December 17, 2014
Winter in North Carolina is the perfect time to see wintering waterfowl, especially the famous Tundra Swans and Snow Geese. I missed the Snow Geese last year, so yesterday I was on the lookout for the giant flocks of white.
Well, I may have found the Tundra Swans, but the Snow Geese have alluded me once more. As we drove east the fields along the highway suddenly became havens for giant flocks of gulls, Canada Geese, and lively Tundra Swans. My excitement rose the more flocks we saw, and I just knew I would see geese, I just knew it.
I was wrong. Though we arrived around eleven in the morning and didn’t leave until the sun had set at five p.m., geese were nowhere to be found. Rats.
Still, the flocks of Tundra Swans and other waterfowl were so beautiful, and the sound of an entire flock of swans breaking for the sky is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. Their feet pad along the water as they strive to lift off, and I could literally hear their wings beat against the wind, all the while honking that signature honk.
The swans we saw were in Lake Pocosin, Lake Mattamuskeet, as well as nearby agricultural fields. They frequently flew from one to the other, flying in delicate V’s. Both the water and air were chock full of birds, and it’s one of the most lively landscapes I’ve ever seen.
In a way, it’s good that I didn’t see any Snow Geese yesterday. Now I have an excuse to go back!