E.J.Wilkins

02 Mar 2007 674 views
 
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photoblog image Young swan neck

Young swan neck

Taken near Beaulieu last summer I was fascinated by both the tiny feathers and the shape of this sleeping cygnet's neck.

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Young swan neck

Taken near Beaulieu last summer I was fascinated by both the tiny feathers and the shape of this sleeping cygnet's neck.

please visit my vfxy
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comments (22)

ahh ellie this is a darling shot. i love the downy coat.
EJWilkins: Thanks Genevieve, I do too smile
I can only repeat what genevieve has said. It just pulls those heartstrings, it's so soft and cuddly and vulnerable. Lovely.
EJWilkins: It does a bit, but this little cygnet is an almost fully grown swan now. smile
That's a wonderful shot, Ellie!
EJWilkins: thank you Martin
  • alex
  • 2 Mar 2007, 03:05
this swan is a tricky one....it's so cute and soft, you just want to pet it...but you know it would just bite your finger off. wink good one, ellie.
EJWilkins: Aha, I doubt the cygnet would knowingly have chewed your finger, but the parents would have had a jolly good try if I'd been too close for their comfort. wink
  • Ngozi
  • 2 Mar 2007, 03:47
Awwww - all cute and fuzzy. Looks like he's comfortable.
EJWilkins: Very comfortable, and totally relaxed. smile
  • sparklite
  • Toronto (burried in the snow), Canada
  • 2 Mar 2007, 04:40
Oh it's so fluffy! Nice catch. I hear you have to be careful because parent swans can be somewhat vicoius/over protective if you get too close. Great shot smile
EJWilkins: Hi Ian, I think I'm (we're) particularly lucky here because adult swans are so used to people being around, it's the foxes and also the pikes (in the water) that are more of a threat to their offspring. I don't like to think of them as domesticated, but they certainly seem to be tolerant of human company ... as long as you stay outside their comfort zone.
  • Ginnie
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 2 Mar 2007, 07:27
When I first pulled this up, Ellie, I thought someone had dropped their full coat on the ground! (Okay, my eyes take awhile to adjust!)

What a precious capture of this wee child! Will its beak change color soon, I wonder? As it lies here you realize just how loooong those necks really are. So amazing. Beautiful capture, Ellie.
EJWilkins: From what I've seen this year Ginnie, the young don't develop their adult colours and markings until they're almost a year old. They gradually lose the brown feathers and then the beak slowly starts to change colour. I suppose it's something to do with camouflage and keeping the young safe, until the parents shoo them away to make place for the next brood.

I've been amazed at how intense swan parenting is. Some still have their brown coloured cygnets fairly close by, even now at the beginning of March, and one parent is already brooding a new nest of eggs.
  • paul
  • uk
  • 2 Mar 2007, 07:49
amazing detail Ellie
EJWilkins: Thanks Paul smile
  • Neil Tandy
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 2 Mar 2007, 09:10
Super shot Ellie. Lovely focus and exposure, cute subject and nice composition. Very nice work. Regards, Neil.
EJWilkins: Thanks very much Neil. I'm slowly coming to accept the term 'work' for photography, but it's hard when it's such fun!
Good stuff first, that's a very nice shot. Now ....... knowing these birds as I do how did you get so close with out mom and dad trying to take you apart or did you use a long lens ? Also how did you find them ?, signets are as a rule pretty well hidden, god you find all of the good sfuff, I'm so jealous !
EJWilkins: The Z5 zooms but doesn't have separate lenses. I was only a few feet away from this little one. Parents were watching but not particularly worried. Once the cygnets get to a decent size they wander about with parents watching them quite closely. The ones at Hatchett Pond were even more relaxed about things wink
Other people have asked, as well. How did you get so close? How did you not wake him? Really Lovely!
EJWilkins: I sat and watched while they went to sleep and then 'pounced'! wink
you can hardly recognize what it is.
EJWilkins: No, you're right, and that's something else that made me try for a picture. smile
If you had not specified what it is, I'd have never recognised it. The swan just looks like one big ball of feathers and fur. It's very rare to see photos of sleeping birds. Looks like you were at the riht place at the right time smile
EJWilkins: Because I only got my camera last April (2006) last year was the first time I'd taken the opportunity to sit and watch these birds. The cygnets feathers are almost spiky, nothing like those of the adults. They don't develop big feathers until they're a few months old. These tiny feathers must trap a lot of air and help keep the cygnets afloat. Another case of "wonderful nature" I think. wink
For this one I'd been watching the birds for a little while, then they all settled down to have a nap.
  • Dudee thea
  • Purwokerto-Indonesia
  • 2 Mar 2007, 13:45
nice shot Ellie, lovely angel and interesting wink
EJWilkins: thanks Dudee, luck a a bit of patience I think wink
And withdrawn...
EJWilkins: ... and unafraid
great shot Ellie !! he looks like a very good swan's paté smile just kidding, have a great week end my friend
EJWilkins: Thanks, and you have a good weekend too. smile
  • Mia
  • Americana
  • 2 Mar 2007, 19:03
Aww... this is adorable smile Love the capture
EJWilkins: Thanks Mia smile
  • julischka
  • Germany, near Frankfurt am Main
  • 2 Mar 2007, 19:42
Lovely fluffy capture! Have a nice weekend.
EJWilkins: Thanks, and I hope you have a good weekend too. smile
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 2 Mar 2007, 21:48
Nice bundle of fluff - i can see that those details fascinated you.
EJWilkins: Yes, those details do fascinate me Louis smile
You and swans... I think is a match meant to be, specially when you have a camera in hand. A b s o l u t e l y amazing.
EJWilkins: Oh yes Samira, I like swans, I'd happily take thousands of pictures of them. I'm hoping that with my new camera I might be able to take some magical pictures this coming nesting season. I'd really like to capture images of some tiny, newly hatched, cygnets .. which I missed last year because they hatched before I got a camera.
  • Ron S
  • Worcester UK
  • 3 Mar 2007, 08:11
I never thought the 'ugly duckling' was really ugly. It isn't, is it?
Great one : Thumbs up !!!

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for this photo I'm in a constructive critical comments icon ShMood©
camera DiMAGE Z5
exposure mode
shutterspeed 1/160s
aperture f/5.6
sensitivity ISO50
focal length 69.4mm
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