Bewick Swan (Cygnus columbionus)

From the arctic tundra of Siberia the families of Bewick swans migrates to Europe for the winter. They often arrive in large numbers and can be magical to watch through the cold winter months. The Bewick is distinguished from the Whooper by the shape of the yellow on the bill, on the whooper the shape goes to a triangular point, on the Bewick it is almost cut across.

The Bewick is smaller than the mute swan

These were photographed from the hides at Slimbridge WWT. The flight shoys were taken at a high shutter speed with an F stop of F11 and higher to ensure good depth of field. Carefully check the exposure using center weighted metering on the white areas of the bird. To ensure good movement of the camera with the bird we used a tripod with the Manfrotto Gimbal type head.

Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)

Whooper swans breed in Iceland and migrate to Europe  for the milder winter climate. They often arrive in family groups joining with other groups where food is plentiful. We photographed these at Welney WWT reserve. They feed mainly on aquatic vegetation and arable fields. They are about the same size as the mute swan.