March 16, 2016 - Snow Goose Migration

On the day that I was at Middlecreek WMA, the rangers estimated that there were 80,000 geese on the lake.

All morning long Snow Geese kept arriving in flocks from half a dozen to fifty.   

 

 

    

  Hundreds of Tundra Swans were swimming on the lake.

  

 

  Even more swans were taking off for their migration north to Canada.  

 

 

 

Every so often a big mass of Snow Geese would rise up all at once and fill the sky in their huge numbers.  Then they would settle down again.

 

 

  If this were fifteen years ago I would have gotten a new life bird.  These were geese with white heads and dark bodies.  The all-white goose with black tipped wings in the lower left is a normally colored Snow Goose.  The darker birds are Blue Geese, which were formerly considered a distinct species, but now are known to be a variant of the Snow Goose.

 

 

There were lots of other water birds mixed in.

Common Mergansers.  The males and females don't look anything alike.  The males have a dark green head and strikingly white bodies, while the females have a reddish brown head crowned with a big tuft and their bodies are grey.  

 

 

In the woods, there was this pretty harbringer of spring poking through the leaves: