Friday, March 13, 2009

Saw thirty thousand Aleutian geese take off at dawn

The Aleutian geese are almost ready to fly  - at 45 miles an hours  - all the way to the Aleutian islands. The geese are right now taking off from the bird sanctuary by the Hookton Slough at dawn to fatten themselves on the green pasture land all around Humboldt bay. It is a peak experience! Here's a photo by G. Inkeles, and a digital image inspired by his photo, by me, of the cross stitch patterns the geese make in the sky. Our friend and neighbor David Fix, birder and  coauthor of our most used birding book, Birds of Nothern California, coined the cross stitch description.

It is well worth getting up early for this springtime phenomenon. It will end suddenly in a week or so. After standing in the chill air with the birds cackling overhead, you can head to King Salmon and breakfast on crabs Benedict at Gills on the Bay. If you are lucky you can sit at the large table on the raised area of the old time diner, and study the Aleutian islands on a map baked right into the table. 


  1. Oj, magiskt! Fantastiskt!

    Jag kommer genast över, och så går vi till det där mysiga stället sedan och äter frukost...

    Mmmm! Hälsa Gordon, ett sådant vackert foto.


    (har du kollat min blogg?)

  2. mmm i love Gills by the bay, and also anything benedict! I also love early morning bird watching, which i have not done since I was a kid. Emily used to take me out on a bird hike about once a year, probably around this season. we would hike over to kiki and steves property in the crisp early morning air, keeping an ear and an eye out for as many birds as we could.