Most Of The Snow Geese Were Gone, But Middle Creek Is Still A Great Place To Enjoy Nature.

Most Of The Snow Geese Were Gone, But Middle Creek Is Still A Great Place To Enjoy Nature.

Middle Creek (11 of 54)
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My brother Mike, his son Mike Jr. and I finally made our annual visit to the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area on Sunday.  tree lined path Middle Creek

Operated  by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, this area attracts large numbers of  migrating snow geese and other water birds each year. Audubon sign at Middle Creek

The time and extent of the migrations vary every year. We knew the migration was early this year.  There were 100,000’s of snow geese on the lake last week. However bad weather on the weekends prevented us from taking the  70 mile drive until this past Sunday. tree at dawn

We were hoping there may still be some large flocks of the snow geese  on the lakes. We arrived early since the snow geese begin to leave the lake at sunrise. They either continue their flight north or head to the local corn fields to feed on the remains of last years crops. We weren’t the first to arrive. Every year Middle Creek attracts photographers, nature lovers and local residents to watch the spectacular scene of the geese taking of from the lake.  

Unfortunately, most of the snow geese were gone. There were still  a few  flocks on the lake but no where near the numbers we had seen in the past. 

I still enjoyed hearing the honking of the geese in the distance.  However, this year I wouldn’t have the opportunity to photograph the spectacular sight of the large flocks taking off. The few flock that were still here flew away from us as they left the lakes. It was still an amazing sight. flock of snow geese in flight

Only a few of the  geese flew overhead. 

Luckily, there is a lot more  than just  snow geese  at Middle Creek.  There are a number of species of birds in the area. Some, like the snow geese,   stop over during the migration. Others include the Canada geese and the tundra swans. tundra swans on lake

There are also many species of ducks and other water fowl on the lake and surrounding ponds this time of year .A  pair of wigeons flew over as we were watching the snow geese. pair of wigeons in flight

As did this  juvenile eagle. juvenile bald eagle in flight

We waited for the snow geese to fly off and decided to ride around the reserve and look for ducks on the many small ponds in the area. As we left the parking area we  saw a number of horse carriages driven by the  Amish folks who live in the area and also enjoy watching the geese. Amish horse and carriage Middle Creek

The service road which surrounds the lake was closed so we drove to the visitor center. On the way we observed a number of ducks on the ponds along the way, including some black ducks, black ducks on lake

and a few ring-necked ducks.ring necked duck on lake

And this pair of snow geese who got separated from the large flocks that left the lake earlier.pair of snow geese near lake 

When we arrived at the visitor center we learned  it did not open until noon on Sunday. So we drove back to the service road and found it was open. As we drove along the road looking for ducks, geese and other birds we came across a couple of young Game Commission employees tagging some mallard ducks. tagged mallard duck about to be released

We stopped and had a nice conversation about their work and the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. We discussed the many song birds that will also be migrating through the area in the coming weeks. I never was here later in the Spring but plan to return this year.farms and scenery near Middle Creek

We continued driving around the lake looking for different species of ducks. I am not a duck expert but my brother and nephew pointed out the many species that were on the lake including these ruddy ducks,ruddy duck on lake

and this shovler duck, shoveler duck on lake

and these common mergansers in flight. common mergansers in flight

We also saw a few winter residents living near Middle Creek lake, including this blue birds,blue bird on branch

and this dark eyed junco. Here is a link to some more of the birds we saw at our visit. Middle Creek birds March 4 2018. dark eyed junco on branch

We all agreed we could have spent the day looking for the many birds that  were on or near the lake and ponds. However, we all had things to do at home and so had to leave. We did have enough time to stop for a hearty breakfast at Buddy’s Log Cabin in Ravine. We talked about the many ducks, geese and birds we saw and also discussed a return visit to see the song birds arrive. Here is a link to some more photographs from our visit. Middle Creek March 4 2018.  


“One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of a March thaw, is the spring.” 
― Aldo Leopold