Saturday, February 21, 2009

Middle Creek Wildlife Preserve (80,000 Snow Geese)

I have been anticipating the winter snow geese arrival since the fall, when I missed the brief window on their southern migration. My calendar had the weekends in February and March highlighted to visit the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. (aka SGL46 Map)

I called Saturday morning and the ranger stated that 80,000 were on the grounds (see website for details, photos and a video). How they estimate that number is beyond me?

He gave me some tips for photographing them. At sunrise they go to the fields to feed and then return to the lake at dusk to float and sleep at night, but the sun angles will be better in the PM.

Winter birds amaze me at their resistance to the cold. They tolerate such extreme conditions of cold and hunger, that one just has to marvel and respect wild animals.

Along westbound SR897, before getting to main road to M.C., was a large flock that was feeding in the field. I continued to observe the bird activity in the fields and ponds from my car along Park Rd and the picnic parking area across the lake.

I concluded that the best vantage point for photography is indeed at the Willow Point. Park, then a short walk on a paved path lead you to a peninsula surrounded by lake. Not too close, not too far, so with any level of equipment good viewing and photos can be had.

You will see a wide price range of magnification tools, from low end binoculars to massive spotting scopes and from point and shoot cameras to 800mm DSLR combos valued in excess of $10,000.

You really don't need anything to experience the essence of the snow geese, but magnification can surely enhance the situation.

As I was exiting, I passed a steady steam of people heading to the point for sunset observations of the massive flocks geese landing on the lake.


  1. Cool shot of the 3 geese flying across the lake Mike!

  2. Thanks for commenting. I thought it was a little ironic showing Canadian Geese in a blog about Snow Geese, but I liked the picture.

  3. Huge flocks of snow geese have come over Allentown, heading north and west in the past two weeks.