Thousands and thousands of Snow Geese over-winter in Skagit (sounds like gadget) Valley, which is about 25 miles south of us. We've never seen them this early, but we are not sure if it is because we usually don't start looking for them until November, or if they really are early this year.
Yesterday promised to be gorgeous - forecast was for a high of 66 and sunshine - so we started out fairly early to enjoy the day. We have to enjoy these bonus sunny days in the Pacific Northwest - rain may appear at any moment. We stopped at Goodwill - I'm looking for some plastic canvas pattern books (more about that later and the treasures I found) and then on to drive through the farm country. We stopped at a farm stand - and there, in the fields across the road - were hundreds of snow geese. We could hear them before we saw them. They were beautiful in the bright green fields.
The Snow Geese breed north of the timberline in Greenland, Canada, Alaska, and the northeastern tip of Siberia, and winter in warmer winter areas of North America from southwestern British Columbia to Washington - on Fir Island, and in the Skagit River delta and sometimes south of there. Other sub species migrate to the British Isles, but not in the numbers like on the west coast of the US.
I couldn't get all the flock in, it was too wide for my camera. This is the view from the road. Behind this main flock - is a smaller flock just barely showing as a white line just before the trees - near the left side of the photo.
The flocks take off, swirl around and land again - never landing on top of another bird.
The black tips on their wings are beautiful in flight
The gray Snow Geese are the juveniles
Flying and landing - flying and landing
Gorgeous birds - we'll see more and more flocks come down from the cold north as the weather pushes them down here for food. And then later the Trumpeter Swans will be arriving.