Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary Alaska - Exploring My Life

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Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary Alaska

Wildlife Viewing at Potter Marsh Anchorage

Potter Marsh, at the southern end of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, is an ideal break from Anchorage for birders and other wildlife viewers. From the Seward Highway just before the left turn into the Potter Marsh parking lot, you are treated to a stunning view of Turnagain Arm. A wooden boardwalk winds 1,550 feet from the parking area through the marsh and across watery openings and sedges, perfect habitat for a rich variety of birds. 
Arctic tern Alaska
Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge
Alaska Coastal Wildlife Refuge

From late April through September, Canada geese, northern pin-tails, canvasback ducks, red-necked phalaropes, horned and red-necked grebes, and northern harriers use this wetland. Look for eagle nests in the cottonwoods near the base of the bluff using binoculars or a spotting scope. Eagles have a sharp sense of sight and can see at least four times better than people, enabling them to detect movements of small animals like hares from a mile away. When eagles soar overhead, they are scanning open areas for prey.

Notable Species in Potter Marsh Birds Sanctuary
·         Chinook salmon
·         Coho salmon
·         Beaver
·         Moose
·         Muskrat
·         Trumpeter swan
·         Northern pintail
·         Green-winged teal
·         Canvasback
·         Red-necked grebe
·         Northern harrier
·         Sandhill crane
·         Arctic tern
·         Red-winged blackbird

From May to August, gulls, Arctic terns, shorebirds such as yellow-legs, and occasionally trumpeter swans are present during spring and fall migration. 
Moose Viewing Area Alaska
Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary Alaska
Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary
Potter Marsh Board Walk

In addition to birds, look for slow movement and a v-shaped wake in the waters of the marsh, signs of muskrats swimming past. Their small brownish heads peek just above the water as they meander in and out of the wetland's open areas.

Moose also frequent the marsh year-round. May and June are good times to see these large ungulates standing in the marsh foraging for new growth.

About halfway along the boardwalk, Rabbit Creek flows underneath and provides a good spot to see spawning chinook, coho, or humpback salmon from May to August, depending on the species. Spot their bright red bodies swimming in the creek.

With its nearly panoramic view of Turnagain arm, Potter Marsh, buffered by spruce, cottonwoods and alders, is one of the most accessible and scenic wildlife viewing areas in Anchorage. 
Potter Marsh Wetland Anchorage
Potter Marsh Wetlands Anchorage
Seward Highway Attractions
Wildlife Viewing at Potter Marsh Anchorage Area
Potter Marsh Board Walk Anchorage

Located at the southern end of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, the 540-acre Potter Marsh offers easy access to nature, with a 460-meter-long wheelchair-accessible wooden boardwalk.

Driving Direction to Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary : Seward Highway milepost 117.4. Take the signed Potter Marsh exit to the east (toward the mountains), then follow the road south to a parking lot by the boardwalk. For other views, there are two highway pullouts off Seward Highway along Potters Marsh between mileposts 116 and 117 and a parking area off Potter Valley Road at the south end of the marsh at milepost 115.6. Parking is limited to these pullouts.

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