Tree Swallow Acrobatics

I’ve watched the Tree Swallows zooming over the old rice field at Magnolia Plantation several times over the last month, resisting the urge to photograph them knowing focusing to be futile. They are fast and fly in erratic paths as they pursue insects.


Yesterday I spotted a behavior that centered around this metal pole sticking out of the marsh that gave an opportunity for some shots. Yes, bird pole dancing with a lot of in place fluttering.


When a bird landed on the pole it made it possible to focus and when the birds stayed in or flew through the same plane I got some in-focus shots.


Of course this was clearly a case of needing a bigger lens.  The distance, adjusting for the high ISO (1600 – 2400) and cropping to get a closer view of the birds resulted in non-sharp, but interesting, photos.


I didn’t see any other tree or man-made device that the Swallows were attracted to in this area.


In between swooping around the pole the rest of the flock continued bug gathering over the reedy areas of the swamp.


I could not get any closer due to the swamp and alligators but the dike does curve about where this action was taking place allowing for a couple of angles.


Click on any image for a larger view.

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