Bingo…. a nest. This one is located along the shore. It makes for an easy escape route for Mom and Dad. Nesting sites are usually located along shorelines, in dense brush or elevated on an island at the top of small hills. All three I have photographed.
A clutch of eggs and the next generation. Notice the down? The geese pull their own breast feathers to line the nest. It insulates the eggs from the cold ground. Speaking of feathers, the geese will start the molt after the nesting season. This occurs in later June and early July. The resident geese gather in open areas and remain flightless until the flight feathers grow back.
They are flying toward the boat and presumably trying to make sure we row away. I really had the wrong camera in my hand. I needed the 300 lens. This was my first time taking photos from a boat. Next time I hope to have better images. My friend gave me shooting instructions. He is an expert hunter and the same rules apply whether I am holding a shotgun or a camera as far as the animals are concerned. I learned a lot today, but after I scared them all away.
He showed me how to sit and raise my camera slowly, and only make movements when the ‘prey’ looks away. Then freeze again until they are comfortable that I mean no harm. There are a lot of tricks that hunters use and if I learn a few, I will be a better wildlife photographer.
My friend is going to set up a blind for me to shoot turkeys. Remember how hard I said that was? Well, he told me turkey run at any movement and so they are more difficult to shoot. So it was not me per say, if a twig moves they bolt.
If I get up early, before dawn that is, and climb up in the blind and just wait, the turkeys will visit the field every morning. I am excited about this, but am hoping my exuberance does not get the best of me. If I follow his instructions, I will get some closeup shots. If I scare them just once , they will not be back all day.
I learned too that turkey nests can not be approached two times, or the turkeys do not return. The geese I showed today will, but not turkeys. So this summer, when the turkeys hatch, I will be sure to keep away. The poults will be so cute to see with Mom. That is the image I have been dying to get. And I hope to get images of the hatchlings of the Canada Geese soon. It will be an adventure. Plus, by then, you will be seeing all the native plants growing on the farm. I do enjoy the native landscape, not being able to have one myself. I hope to document the plants on which the geese feed.
All images were shot at Erway Farms. Erway Farms also has Erway’s Christmas Tree Adventure if you remember me working there this winter. My friend operates his landscaping business, nursery and tree farm from Erway Farms. If you are a hunter, they have Buckeye Scents, selling a product every deer hunter needs.