My Life’s Birds: #122
February 26, 1994 – Greene Co, Mo – Perhaps it’s time to clear up a minor misconception regarding Southwest Missouri. When I refer to the “Ozarks” it’s easy to get the idea that the whole place is mountains and hollows, springs and streams, with not a flat acre in the entire region. That’s not entirely true. While there’s certainly no shortage of bumpy terrain throughout the region, the area around Springfield is entirely different.
Springfield sits on a extensive plateau, albeit one that resembles swiss cheese, pockmarked as it is with sinkholes and karst features. Because of this unique geological situation, the plateau holds thousands of shallow ponds that show up in fields whenever it rains. And in the fall and winter, you can often find good numbers of waterfowl, including as we did on this particular day, a flock of Greater White-fronted Geese.
We began to see the return of waterfowl to the far north as early as February. Not only the White-fronts, but also Snow and Canada Geese. One of my favorite parts of living in the midwest was watching the enormous flocks crossing from horizon to horizon in the early spring and fall. Even during my “lost years”, when birding was not a high priority, I watched flocks of geese leading me north as I drove on to college.
Photo from flickr