An Immature Snow Goose in Salt Lake County

/, Salt Lake County, Snow Geese, Utah/An Immature Snow Goose in Salt Lake County

Immature Snow Goose calling in flightImmature Snow Goose calling in flight – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

On December 26th, 2018 2017 I found a single immature Snow Goose at my local pond that was too far away from me to take high quality images.  I did take some long distance photos of the young goose as it lifted off from the pond and my hope was that the Snow Goose would come back to so I’ve been keeping an eye out for a white goose every trip I have made down to the local pond since then, yesterday that paid off.

Immature Snow Goose in low lightImmature Snow Goose in low light – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I can’t be certain this is the same goose that I saw on December 26th but I found an immature Snow Goose feeding with some Canada Geese in the grass across the pond.

The goose was too far away at that point to take anything but documentary images. I was excited by the presence of the young Snow Goose and hoped it would come closer and eventually it did. A fisherman walked close to where the Canada Geese and the Snow Goose were feeding and that caused all of them to move out onto the water. As the Snow Goose came closer I cursed the clouds a bit because I wanted better light on the bird. Still a Snow Goose in low light is better than no Snow Goose at all.

Immature Snow Goose in afternoon lightImmature Snow Goose in afternoon light – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The sun did peek through the clouds eventually and I was able to take photos of the immature Snow Goose in better light. I was over the moon, it had been a long time since I had a Snow Goose in my viewfinder this close.

Immature Snow Goose in a hole in the bankImmature Snow Goose in a hole in the bank – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

While some of the Canada Geese were squabbling I saw the immature Snow Goose swim close to the shore and then saw I the goose stick its head up from a hole in the bank. Not a perfect photo, but I like it.

The Snow Goose did climb the bank of the pond and I was able to take a few quick photos of it before the squabbling Canada Geese seemed to startle the young goose and it moved back out onto the pond…

Immature Snow Goose taking a drinkImmature Snow Goose taking a drink – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Which was fortunate because the immature Snow Goose lazily drifted on the water in front of me in good light. It sipped water from the pond…

Immature Snow Goose in Salt Lake CountyImmature Snow Goose in Salt Lake County – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Looked around a lot…

Preening immature Snow GoosePreening immature Snow Goose – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

And to my delight the immature goose preened right in front of me for a bit before it moved further away.

This young Snow Goose took off with a flock of Canada Geese later on and while I did get sharp photos of it in flight they were ruined, in my opinion, by the bright siding of the houses behind the goose as it flew by.

Oh well, maybe this immature Snow Goose will hang around and I will have another opportunity to photograph it.

Life is good.

Mia

13 Comments

  1. Pepe Forte January 12, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Terrific series of pics Mia. You always deliver such great images of young animals and birds. I am not aware of any other wildlife photographer who does this with such sensitivity. These photos say it all. Thanks.

  2. Denise January 12, 2018 at 6:57 am

    I use your blog as my morning meditation, in preparation for busy and often hectic days with kids with special needs. Today was the best because not only did I get to see amazing photos of a gorgeous bird, I got some good laughs, too!

    I used to live on J. Clark Salyer NWR many lifetimes ago and I fell in love with the snow goose. When flying in groups of hundreds, they make a spectacular and unforgettable display of dazzling white against a brilliant blue sky. However, observing a single young goose is an entirely different and perhaps even more rewarding experience. You captured that experience exquisitely with these photos.

    Thank you for sharing your photos and keeping at least one person partially sane in a crazy world!

  3. Patty Chadwick one of my favorite birds January 11, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    What a beautiful bird!!!…..so glad you got such great photos of it!!!… C

  4. Elephants Child January 11, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Love the snow goose – a bird I will probably never see.
    And thoroughly enjoyed the comments too.
    My brain frequently goes out to lunch without inviting me.

  5. Laura Culley January 11, 2018 at 10:28 am

    YES, the “time traveling, will-o’-the-wisp photographer” works for me! LOL!

  6. Laura Culley January 11, 2018 at 9:35 am

    What a beautiful series, Mia. But I’ve got to ask–how did you do the time travel to December 26, 2018? LOL!! And yes, I get it that when your mind makes the shift to the new year, sometimes chaos ensues 😉

    • Mia McPherson January 11, 2018 at 9:45 am

      Laura, if you heard the sound of water running after your comment that was me washing the “egg off my face”, I have been so careful about writing 2018 instead of 2017 since the New Year that I made the mistake in reverse.

      Or maybe I am a time traveling will-o’-wisp bird photographer who has just been found out. LOLOL

      Thank you 🙂

      • Laura Culley January 11, 2018 at 10:27 am

        LOL Mia! But have you ever dated a check in the mid-1970s when it was really in the 2010 time frame? I have. There’s no egg on your face. It’s just that ca-ca happens with amazing regularity when you’re human, doesn’t it? LOL!

        • Mia McPherson January 11, 2018 at 10:30 am

          I can honestly say I haven’t written a check for the 1970’s in the 2010 time frame!

          Thank you for the laughs, I needed them this morning.

          • Laura Culley January 11, 2018 at 11:34 am

            We ALL need laughs every day. AND I didn’t just do that once. I’ve done it a couple of times. I never know what’s going to fall off my fingers when I’m not paying attention. They tend to wander off without permission!

          • Mia McPherson January 11, 2018 at 11:39 am

            Laura, my problem is reading, if I am reading something and someone interrupts my train of thought and asks me a question there is NO telling what will come out of my mouth, I have said some pretty odd things when that happens.

          • Laura Culley January 11, 2018 at 11:54 am

            Yeah, that happens to me, too. I walk into a book a lot like walking into the wardrobe of real-time oblivion and into a whole ‘nother world. Books are SO special and life IS good!

          • Mia McPherson January 11, 2018 at 11:43 am

            My brain speeds off without my permission at times, I have to keep telling it to slow down, especially when I am talking to other people. A quick brain is a good thing but one that zooms along at warp speed isn’t always the best thing to have.

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