Snow Geese by Jonathan Stoke
Saturday morning I met up with Canyon County birders, my father-in-law Lynn Davenport and Cheryl Huizinga, at the Fort Boise Wildlife Management Area. Located at the confluence of the Boise River and the Snake River one could expect a confluence of birds in such a riparian area in the midst of the southwestern Idaho desert. Fort Boise WMA is one of the best places I know of to watch the spring migration of Snow Geese in all of its glorious abundance. Though seemingly early in the year, Saturday morning presented a Snow Goose spectacular!
The deafening majesity of wingbeats and honking is just one of those things that everyone should experience in life, birder or not. We stood on the edge of the road in wonder and awe as the flock of 2000+ Snow Geese circled and landed in nearby ponds, only to lift up into the air again. In the coming weeks the numbers could soar upwards of 10,000 Snow Geese. The light of the late morning was amazing as it reflected off the white bodies. We had a blast picking out dark morphs, along with Greater White-fronted Geese and a handful of Ross's Geese in the mix (Just try to effectively point out to another birder a single Ross's Goose in the middle of a huge flock of Snow Geese circling overhead! We must have looked like the Three Stooges.)...and that wasn't even the reason we met up at Fort Boise WMA.
Reported Bewick's Wrens took as to Fort Boise along with the potential Winter (Pacific) Wrens. Our initial efforts to find them didn't work, so we played their call using BirdJam to see if they were indeed in the area. Immediately we started hearing birds call back, so we tracked them down. Wouldn't you know it?! We found Song Sparrows imitating the Bewick's Wren calls, mocking us right to our faces! Oh well. The other 30 species we enjoyed, especially the Snow Geese bonanzan, made up for dipping on the wrens.