Snow Geese at Merced NWR

On our way to Fresno from Santa Rosa we stopped at the Merced NWR where we saw the Snow Geese that we hadn’t seen on our earlier stop at the Sacramento NWR but not the Sand Hill Cranes we had seen on our previous visit to Merced. (No, I don’t really think these are the Snow Geese we’ve seen in the past in Sacramento, and I was told by another birder that the Cranes had been there earlier in the morning.)

When you bird you learn to be ready to be disappointed and to be surprised, good training for life. Needless to say, I was thrilled at seeing this many Snow Geese even if my wide-angle lens couldn’t come close to showing how many Snow Geese were in the refuge. This shot is made up of three wide-angle shots fused into a panorama, and there were still more geese on the left and right side of the shot.

In the distance, it looked like a snowstorm was advancing as thousands of Snow Geese took to the air in the distance.

As it turned out, the huge flocks made it even harder to get shots of individual Geese than it was at the Sacramento NWR.

Though we were never directly in the flight path of large flocks of Geese, I did manage to get a few shots of the Geese in flight, always my favorite shots of birds.