A wildlife spectacle occurs every winter in California’s central valley, where huge numbers of waterfowl spend the winter. By visiting any of the National Wildlife Refuges which dot the state, one can possibly see hundreds of thousands of ducks, geese and cranes in a single day.
For me, it’s especially fun to find a large flock (thousands) of Snow Geese or the nearly-identical Ross’s Geese. But there's nothing like the thrill of seeing a whole flock take flight all at once, filling the sky with birds, and hearing the cacophony of thousands of geese loudly calling.
I recently had the pleasure of encountering such a flock of Ross's Geese feeding in a field at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge. Soon after I had set up my camera to capture a video of the geese, something startled them, causing the whole group to suddenly take flight.