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This was a much better day for the Snow Geese — better than my last visit to Snow Goose Central. Hunting season is done, and all of the goose shooting on Fir Island is now camera-only.

I started off at this field with one other photographer, and by the time I left, there were six of us, plus a load of SUVs [illegally] lined up on the road shoulder for photo ops.

We were waiting for the geese to do a big fly-over but they were extraordinarily calm for Snow Geese. In my two hours at the field, they burst into the air just once as a Navy jet buzzed Fir Island and startled the flock. Otherwise, they grazed their way to within meters of where we were standing, with a backdrop of blue sky and Mt. Baker Snow.

GooseORama

I stitched together this panorama from six photos. I had six additional photos shot to the right of this group, and five to the left. So, what you see here amounts to about a third of the geese present in this area. There were more geese in a farther field behind this flock.

Click on the image for a larger size of this panorama, then click again for the full-sized photo.

Snow Goose Flock

Snow Goose Central - ©ingridtaylar

Snow Geese in Flight

Snow Goose Flyby - ©ingridtaylar

Flight - ©ingridtaylar

Snow Geese and Mt. Baker

Snow Geese + Mt. Baker - ©ingridtaylar

Snow Geese Landing

Calling + Landing - ©ingridtaylar

Great Blue Heron and Snow Geese

The Visitor - ©ingridtaylar

By | 2012-02-04T23:21:07+00:00 February 4th, 2012|Birds, Blog, Geese and Swans, Pacific Northwest|8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Mia McPherson February 5, 2012 at 5:08 am

    Ingrid, how nice that this trip to view and photograph the Snow Geese was for cameras only. I especially like the Snow Geese fly by image. I can imagine what the blast off sounded like just by viewing your images. A wonderful post!

  2. ingrid February 5, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Mia, that’s my favorite part (and probably everyone’s) in watching Snow Geese: that telltale moment of collective silence among the geese right before they erupt into flight. I think it’s impossible not to be moved by the phenomenon. I cried the first time I saw it. Imagine, when the birds were so plentiful, they darkened the sky for miles … as you read in historical accounts. Snow Geese give me a sense of what once was.

  3. Hugh February 5, 2012 at 9:14 am

    So that’s where they are. Our massive, schoolyard-eating flocks disappeared a few weeks ago during a cold snap when the ground froze. Great photos!

    • ingrid February 7, 2012 at 12:53 am

      Yeah, the Snow Geese are definitely “efficient” grazers. Sorry yours are gone. Do they tend to scuttle south with the cold snaps, or was this an anomaly?

  4. Mia McPherson February 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Ingrid, “sky darkening” reminds me of the historical articles I have read about Carolina Parakeets, I have to wonder what that would have been like but I think you are right, Snow Geese exploding into flight does give me a sense of what that may have been like.

    • ingrid February 7, 2012 at 12:57 am

      Oh, the Carolina Parakeets! And the same was apparently true of Passenger Pigeons, right? I wish we could experience this phenomenon again.

  5. Bea Elliott February 15, 2012 at 5:22 am

    Oh these are so beautiful! That panorama is amazing – Wow! I’m glad you have a chance to “capture” the geese in peace!

  6. Skagit White ‹ SEATTLEOGRAPHY March 6, 2012 at 10:44 am

    […] Geese — a natural phenomenon I’ve written about a couple of times at my nature blog: GooseORama | Flight of the Snow […]

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