The 2018 Snow Goose Scoop
Breaking news on the Migration of Snow Geese through Vermont and New York
Summary Report – Saturday, December 8
The 2018 Snow Goose season is winding down in the Champlain Valley. Although I don’t have any recent reports, goose counts have hovered in the hundreds to an estimated 2,000 (on November 19) at Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison, Vermont. This is not to say that show is over. We’ve seen as many as 9,000 Snow Geese (from a reliable bird counter, Ian Worley) here in Vermont as late as December 4.
The best viewing this season has been along the New York shoreline at or near two locations: Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area (south of Rouse’s Point) and Point Au Roche State Park (just north of Plattsburgh). Your best bet for goose encounters would be to patrol the lakeshore between Rouse’s Point and Plattsburgh. One notable report is 1,100 geese near Peru, New York, on November 20.
I’ll wrap up this year’s Snow Goose Scoop with one more update as soon as I get a few more recent reports from Vermont and New York. And even if you head out and don’t see geese, the Champlain Valley offers some of the region’s best winter birding. Snowy Owls are probably somewhere to be discovered out there in the valley right now.
A real-time map, from eBird, of Snow Goose sightings around the world since November 1, 2018. Click on any map pin for details.
What happened to all the geese? And why you might visit Vermont and not see the thousands of geese actually there.
A Blue Ross's Goose
My lesson on the finer points of Snow Goose/Ross' Goose identification — something that should help you become a better birdwatcher.
The Snowy Owl Scoop
A snowstorm of a different kind: tracking the fall movement of Snowy Owls across the continent.
Other Resources and Readings
Snow Goose – The account from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds site.
Identification of White Geese by David Sibley – Help with telling Ross’s Goose from Snow Goose.
Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area – Vermont’s prime goose-viewing opportunity. The visitor center is open Tuesday through Sunday, 8am to 4pm, from Sep. 1 to Nov. 1.
Geese Setting the Table for Polar Bears – The New York Times reports that a warming planet leaves polar bears with less opportunity to hunt seals. So they’re turning to snow geese chicks and eggs instead.
One Day, Two Ross’s – My account of seeing an exceedingly rare Ross’s Gull and the generally rare Ross’s Goose during a single day in 2013.