Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Of Emperor Geese

My flight arrived at 10:30pm in Seattle on April 21st. As I exit the departures area I spy Tim at the baggage claim. He looks deep in thought. Dom he says, there are 2 Emperor Geese at Dungeness Bay, we have to go. Clearly we did! The Emperor Goose is usually only found in Westren Alaska and across the Berring straight in far east Russia. Lucky for us two had overwintered in coastal Washington and were still being seen as of a week prior. With my bag in tow, we were rushing off to try and catch a ferry to Puget Sound and on to the Bay where we hoped to car camp and rise with the sun and the geese. 
Slipping through Seattle, we got the last evening ferry just in the nick of time and enjoyed a cup of tea thanks to Tim's jet boil on the deck of the ferry as we crossed. We eventually arrived at the bay at 2 am. We promptly enjoyed a candlelight bean dinner in the car (super fancy I know!) and fell asleep. In the morning the bay was there to great us and I had my first taste of the pacific northwest.

Dungeness Bay in the morning

Olympic Mountains rising up to greet us

Out on the bay there thousands of Brant but we could not see any sign of the alaskan visitors. Having never been to the Pacific Northwest before I was delighted to get a number of lifers first thing in the morning including Pigeon Guillimot, Black Oystercatcher and Glaucous-winged Gull. With the Bramt still swirling around the bay by the thousands we decide to drive further along to another lookout in hopes that the Emperors would be there. As we start scanning around, Tim says hey Dom, look in my scope. Intrigued, I peer through and behold two beautiful geese. We had found them! With the Olympic Mountains rising up behind us we enjoyed the geese, as well as lots of shorebirds, a male Eurasian Wigeon and the joy of two old friends birding together after more than a year!

Emperor Goose magic!

There are two Emperor Geese in the middle of this photo, can you spot them with their white heads?

1 comment:

  1. Aww! That's awesome! Love that you could enjoy a cuppa ;) Damn totally need to buy a jet boil AND get out on the west coast!