Saturday, December 22, 2018

Record warmth for the winter solstice

Snow Goose, UMASS, Amherst, MA, Dec 22, 2018
Canada Goose with white eyebrows, UMASS, Amherst, MA, Dec 22, 2018
The winter solstice arrived yesterday with record warmth and heavy rain (2-3" of rain) courtesy of a storm that brought strong southerly winds.  The temperatures reached into the low to mid 60's and certainly gave the feeling of anything but the beginning of winter.  It was just too rainy to be out much at all yesterday but I did manage to get out a little this morning.  I stopped by the campus pond at UMASS first thing and watched hundreds of geese come in just as the cold front arrived bringing a brief downpour and kicking up the winds out of the northwest and dropping the temperatures immediately.  Among the several hundred geese was a single Snow Goose plus a Canada Goose with white eyebrows but no sign of the Cackling Goose that has shown up from time to time.  A number of the Canada Geese were smaller than typical but none approached a true Cackling Goose if looked at closely.

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