Over the last two days Laura Gaudette, Joanne Russo, Don Clark and I have been counting the migratory geese in the lower CT River valley between Putney in the north and Vernon in the south. The birds roost at night on the river and feed in the fields on either side of the river during the day. So, our counts tell us that there are at least 7,000 Canada geese present. Main concentrations are at the traditional sites of Blodgett Farm in the south (3,500 birds) and Putney Great Meadows (about 3,000 birds). As of this morning, however, the latter flock seems to have cleared out and moved north up toward Charlestown. Of course, these counts do not reflect any turnover there may have been as birds pass through on their way north. So, they should be treated as minimum estimates. Also present with the CAGOs were 5 wood ducks, a single pintail, a snow goose and couple of hundred black ducks and mallard.
This total of about 7,000 is pretty much in line with counts that we have made in previous years, when up to 8,000 geese have been counted. However, in previous years the main passage of CAGOs (and others) has been in mid to late March. This year there migration seems to be about 3 weeks early.
Hector Galbraith, PhD
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