Glacier Park Photographer

Glacier Park Photographer
Saint Mary Lake and Wild Goose Island, Glacier National Park, Montana

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Snow Geese, Freezeout Lake & Rocky Mountain Front

Well a couple weeks ago I mentioned waterfowl. I went to Freezeout Lake south of Choteau, MT, and about 90 miles south of Glacier Park just out from the base of the mountains, but failed to produce due to poor light, and lack of birds. This time out I did much better.

I arrived well before sun up in order to find the birds. The white masses, often numbering in the 10’s of thousands, are easely spotted on the lake(s) even when it’s dark and the nearly full moon offered plenty of light. I found a few birds and decided to sneak in on them to catch them leaving for breakfast, which happens just before the sun hits them when they are on the water.



All images were shot with 500mm Nikon f-4 VR AF-S.  The shooting data for the above images is as follows, pattern metering mode, aperture priority, 1/60th @ f5,   -2/3 ev, vr ON, ISO 800 (no noise reduction) gitzo carbon tripod, Kirk King Cobra head on leveling base. RAW NEF file processed in Lightroom, saturation, sharpening, WB adjusted . . . exported as JPG for the web.


Once they “lift-off” the birds head for one or more the many grain fields located on the Fairfiled Bench, just east of the Lakes. The birds feed there untill about 9:30 AM and then return to roost on the water for the remainder of the day. The birds are at their peak now, and will be present for a few more days, maybe a week but with all the open water to the north, they are not sticking around Freezeout very much longer.




                      Looking west while the snow geese feed on the Fairfield bench, rocky mountains in the background.

            Close up of snow geese taking off from feeding and heading back to the lake, rocky mountains in the background.

The weather around East Glacier Park, has been unusually warm.  So much so that the snow is gone from yard which historically has not completely melted until mid May. . .  Saw some green plans which was nice, but I'm not naive, snow is no the way!

Have a great day,

Tony
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