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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Snow Geese in Skagit County

Before heading back south to Portland we did some birding in Skagit County, which is great in the winter for seeing raptors and waterfowl. One of the most impressive sights of winter birding in the Northwest are the huge flocks of snow geese. Here's a close up of some adults and first-year birds:

Something spooked them and they took off in a cacophony of honking and wing flapping - a truly remarkable spectacle that the photos barely convey:

Whatever it was, only the geese were scared by it, and after they took off the trumpeter swans and mallards that had been mixed in with them were revelaed:

A recent article featuring winter birding in the Skagit said it's a good thing the waterfowl don't eat daffodil bulbs, because that keeps them from having a conflict with the local farmers. The daffodil fields were in full bloom, which was a beautiful sight in its own right, especially with the dreary gray clouds looming overhead:


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Your daffs are far more advanced than ours which are only just pushing their tips through the ground. Being dazzlingly white your snow geese make more of a spectacle than our dingy grey pink feet even if the numbers are similar.



Warren Baker said...

Wow! That looks stunning, I bet it was awasome in real life. I wonder what spooked them, and not the swans?