Thursday, February 26, 2009

Snow Geese at Emiquon!

Scott and I did our hawk run on Tuesday and then explored Emiquon for a while. It was marvelous, as always. There is something about the winter browns and golds of the wet prairie surrounding Lake Thompson that pleases my eye. I parked at one of the pull-offs and walked down to the lake to get a better look at the waterfowl congregating in an open pool. A small bird flew into tree in front of me. It was a Meadowlark! A sure sign of spring!
MeadowlarkEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_0885

I attempted to get closer to the Meadowlark when an eagle flew over with a headless Coot in its talons. It dropped the Coot while I was photographing the scene.
EagleEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_0917
EagleEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_0918

Another eagle circled over the large flock of Greater White-fronted Geese before landing on the ice behind the flock.
EagleEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_0955
EagleEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_0959
GWhite-frontedEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_1067

Canvasback Ducks flew over and joined a mixed group of ducks in an open pool.
RedheadDucksEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_1039-2

Another eagle flew over, and then another. As I looked around I realized there were about 7 eagles far out on the ice. Altogether there were 20 eagles flying over and around Lake Thompson.
EagleEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_0801
EagleEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_0943
EagleEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_0981

Just as I was about to head back to the car I noticed a flock of white and black birds flying in a huge whirlwind of birds. This was the largest flock of Snow Geese I have ever seen. It looked like a million birds flying in and circling from one side of Thompson Lake to the other. They covered the horizon at one time, then they tightened their circle and dropped down from the sky.
SnowGeeseEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_1380
SnowGeeseEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_1378
SnowGeeseEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_1488
SnowGeeseEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_1473
SnowGeeseEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_1522

Meanwhile, some American Coots came walking over the ice to the open pool near by.
ACootsEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_1446
ACootsEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_1445
CootsEmiquon02242009JGWardIMG_1499

4 comments:

Aaron said...

Jane, these are beautiful coot pictures and unbelievable snow geese shots.

nathas said...

Very Nice Pictures !!!

Bill and Becky said...

Jane
Great work I am envious!!!!

Bill W.

soule_sister said...

These pictures are FANTASTIC!