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Nature Photography - Done Naturally

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Stelgidopteryx serripennis

Flight shots of swallow species are few and far between for me! There are few activities in life more frustrating than trying to lock onto a swallow in flight and take a decent photo, given how fast and how erratically they move. On May 10th, 2020 it was an unseasonably cold morning as I visited Newton Hills State Park. When I got down near the shoreline of Lake Lakota (in the park), I saw several dozen swallows sitting on railing of the fishing dock, huddled together. As insect eaters, it's tough sledding when it gets so cold the insects aren't out, so it's behavior I've seen before. An hour or so after sunrise when things started to warm up, they took off en masse, and started foraging very low over the water. Again, that's a behavior I've seen before when it's cold, as the relatively warmer water may be the only place where insects can hatch and take flight in weather that cold.  With the cold and wind, even I didn't want to be out there taking photos, but I did spend maybe 15 minutes trying to shoot the swallows darting around in front of me. I took about 500 photos in that short time span, and...kept 3!! And only one of those three was anything close to a great shot, but this definitely now one of my favorite photos.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow - Stelgidopteryx serripennis

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