they head for the sod farm
Flock takes flight
a portion of one of the flocks at the Turf Nursery
Thanks to a call from Rob Stone this morning I was able to head down to the black dirt region of Orange County once again. This time he alerted me to a massive influx of SNOW GEESE! Shortly after I arrived, the birds moved into an inaccessible area. I could see thousands of Snow Geese, but my views were not able to separate them enough to discern if anything else was present. I moved around the area, checking the thousands of Canada Geese for anything new as I waited for the Snow Geese to move. Just as the geese started to move around, I was joined by Curt McDermott (actually I rode with him) and we searched the massive flocks of both species for anything good. Our first good bird was likely the same CACKLING GOOSE that has frequented the area most of the winter. Curt found a second Cackling that quickly got absorbed in the huge flock. As the Snow Geese settled in the Pine Island Turf Nursery, we had a brief chance to study them better. We shortly found two TUNDRA SWANS among the many geese. The flocks were very skittish and soon two mega flocks joined briefly and then separated again. We followed the largest flock to the Warren Sod Farm, having now been joined by Matt Zeitler. We now got to study the birds as they settled down and fed in the huge fields. We never were able to find a much hoped for Ross’s Goose, but I will be back tomorrow hoping the geese continue. I have attached a number of photos of the snow geese, but the flocks were so massive there was no way to fit them into any single shot. We estimate our total numbers of Snow Geese at between 7 and 8 Thousand birds and Canada Geese in the area in very similar numbers. We never had the time to get over to Wallkill to check out the several thousand Snow Geese that went there, something good could be out there with them.
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