The Greater White Fronted Goose; Speckle Belly.

The Greater White Fronted Goose; Speckle Belly.

They are gone now, having flown in for a few weeks the feeding frenzy in the pasture has ended. I suspect the Speckle Bellies have retreated to their nests not back to their habitat in the far North.

I posted two pictures of the Speckled Belly to offer a complete view of their appearance. The white patch around its tail is the identifying color of it’s name. However the patch is on it’s rear end, I suppose a name such as the Greater White rear-ended Goose would not pass muster. Any ways the speckles are on it’s belly as advertised that brings up another possible name, The Greater Speckled Front White Reared Goose. Oh brother I’ve gone off the deep end.

They assemble in large flocks flying mostly in a Vee formation; single file when not. The entire flock will feed in an open pasture as I have been observing them practicing for the past few weeks. Making a wide circle around the intended landing site they will go around numerous times until decided on a promising spot. Then suddenly they will drop out of the sky landing almost as one; they won’t take to the air again for a few hours. Those in the photo are landing across the slough directly in front of me and my camera. I was fortunate to be offered the opportunity to take numerous photos nearly exactly like this one.

They are a close knit bunch and seem to crave close contact with others in the flock. By my observations they rarely fly alone, I don’t remember seeing that occur. They are migrating birds flying in from the far North Tundra amongst the Rivers, Lakes and Swamps. It’s obvious they are not accustomed to being near to people, at least not this one. They avoid houses, humans and Skunkpuppy like we are plague infested ne’er do wells. Not once this Spring have they flown over my house or on the near side of the levee.

Although they keep their distance from me I am able to use a 600mm lens and capture some pretty good images. I took many shots of the flock in the air, I deleted the bulk of them and cropped others to get pictures of solo birds; such as the ones in the image above. They are quite enjoyable to photograph one reason is they take a long time to circle and land giving me a lot of time to take pictures. Plus it was good practice choosing a subject then waiting for it to enter a good back ground, composing an image around these guys was challenging and a learning experience. It helped me make the decision to purchase a Gimbal and Matching Tri- pod.

I suspect they will return around September to prepare for the long journey up North to their summer grounds. We or I will most likely not see them this spring with the goslins as they nest with the flock in a secure location on a high spot in a swamp. They are silent, beautiful birds and each year they grace us with their presence, hopefully for a long time.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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