At the end of our June vacation in Alaska this year, Donnette and I decided to make one last visit to Potter Marsh, a few miles south of Anchorage. We were fortunate that the marsh’s population of Tree Swallows was rather active that day. However, it was heavily overcast, so with its f/5.6 maximum aperture at full zoom, my 100-400mm lens was suffering from low light. The only dry access to Potter Marsh is a boardwalk along its edge, and that limited how close I could get to the little birds; it also provided them with a full view of me. Their innate nervousness thus prevented my getting close enough for anything near frame-filling images, so what you see here are unfortunately rather heavily cropped. But enough with the excuses—now to the photos.
The image above shows one of the swallows on the handrail of the boardwalk. I am not particularly pleased with the split background produced by the handrail and vegetation in the image, but since this little bird was kind enough to pose for a short time, I though it ought to be included.
These are Tree Swallows after all, so here are a couple of images of the birds perched on the remains of dead trees in the swamp. As I understand it, birds see sideways, but this one seemed to be giving me a head-on dirty look.
Every once on a while, a gust of wind popped up and ruffled a few feathers of one of the perched swallows.
There were a few nest boxes attached to the tall support posts beneath the boardwalk. Here is a Tree Swallow sitting on one, contemplating entry into the box,
and here it is about to enter the box.
I guess the following image doesn’t really follow the theme of this post, but it was also near the Potter Marsh boardwalk. I thought it would be nice to acknowledge someone’s clever roof-repair job and, perhaps, his state patriotism.
The location of the boardwalk at Potter Marsh is shown in the map below.