Thursday, September 24, 2015

One Cat and Thousands of Birds

Design - "The Cat Sampler"
Designer - The Goode Huswife
Fabric -32 count Muffin linen
Fibers - DMC - strands over 2 threads
Started - 17 May 1998
Completed - 20 May 1998

I like to think that Tom-Cat would approve of me featuring this Tiger Cat cross stitch finish!

He also would have enjoyed birding watching with me Monday morning!

From about 8:30am-10:00am the skies were filled with skein after skein after skein of geese from horizon to horizon. 

The sight and the sound was amazing.  It reminded me of a scene that Laura Ingalls Wilder might have experience. Certainly Lewis and Clark observed massive fall migrations on their westward exploration.

I had both my mother and father come out to take a look.

Originally I thought the birds were Canada Geese, but after looking at some birding sites on Facebook and the Oregon Bird Forum, I learned otherwise. 

These are Greater White-fronted Geese. 
They summer in the far north from Siberia, Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories and over to Greenland. They then fly south and spend the winter along the west coast of the U.S. as well as the Gulf Coast and Mexican coast-lines.   

Usually the migration is a 'process' and the birds leave over a several days
 period.  This year, however, nearly all the birds left en masseMy understanding (and I'm a novice birdwatcher) is that this was unusual in that it was a fast condensed migration with all the birds migrating at the same time. The theory is that they stayed longer up in Alaska and northern Canada due to very nice September weather, and then a sudden change in the weather (strong storms moving in) drove them out all at the same time. 

In the Willamette Valley, we were at the edge of the mass migration - it was much heavier along the coast with folks reporting birds non-stop the night of the 20th through the morning of the 21st - possibly hundreds of thousands of birds. If you enlarge this photo you can faintly see the white around the beak and the lighter white feathers from the feet back to the tail. 

File:Greater White-fronted Goose.jpg
Photo courtesy of Andreas Trepte at Wikicommons.
You can view his work at

And so you have an idea of what you've been looking at in shade of gray, here's a full color photo of the bird.

I was pretty stoked to have been at the right place at the right time to see even a small part (I estimated 2,500 birds) of this amazing migration.


Vickie said...

THAT is really cool! Neat looking birds.

Irene said...

che bello il tuo sampler!

daisy g said...

Wow! How amazing to have captured that!

Maggee said...

Another GH finish! You were right! Look at all those geese! Wow! Can't wait to get out and about and see what blew in and out recently! Hugs!