There is an early springtime event that literally takes my breath away every year. Located along the Mid-Atlantic Flyway, Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Stevens, Pennsylvania is a resting stop for tens of thousands of migrating Snow geese on their way north to the Northern Tundra for the summer.
I await anxiously each year and watch the wildlife report from the WMA to hear how the numbers of the geese are doing. Staff at Middle Creek monitor the arrival of the Snow Geese and begin posting regular reports when their numbers become significant. Due to an unseasonably warm winter, the snow geese have arrived nearly a month early. First reports had nearly 40,000 geese present, and on Valentine’s day 30,000 more joined them. Naturally that means I jump in the car and go the next day to enjoy this amazing spectacle.
The geese spend the evenings on the lake roosting and during the days they fly out to the nearby corn fields to forage. With 70,000 geese the flock is in constant motion. Flowing along the water, and then randomly flushing up like a huge tidal wave, the sky filled with the thundering sounds of their flapping wings and the frame is filled with nothing but birds.
As this is the fourth year I’ve visited the snow geese I wanted to try some different ways of capturing the flock. I usually travel with just my Canon 500mm Lens, and this time I added a second camera body with the 24-105mm lens to get broader captures of the scene.
Along with the two camera kits, I also included my iPhone 6 as a form of filming the flock in motion which is included in the video linked above. I used both the Canon 1DX and the iPhone to create the video clips in the video montage. Both of them had difficulty keeping up with the flock, losing focus many times, but the feel of the motion and the power of the enormous flock was still captured.
As I now have the new Canon 5D Mark IV which has been designed to have enhanced 4K video capture, on my next visit I will add the 100-400mm lens and set it on a tripod with a gimbal head. Using this alternate kit, I hope to get a higher quality video of the Snow geese when they flush and fly overhead.
The Snow geese have always been such an awe inspiring sight to see and if you’re in the area, it’s well worth the drive for a visit.
Oh. My. Gosh. I’m in absolute awe simply sitting in front of my screen, I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like being there, amongst 70,000 snow geese. WHAT an magical experience – thank you SO much for sharing!
Magical is truly what it is Joanne. Can’t tell you how much witnessing this event thrills me. Thank you so much and I hope one day you can enjoy it as well.
Thank you Cynthia.
Just curious….do you visit AM or PM? These are spectacular! I live about an hour away and want to plan the best time of day to visit!
Both times are great Katherine. Morning you get the wonderful sunrise and less people. More people show up later in the day, but the sun is behind you. Good luck.
Abundance sure is beautiful.
This is abundance times ten Mike. Thank you!
An amazing spectacle! The wider angle shots are wonderful.
Thank you for your comment Ellen. Glad to know that you think those worked out. 🙂
Taking the words right out of my mouth Jane. Thank you so much.
Nature is amazing. Great shots, Emily!
How I wish you could be here to experience it with me Fatima.
I’d love to.
Too many! Lovely to see but they are a huge problem. Here is one of many articles: https://anrweb.vt.gov/FWD/FW/SnowGooseConservation.aspx They severely impact the health of their nesting habitats and other ecosystems that they pass through.
There is hunting allowed in Sherry and believe me, the hunters are doing a good job filling their trucks. 🙂
Wonderful comment my dear. Thank you!
Thanks for sharing. I missed them here again this year, but have seen them many times, and it is always breath-taking. There is nothing else like it. Glad you got to enjoy them!