Thursday, January 21, 2016

Look Up

Hark! Er...Honk! What is that I hear? Thousands and thousands of Snow Geese arriving!

Until I moved to the FLX, I had never heard of Snow Geese let alone saw one or dozens or hundreds or thousands. Now, I see hundreds of them every winter. Usually, I see them in fields on River Road in Waterloo/Seneca Falls on my way to Sauder's.

This year I was treated to a truly amazing site. When I was leaving my store a few weeks ago, I heard tons of honking.....well goose chit chat. I looked up and was amazed at what I saw. There were hundreds and hundreds of geese flying overheard! Who knows how long they had been flying overhead before I went outside. I stood there in the parking lot for at least 4 minutes watching them.....4 minutes! By then thousands of geese flew over me.....and not one dropped anything on me!

I could see them over the city buildings....they were coming from the residential side of the city....looked like they were flying towards Seneca Lake....until they weren't.....seems like the head goose was taking a detour...maybe they wanted some wine? Or had to much wine? There are still grapes out on the vines at a few vineyards for the Finger Lakes Ice Wines.

As geese do, they shifted who's in the lead and changed direction.....closer to where they wanted to go.....another goose took charge and wow did they change course! They were now heading towards the lake. They had to loop around about 135 degrees when originally they needed to turn left like they're at Watkins Glen driving in the NASCAR race.

How do I know they were Snow Geese? Well, most of the time I was watching them, I thought they were Canadian Geese since we have an abundance of them. Seriously, if you ever want a Christmas Goose, go find a pond or lake or body of water around here and during the day you'll get yourself a goose. Fair warning, they're noisy! And they WILL charge! But they are beautiful. **Check out the NYS hunting regulations and the federal laws on protected species before hunting anything!!! And make sure you're not trespassing unless you have documented proof the property owner gave you permission to hunt their land.**

Back to the geese.....Once the goose who knew where they should be flying took charge, they kind of bottle necked so they were flying in tiers. They started coming down lower and lower. I could see them! They were all white with black wing tips! SNOW GEESE! They don't usually arrive until early January....and they were right on time! Unfortunately, I only had my iPhone with me so the photos aren't spectacular, but hey I got some!

They don't stick around long. They are on there way down to the Atlantic Coast...around NYC, Jersey, Maryland, down in that area along the coast.

Cornell has some interesting details about Snow Geese. Shouldn't be surprising with the bird lab they have, right?

This area has a huge massive migration system. The abundance of water and forests probably doesn't hurt! There are many nature preserves. state forests, national forests, protected wetlands, and even a national wildlife refuge - Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. Here's a bit of the history of Montezuma from Wiki. Yes, you can go into Montezuma. There's a road and a exhibit building. They even look for volunteers to count different birds and eggs at different times of the year. It's a fascinating place! And on a good day you just might see a Bald Eagle!

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