We had all these beautiful sunny days recently (many temperature records broken in September due to much higher than usual temperatures), and I was lulled into thinking we’d have more of them – until this morning when a light rain started. Then I raced out to Potter Marsh to try to squeeze in some birding before the heavier rain. By the time I got there it was raining, so I birded by car along the road for a half hour. After seeing some Mallards, I saw two white lumps out in the water and at first was in horror at the thought that it was two dead swans.
But, no they were alive, two adults, foraging underwater. Later there were four more adults and two young swans.
I was glad I had driven along the marsh because when later when the rain essentially stopped and I went to walk along the boardwalk, I could not see the swans that I had seen when I drove along the south end of the marsh.
In addition to swans, there were a couple of dozen Mallards, a dozen American Wigeons and a few Northern Pintails (not photographed) seen in the marsh as I drove along the road.
Along the boardwalk I was surprised to see that there were still 14 Greater Yellowlegs and a single dowitcher around in addition to a few more Mallards, a Green-winged Teal and a Common Merganser.
The biggest surprise, however, was the perched up bird along the boardwalk that turned out to be a Townsend’s Solitaire, my first for the year (admittedly most of the year my birding has been in Nome). As I was taking its picture, it dove down into the brushy saplings and I did not see it again.