This gallery contains 2 photos. Look! Up in the sky! It’s more of us! Probably coming in for a landing. I was surprised to see Snow Geese goosestepping at Iona Beach Regional Park. I am used to seeing thousands of these geese in flight, and, less often, an equally large number on farms in the fall, winter, and spring–usually from a great distance, which makes closeups impossible. Never before had I seen them this close in the wild, so atypically comfortable with the humans walking in their midst.
A curious gaggle of snow geese (gaggle being the proper term of venery for 5 or more SNGOs)
(f/5.6, 1/250, 247mm, ISO 800)
As the sun slowly slipped to the horizon, wave after wave of Snow Geese would descend to the grounds just west of the washrooms. I was witness to many white and reddish faces, juveniles and adults, those infamous grin (“black lips”) patches, and varying plumages of white and grey. There were avian “sentries” posted, to be sure, to sound the alarm should danger present itself in their midst, but no one took to the wing. Photographed on January 17.
Is she taking *our* photo? Looks like they’re having a discussion about me!
(f/7.1, 1/500, 403mm, ISO 1600)
The reddish stains you see on their faces are a result of the iron in the earth where they feed (their eggs also stain easily). Although I hoped to find one, there was no Ross’s Goose in the midst of the 2,000+ strong flock; the same went for the blue morph (colour mutation) of Snow Geese. Still, it was a lovely experience to be so close to so many!
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