Saturday, January 12, 2008

Snow geese, Skagit valley

Every winter thousands of snow geese descend on Skagit valley for its fertile fields and mild climate. If you haven't seen a bird migration before (like me) you will be in for a pleasant surprise! The sight of thousands of geese taking off at the same time is an eerie feeling...something like a train which takes off. It also provides some fantastic photographic opportunities.

Snow geese, Skagit valley
Equipment: Canon 20D, Canon 100-400mm
Image details: 400mm, f/5.6, 1/100sec, ISO 100

December, January and February are great times to check out the geese. I typically like to shoot the geese in the evenings.

On a clear day you will be able to see Mount Baker in the it might be good to check the weather forecast and get there on a clear day.

There are a few fields where the geese usually hang out.
1. Fir Island reserve -
2. Off Maupin road -,+la+conner,+wa&sll=48.422765,-122.436962&sspn=0.039701,0.090637&ie=UTF8&ll=48.347208,-122.432113&spn=0.01988,0.045319&z=15&om=1

If you don't see them on these fields, it pays to usually drive around a little bit - you usually end up spotting them very quickly :) Although this post is primarily about the snow geese, the Skagit valley area is a birders paradise...keep your eyes open for Bald eagles, Great Blue Herons & Swans.

Oh and one other important point..when the geese blast off make sure you are not under the blast off unless you want to get pooped on..believe me ..I learnt this the hard way :)


voltaire said...

I'm headed to Seattle this Friday, June 12. Any chance, there might still be some bald eagles to photograph?

btw, thanks for all the useful photo tips about Seattle.


Dharshan said...

Winter is typically the best time for bald eagles..but if you drive around you will usually find one or two bald eagles. Good luck!