Friday, November 24, 2006
What We Did For Thankgiving
Thanksgiving Day, my Husband and I packed a picnic lunch and drove one and a half hours to Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge in Mound City, Missouri, to spend the day looking at wildlife. We have visited here many times over the years and have seen some amazing things. This year, we had a beautiful day. It got to about 65 degrees, was sunny and had a little breeze. The breeze caused it to be a little dusty. I didn't like that part but it really was a nice day.We saw many birds.
There were some Bald Eagles present. Mostly juveniles. This means that they are definitely reproducing! We only saw a couple of adult Bald eagles. My Husband got a picture, of an Eagle, out of the window of our car. That Eagle sat in that tree all day. I think he was posing! A few years ago, they counted over 450 Eagles!
We estimated that there were around 250,000 Snow Geese. It was an amazing sight to see them come in from the West and land on the marsh. They seemed to arrive all at once! We were too far away at the time for a good picture or I would have taken one. It will be a memory that I don't soon forget, though!
There were also a lot of Ducks. Many, many Mallards. We also saw Pintails, Ring necks, Buffleheads, Teals, Shovelers, Gadwalls and Coots. We also had a couple of special sightings of around 20 Tundra Swans and 30 American White Pelicans.
Here are some of the pictures of the Snow Geese. In the first picture, the geese are at rest. In the second picture, there is a flair-up. That's what we called it. There is probably a special term for this. I think this happens when the geese are startled. For example, we would see Eagles fly through the geese, which scared them, and caused a flair-up. As the geese arose from the water, there would be a roar of honks and flapping wings, which would grow in intensity, as more geese joined in the flair-up. They would settle back to the water in a little bit of time but it was an awe inspiring sight and sound! ! If you are interested in learning more about Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge, here is a link. http://www.fws.gov/midwest/squawcreek/index.htm
We had a very nice day. My Husband and I love watching wildlife. We choose many of our vacation destinations around wildlife and nature. We hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving Day, also.