Snow Geese are starting to show up in large numbers. I started seeing them circling the skies last week. Waters were mostly frozen over. The Snow Geese, along with smaller numbers of Canada and Greater White-Fronted Geese, were everywhere we looked in the sky at several points as they circled around looking for open water. Some were so high you could barely see them. Others flew lower, allowing for better shots of the flying fowl.
Mallards were also showing up in open fields.
Early in the week, I drove across the river to check on the water conditions at Chautauqua. The lake was frozen on both sides of the cross dike except right around the edges. It seemed pretty desolate. No birds could be seen from the car.
I returned home, driving along Thompson Lake, which currently stretches from levee to levee at the Emiquon Preserve. It was frozen and covered with snow except for a few small areas. I found some Goldeneyes swimming far out on the open area.
The ice had big cracks running across it where it has been moving. Along the shore the ice has been forced up from the shifting, bringing dirt with it all along the edge of the lake.
Looking south from the former Pump House Road pull-off, you can see that the ice and wind have knocked down the power lines that bring power to The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon Office. They were without power for weeks.
The boat Ramp was mostly under ice:
Looking south from Clark Road:
Looking north from Clark Road:
Looking west through the trees along the bluff west of Clark Road: