February 7, 2016
"THE ART OF SQUAW CREEK"
Upon learning of the arrival of 371,488 Snow Geese, the Editor-In-Chief of this outfit (I like saying that) and I ventured north to the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. As we turned off the Interstate and made our way down into the low land I was concerned that maybe we had missed the event. The prior three weekly counts showed 21, 10 and 11 respectively. But as we turned into the reserve we were not disappointed. The ice corralled the Snow Geese closer to the viewing platform than on my prior trip.
The refuge covers approximately 3,400 acres of wetlands circled by a dirt road. On our drive around the north side we came upon the beaver lodges. A measure of patience is needed but eventually one or two would show (our first time to see one in the wild - well as wild as a refuge gets).
Squaw Creek is known for its Eagle habitat, 69 were reported on 02/04/2016. They aren't hard to spot. Just drive around until you see a flock of photographers at the base of a tree. A pair of adult eagles were building their nest and treated us to a brief episode of flight.
The refuge posts a weekly waterfowl report. Below are some of the listed species and counts for 02/04/2016.
Greater White-fronted Goose - 2,635
Snow Goose - 371,488 (I only counted 371,487)
Canada Goose - 770
Trumpeter Swan - 314
Northern Shoveler - 10
Green-winged Teal - 15
Common Goldeneye - 61
Dabblers - 8,652
Divers - 131
Total Bald Eagles 69 (23 - Mature; 46 - Immature)
Total Photographers 12 (11 - Mature; 1 - Immature)
CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE
to view additional images from this trip.