Snow Geese, take off at Green Island Wetlands, Iowa ---------   

It was one of the best days in a long time I had this afternoon and evening in the Green Island Wetlands. The quality of light and the abundance of birds made for a fun time in these wetlands next to the Mississippi River. Several ‘first of the year’ sightings and a lot of displaying behavior, because love is in the air, made for some great observations.

The big migration wave of the geese was early this year and I saw a good number of Greater White-fronted but had absolutely no sighting of any Snow Geese. It became clear I missed the peak of the geese migration. Today, to my surprise, it came all together when five Snow Geese landed just in front of me while I looked at some ducks.

The Snow Geese gave me 43 minutes to work with them before they took off. During that time they rested, preened themselves, but didn’t feed. They probably spent a few more hours in Green Island because I saw them again just before sunset. It is mind boggling how far they still have to fly for their breeding grounds up in the arctic regions of North America.

There is only so much you can do photographically if five geese don’t move much and the shore dictates how far you can get closer, but it made me very happy to capture a couple shots in focus during their take off.

We have snow in the forecast for tomorrow and that means we will probably not drive around on slippery roads. In other words, there might be time to write about some other birds here in the blog. So, please stay tuned…