The spring migration has begun. The first Canada geese of the year were seen on Sand Lake on March 5. The first small flock of snow geese showed up at the refuge on Sunday, March 14. As of Wednesday afternoon, March 17, there were approximately 20,000 snow geese on the ice in the middle of Sand Lake. No snow geese were observed on the refuge today, but there were many smaller flocks seen flying in the area. Several larger flocks of snow geese were seen in flooded fields between Columbia and Aberdeen. Ducks are just starting to show up. Common mergansers, common goldeneyes, redheads, mallards, and northern pintails are some of the species observed so far.
There are only a couple of inches of snow remaining on the ground in the Sand Lake area. There is open water in shallow wetlands and fields, but the main pools on Sand Lake are still ice-covered.
Roads throughout Brown County are extremely wet, with water overtopping many of these roads. Please use caution when driving in the Sand Lake area.