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Subject:Carver County geese galore, Canada's outnumbered
From:John Cyrus <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:John Cyrus <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 11 Mar 2012 16:51:58 +0000

I'm sure there have been as many Greater White-fronted and Snow Geese moving through Carver County in past years(at least the occasional year), but this is the first day that Canada Geese have been outnumbered by other goose species for me.  I counted a total of 771 Greater White-fronted Geese all flying low over or near Rapids Lake.  Flocks of 300(conservative estimate as focus was on counting Snow Geese in the flock), 85,75,56,50,48,44,36,32,24,19, and 2 flew over in a 2 hour period.  4 flocks flew in from the northeast and turned west when they hit the north end of Rapids Lake, 3 flocks flew in from the east, and 5 flocks flew in from the southeast.  The 771 total is about 4 times as many as I had ever seen(added together) in the county before today.  I counted a total of 413 Snow Geese at both Assumption Lake and Rapids Lake MVNWR.  A flock of 250(many blue phase) that was initially in fields near Assumption Lake eventually joined Canada's on the ice of the lake.  A flock of 150 was with the greater than 300 Greater White-fronted Goose flock, and 13 were with the flock of 50 Greater White-fronted Geese.  I saw an estimated total of 1100 Canada Geese.

Other birds at Rapids Lake MVNWR(lake still completely ice-covered)

Cackling Goose 2
Trumpeter Swan 5
Wood Duck 32
Gadwall 14
American Wigeon 2
Mallard 100
Northern Shoveler 4
Ring-necked Duck 8
Lesser Scaup 25
Bufflehead 2
Common Goldeneye 5
Hooded Merganser 12
Common Merganser 3
Killdeer 5
Eastern Bluebird 4
Red-winged Blackbird 180
Common Grackle 15

At Assumption Lake(completely ice-covered)

Northern Pintail 11
Gadwall 11
Killdeer 3
Red-winged Blackbird 7
Common Grackle 4

Yesterday at Rapids Lake MVNWR 2 small flocks totaling 47 Greater White-fronted Geese flew over.   Also of note were 95 Wood Duck resting on a sand bank of the Minnesota River.

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