Thursday, February 19, 2015

Spectacular Snow Geese Flocks in Southern Indiana

Just a portion of a Snow Goose flock.

Rob and I, along with our friend, Landon, headed down to southern Indiana in search of a few target species.  We weren't all that successful on that front; we only saw one, a Golden Eagle.  We were very lucky with the eagle and had brief but great views.  We spent a few hours searching for a Ferruginous Hawk that has wintered at Sommerville Mines the past couple winters without luck.  But, we did have nice views of a dark-morph, western Red-tailed Hawk.  Our other miss, a Loggerhead Shrike, may have given us a brief, distant glimpse, but it disappeared before we could get an adequate look.

A closer view of the Snow Goose flock pictured above.

In the mid-afternoon we headed over to the Gibson Lake area to look for the big concentrations of Snow Geese that winter in the area.  It didn't take long to locate a large flock; we estimated over 35,000 total.  There were also thousands of Mallards, hundreds of Greater White-fronted Geese, and a spattering of other waterfowl species in the mix including a handful of Ross's Geese.  If the waterfowl numbers weren't enough, there were also a couple thousand blackbirds that included a good mix of Common Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds and lesser numbers of Rusty Blackbird.

Snow Geese coming down to feed in a field.
A closer view of some of the snow Geese.

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