Six Ross’s Geese in Flight. San Joaquin Valley, California. January 21, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
A small flock of six Ross’s geese in flight against the sky in golden hour light, San Joaquin Valley, California
Late on this January afternoon – more like early evening perhaps – we were staking out a small flock of Ross’s geese that had parked themselves in a nearby pond. There were not that many of them – nothing like the flocks of many thousands that we have watched on some other evenings, when they gradually depart in small groups over a long period of time, or the very large group we saw earlier this year that mostly just moved around in a pasture near where we were shooting. Each time a small sub group departed on this evening, they created a noticeable decline in the number of birds left behind.
However, they somewhat compensated for their small numbers by means of their more “photographable” departure path, at least in some cases. Rather than flying away from us, some instead flew from left to right in front of our position and some of them even did a few laps overhead before actually leaving. This group of six was among those most obliging geese. They had departed to the right, looped back around to the left, and then flew across in front of us a second time, all the while taking a fairly low flight path. As this group passed by I watched carefully though the viewfinder to try to catch them in an instant when none of them obscured the others in the flock, and I caught such a moment here with the added bonus of a bit of slightly golden late afternoon light.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.