Freezeout Lake 2010

Snow Geese

Snow Geese. © Jason Savage

Had an opportunity to sneak up to Freezeout Lake this last weekend and check out the Snow Geese situation. Not bad for the Snow Geese, I think we we’re right around 50,000-60,000 by estimates from officials in the area. The swans were coming in also. Their numbers looked pretty decent and no problem finding some to photograph. However, the duck numbers were way down from last year. The pintail count was down considerably, especially from  the banner year they had in 2009. I was chatting with local wildlife photograper Don Jones, and he expressed his frustration with the low number of ducks compared to what we usually get this time of year. He’s been photographing Freezeout for the last twenty-something years and certainly knows his stuff here.
However even with the low duck numbers not all was lost. The Snow Geese and Swans were looking good and the weather has for the most part been pretty good. The ice should be off the lake by now and temps for this week are in the high 50’s and lots of sunshine.

Next weekend and the following should be kick-butt if you can make it up. After that it’s close to over for the migration stop over. Listening to some of the locals like Mike Schwitters, a Choteau resident,Air Force Retiree and highly respected authority on Geese, each year is certainly different from the next, but no doubt it’s always an impressive sight to behold. Since retiring, Mike has devoted his time and followed his passion, studying geese all around the world, contributing his knowledge and sharp eye to researchers home and abroad. You will usually see him out there leading different groups to view the birds. He is definitely the authority when it comes to wanting to know anything about Freezeout and the birds that frequent this special place in Montana.

If you have time to check it out before it’s over,  you won’t be disappointed! Freezeout Lake Info 406-467-2646

Snow Geese

Snow Geese. © Jason Savage

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One Comment

  1. Emily March 26, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    Impressive! I actually think I might have seen your car out there, but you were a bit too far away and breakfast in Choteau was calling! Looks like you did well – next year, I’m hoping to get a longer lens and see what happens. Filling the frame or isolating a couple of birds seems to be the name of the game.

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