Snow geese finally on the move in Pennsylvania
Although we’ve had a couple of days of snow and ice recently, fields were pretty much cleared of any remnants of those forms of moisture. For those of us keeping eyes skyward for any signs of snow geese moving through the area, the time and inviting food source of open grain fields seemed just about right for the birds to show.
But sightings were rare, and the birds that were seen were high-fliers headed for other locals. It did not make sense, but of course, neither do snow geese.
And then, a stronger storm came swooping through the area on a recent night and covered the ground with at least a half-foot of white wetness. The deep chill to follow would assure the snow would freeze, and the welcome mat of clear fields holding plenty of waste grain as a attractant for migrating white geese was locked away.
I went outside early the next morning to begin clearing snow from the driveway and the vehicles parked upon it. As I opened the garage door, I was greeted with the distinct honking of the great white goose.
Snow geese flew in every direction, their cloud-like appearance against a clearing blue sky an unmistakable spectacle.
For most of the morning, flocks in varying size and numbers flew past, some high enough to be just passing through, but plenty low enough to know that they were looking for spots to land and gather some much needed nourishment.
The cold came as promised, but over the course of this week, geese that stayed nearby have found some local spots where they have been able to root up some food and replace energy spent. On a recent morning, I snapped the attached photo of a small flock that roosted that previous night on a local pond, one that is frozen solid.
If one checks the Pennsylvania Game Commissions website for reports on snow goose numbers at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, it is easy to see the drastic rises and subsequent drops in numbers that are ongoing there.
With much milder temperatures forecast for this week, there should be plenty of birds around. I plan on doing some hunting for them with some friends a couple of times here shortly, and if forecasts ring true, there should be birds to make the work of hunting them at least somewhat rewarding.
But if so many of the bizarre occurrences of hunting snow geese from seasons past resurface once again, the hunts will be just as unpredictable as this erratic and fickle bird.