Ian Worley’s name is one well known in the local birding community, and he has been a regular contributor to our website and newsletter, but something that many may not know is that he is also a very well known name in local flying community. Ian has been a pilot for over 50 years  and has used his piloting skills in both scientific and academic pursuits, and as a flight instructor. Now he has put aside work and only flies for pleasure, sometimes taking flights to relieve his curiosity about the Snow Goose population in our area. This morning on the VTBIRD Listserv he posted this:

Yesterday was a fine fall day to view the Snow Geese in Addison from the air, and take some pictures for counting the birds. I found two flocks. There was the large flock that has been at the Dead Creek WMA  goose viewing area for over a month, and a second flock in the middle of Lake Champlain west of Potash Bay in Addison. The second flock could be some of the same birds that have been previously seen and counted at Dead Creek, or could be a newly arrive flock on its migration south.

Using enlarged photos for the counting, my numbers were 3355 geese in the Dead Creek flock and 847 in the Lake Champlain Flock.

Aircraft used for taking photos. 1946 Aeronca 7AC Champ. Resides at Middlebury State Airport.

Aircraft used for taking photos. 1946 Aeronca 7AC Champ. Resides at Middlebury State Airport.

The photos captions are his words as well. Also of interest is an article that Ian about some of the techniques used for counting large bird flocks on the VT eBird webiste, one of which was used to count the birds in these pictures.

– Ron Payne

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