In southeast Michigan, we don’t often see a lot of Snow Geese in winter; they’re considered rare birds in our area.
I was lucky to see a Snow Goose up close at Belle Isle State Park in fall 2019.
Usually a handful are reported each year in our area, often seen with hundreds of Canada Geese feeding on grass or harvested cornfields.
So when one of our local birders spotted four Snow Geese at a nearby frozen lake, birders throughout the area were quick to head out to see the bird.
I was one of the birders, driving in heavy snow showers to view the birds.
When I arrived, I could see the Canada Geese on the frozen lake, but couldn’t see the Snow Geese at first.
If it wasn’t for their pink bills and barely visible black wingtips, I would have missed seeing the four Snow Geese as they sat on the ice.
Despite their location in the front of a flock of over 600 Canada Geese.
Their color nearly matched the color of the snow on the lake.
I quickly viewed the birds through my binoculars and took photos as they slowly walked across the ice, before sitting down again as a group about 20 feet away from their original location.
A couple minutes later, the four geese were in flight.
Joining about two dozen Canada Geese, the geese flew southwest from the lake, over the treetops, and out of sight.
If I had arrived five minutes later, I would have missed seeing them.