There have been reports of a few Snow Geese at the Heinz Wildlife Refuge, so I had to go and see for myself. Yeah, I know, I’ll see hundreds of them in the wintertime, but it is nice to go on a little quest to find something every now and then. And besides, there was a white one, a blue one, and one that was a little of both, so that is cool (I’ve always been fond of the blue form).
I didn’t work on Monday, so after my youngest son took his nap I drove down to Heinz to find them on some kind of metaphorical chase. Damn, the place is really leafed out now (I hadn’t been there in a week and a half and that made a difference) and it wasn’t nearly as warblery as before, but I saw some Yellow Warblers plus some Cedar Waxwings, a Green Heron and some baby Wood Ducks. I was hoping for a King Rail because one was spotted last week, but that required some good luck and, as you will see, that would not describe me on that day.
The lake is large there, and I knew I had to walk around it a bit to check the back part for the geese, so I checked the weather before I started to walk around. Chance of rain was 0% for that hour and only 5% the next hour. Sure, I saw some storm nearby on the radar, but that probably would blow by. So as I stood on the far side of the lake, standing on a bench for a better view, were the clouds in the distance bothering me? No way! I was there to see Snow Geese!
What did I see? Waterthrushes, storm-petrels, whetears, and shearwaters! Oh, wait, no…actually it started to rain. Hard. Really hard. Like a freaking downpour that wouldn’t stop soaking everything even if I could get under what little cover I could get under.
But I was a couple miles away from the nature center so I got soaked. I then did the only thing I could do, walk all the way back in the rain soaking wet. When I got back to the car stripped off my shirt and hat and drove home with only shorts and shoes on.
I did not see the geese.