Today the dam
broke and Greater Snow Geese flooded through the St. Lawrence River Valley.
Most seemed to pass through along the Ontario side of the river but some
headed downriver on the American side as well. All were coming from the
west roughly following Hwy 401 although some were over the river itself.
The flight likely began before 8:30 and by 11:00 Hans and I
had counted about 15,000 from a couple of positions east of Summerstown (15
minutes east of Cornwall). Continuing east past Lancaster we headed to
Westney Point where birds congregate early in the migration. It seemed that
virtually all had descended onto the river and remained on ice floes in the
middle of the river, about a kilometre from shore. You could watch them
with binoculars but a scope was important today. We watched additional
flocks of hundreds to 1200 bolster the numbers and virtually all descended
to the river, halting the migration. We did not see any birds on the river
further down to the Quebec border nor any birds on the river before this.
On the way back to Cornwall in the afternoon, along the river east of
Summerstown, we added thousands more, coming through in non-stop flocks of
dozens to hundreds and waves of up to 2000. By the end of the count at 3:00
we had over 50,000 for the day. At one point at this location, while
watching a Bald Eagle, we spotted a juvenile Golden high overhead. The bird
hung around for about 5 minutes then I watched it pull in its wings and
barrel towards an oncoming flock of Snow Geese. The birds broke formation
and scattered into a milling ball, this at an elevation of probably 1000
feet. There was no sign that the eagle connected with a goose. Early in the
day the geese were flying
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