For the past twenty-five autumns, I have observed Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) stopping for a visit on South Fidalgo Island. While we have year-around resident geese in the area, the only time I see them here is during September and October. This tells me that these visitors are stopping by on their annual migration. The geese routinely come to the spot where a small stream drains into the bay. Here, they can get a drink of fresh water, refuel with a seaweed snack and catch a snooze. I have come to look forward to this annual event. It is a part of the natural rhythm of the neighborhood.
I also see the V formations and hear the woodwind sounds of Canada Geese flying overhead. They are always moving to the west following the South Fidalgo shoreline towards Deception Pass. I suspect they will head out the Strait of Juan de Fuca to join other flocks in the Pacific Flyway.
Groups of between five and thirty birds will spend a couple of hours resting on the beach. Then they will move on. This pattern might be repeated two or three times a day. Apparently, Canada Geese have traditional rest stops along their migration routes. The South Fidalgo shoreline could be one of those spots. It is always a pleasant, enjoyable scene when the birds stop by to take one of their breaks.