remind me of the escalating concern by anglers, coarse and game, over the increasing plunder of fish stocks by these predatory birds.

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