Every fall snow geese from the Arctic pass through the Lake Champlain region during their fall migration to warmer places in the southern U.S.
Earlier this week, a bunch of us from the Explorer, led by board member Larry Master, took a trip to see the snow geese. The sight can be spectacular, particularly when they take off into the air en masse because their flocks often contain thousands of birds.
When we found the birds, they were gathered in a corn field north of Plattsburgh. There were several thousand geese that were mostly milling about for the first 40 minutes we were there. A few small groups would fly in or take off, but they were mostly static.
Then seemingly out of nowhere, the entire group lifted into the air and thousands of birds filled the cloudy sky ahead of us. The birds flew to the right of us toward and above some buildings, then circled back to the corn field. From a distance, they looked like thousands of small bugs. A cacophony of honks followed them as they flew through the air.
Apparently, the birds were disturbed by a distant helicopter that I didn’t even notice myself at the time.
You can get a feel for what it was like to see the birds by watching the video below and by checking out the photos in the gallery above. The highlight of the video comes at the end, when it shows thousands of birds flying above the field.