This experience has to be shared with others who will understand and there's no way I can be impassionate about it, so I won't even try to write a cut-and-dried report. This morning at about 11:30, I pulled into the boat access parking area at Shelburne Bay. There were several cars there, mostly fishermen; a fellow was putting his boat in the water; people were all over the place, and there were no nearby birds to be seen. I sat in the car and scanned the water with binoculars--not much except for gulls--and almost didn't get out of the car. Thankfully, I did, for I wasn't out more than a minute when a honking started high above from the south. For the next five minutes everyone there stood in awe as the sky filled with Snow Geese--thousands of them flying fairly high but within eyesight range when they were right overhead. Even when they had passed, the white of their wings and bodies glistened in the sun as they banked; now you saw them, now you didn't. There were so!
many of them that had they flown in front of the sun, there would have been a distinct shadow like a cloud makes--some parts of the sky were solid geese. I'll unhesitatingly say there were 3,000, but there could easily have been 5,000. I've spent a great deal of time at Dead Creek WMA and have seen many, many flocks of snows come in, but never have I seen a single flock as big as this one (maybe the entire population of DCWMA left at once and this was it?). It was truly amazing! I just hope other avid birders were treated to a similar sight somewhere along the path this flock took.
Before I got to Shel. Bay, I saw what I thought was going to be the highlight of the day because they reminded me of summer--several Tree Swallows skimming bugs off the water at the mouth of the Winooski R. in Colchester. Somehow, even the promise of summer finally coming paled in relation to the geese.
Sherry Mahady - Essex Jct.