Date: 3/5/18 1:54 pm From: Nicholas Mrvelj <nickmrvelj...> Subject: [obol] Roughly 100,000 Snow Geese, Morrow County
Yesterday afternoon, Peyton Cook, Em Scattaregia, Adrian Hinkle, and myself were treated to quite the spectacle. While scanning the Columbia River in the town of Boardman, Oregon, we located a thick, white band, stretching an impressive distance, far out in the river toward the Washington side. Due to distance and heat shimmers, we couldn't really make out what the white band was, but speculated that it must be Snow Geese. We drove to a closer location upriver, and were finally able to determine they were in fact Snow Geese. It was very difficult to estimate their numbers on the water, as the density was impossible to judge, but appeared extremely clustered. Probably 5-10 minutes after observing the flock from a closer distance, something caused all the geese to take flight. In between having our jaws drop to the ground, Peyton somehow managed to find his composure and digiscope the awe inspiring group of birds taking flight. We counted first by 100's, then 1000's, then 10,000's. Our estimates range from 100.000 to 125,000 birds. Granted, it is extremely difficult to count to such a high number in the field, and I'm sure our estimates have a healthy margin of error, but I feel we are in the ball park. Below is the footage of most of the flock that we were able to capture below. I've also included an eBird checklist with a still and exact location.