Monday, March 30, 2009

Still here.

Grass root dangling jauntily from bill.

Yesterday at Terra Nova there were several hundred Lesser Snow Geese (I didn't think to count), but the flock covered less of the field than it did the last time I was there, two weeks ago.

Drinking from a very full ditch.

The Richmond Snow Goose situation is fluid, changing from year to year and month to month during the non-breeding season. Numbers have increased steadily over the past several decades. This year, for whatever reasons, they did less damage to Richmond playing fields than in 2007-08, when they really overstayed their welcome. According to Campbell et al. (1990), their peak spring movement (i.e., getting a move on) is April 18. Assuming that hasn't changed much, the bulk of them should be gone in three weeks, on their way to Wrangel Island, Siberia. I'm not sure how the flocks that overwinter in Washington State and California play into this, whether they stop over or fly on past.

There are some who can't wait for them to leave.


Campbell, R.W., N.K. Dawe, I. McTaggart-Cowan, J.M. Cooper, G.W. Kaiser and M.C.E.McNall. 1990. The Birds of British Columbia. Vol. 1. UBC Press.


Eskarina said...

We were out at Reifel Island on Sunday and there were thousands of snow geese; they covered two entire fields, and their presence resulted in many cars stopping to take photos.

keewee said...

Magnificent birds.

It's Time to Live... said...

Bet it was loud too! A few weeks ago I was at the Bear River Bird Refuge and there were thousands and thousands of Tundra (whistling) Swans. They were on a break during migration. It was great.