... with one eye open.

By Chamaeleo

Port Meadow: Surly Swan

Both peaceful and pugnacious in large.

I went to Port Meadow in the early afternoon with a 'two birds, one stone'-type mission: I'd heard that a brant (/brent) goose had been there yesterday so I wanted to see whether that was still about, AND my supervisor loaned me his new high-speed camera so I thought that I'd give it a go.
He bought the camera (a Sony RX10ii) for its high-speed video capabilities, but I wanted to use its v. fast shutter (up to 1/32,000 second) to try to freeze the ripples that appear in feathers under high strain (visible on Mr's distal-most primary feathers here)... I struggled to get to the camera to perform as hoped (it is much laggier in operation than my Nikon), but that is probably partly just unfamiliarity. I did manage to get some shots showing the effect that I was after (visible herehere, and here: the feathers aren't serrated but waves are running along them!). 

I didn't see the brant goose (boo...), but did see a great crested grebe which was nice. There was also a lot of swan strife: the left-hand swan here was being very aggressive and chasing everyone about (including this poor juvenile)...

I've uploaded some other shots to Flickr (right from here).

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