Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Goose, Goose, Goose

Ducks and geese winter at Ballard WMA in varying numbers every year. The first time we went, we saw about 70,000 Snow Geese, but this year, the numbers were down. Maybe the weather isn't bad enough up north yet. No matter how many Snow Geese there are, it's always a thrill to watch them come in for a landing in the field. White bodies, black tipped wings, and blue morphs give them wonderful protection from predators. It's really hard to find an individual bird.
In flight, they don't use the classic "V" formation of other geese, but fly in waves.
Not all Snow Geese are white. They have a blue morph where the body is blue/gray and the head white in adults, or dark in juveniles.
Flocks of White-fronted Geese gathered at the WMA too. They are dark gray, with a patch of white on their heads by pink bills. I noticed all of them looking in the same direction and the bus driver said they were getting ready to take off. Small numbers of Canada Geese stayed apart from all the others. We couldn't get close enough to the open pools to actually see any ducks though.

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