SOMERSET LEVELS 235 – SWANS, GRAZING (MONO)
August 15, 2015 13 Comments
Some see swans purely as waterbirds, and on or beside water is where they’re usually encountered, reaching down into the water’s depths with their long necks to feed on aquatic vegetation. But they are often seen out on the fields of the Somerset Levels, quite at home grazing on short grass.
These are Mute Swans, the UK’s common and often tame, resident bird. But in the winter they may be joined here by a few Bewick’s and Whooper Swans that have come south to avoid the Arctic’s bitter freeze.
And the pylon? Well, 15 miles or so west of here, and in stark contrast to the Levels’ rural reaches, there is the Hinkley Point atomic power station, which sends lines of such gaunt metal towers snaking out across the surrounding countryside. The two reactors there are ageing now, but a third is proposed and construction is underway.
And – hot question! – am I in favour of nuclear power and especially, in this instance, so close to my favourite haunts? Well, the jury’s out on nuclear, I guess, my only certainty being that we need to get power from somewhere – news stories talk of our electricity supplies being only just sufficient to cover winter demands. Let’s hope that a way is found to generate power by nuclear fusion, rather than the nuclear fission used now – and that it is found soon!
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D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 2,000 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Dramatic preset.