Saturday, December 3, 2016

Snow Geese, Cackling Geese, and Ross's Geese at the San Joaquin National Wildlife Refuge, Pt. 1

I fell for the ruse. I was duped into Christmas shopping on a Saturday, because it included a quick trip out to the Beckwith Road viewing platform at the San Joaquin National Wildlife Refuge west of Modesto in the Great Valley. It was a decent trade-off. When we pulled up, it looked like we would be disappointed, as the fields were almost empty of birds. But then the magic started...the sky filled with geese coming from all directions, all spiraling towards the field west of the viewing platform. There were dozens, then hundreds, and then thousands of them.
The Cackling Geese arrived first, and the few Ross's Geese looked a bit confused and lost, but the tornado of white birds expanded, and more and more of them arrived. It was an astounding sight. I took a few videos. The first is below. I'll post the second in a few moments.

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