Last year’s Snow Goose trip turned into a sparrow walk because the geese had decided to hang out in NY rather than VT. This year we got lucky! The planned Friday 10/18 trip was postponed until 10/21, but Corky Magoon went to Addison alone on the original date and saw several hundred of the beautiful white birds.

The following Monday, six of us spent an hour watching over a thousand geese as they fed in corn fields close to the Viewing Area along Route 17. In the flock there were at least six “blue geese” (gray-blue bodies, white heads), a variant of Snow Goose that used to be considered a separate species. There were also many grayish immature Snow Geese.

Three Snow Geese had bright yellow collars, indicating that they’d been caught and banded. A website allows people to check on the travels of banded geese. We found out that one of “our” geese, #TC75, was banded in August 2011 on Bylot Island, which is at the northern end of Baffin Island, 900 miles north of the Arctic Circle! This goose was also seen 3/6/12, 2/12/13 and 2/14/13 at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Pennsylvania.

After ogling the geese, we went for a walk on a dirt road and had lunch at The Bridge Restaurant. In addition to the Snow Geese, we saw two unexpected birds: a female Ruddy Duck that everyone got to look at through a spotting scope and a Tree Swallow. (Poor thing! There are very few bugs left for it to be eating!)

Other species:

  • Canada Goose
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Bald Eagle
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Tree Swallow
  • American Robin
  • European Starling
  • American Pipit
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • American Goldfinch

Human participants were Corky Magoon (10/18) and, on 10/21, trip leader Maeve Kim, Leslie Nulty, Wendy Savoie, Bruce Gilbert-Smith, Linda Thompson and Tom Jiamachello.