We had been told that Freezeout Lake was still frozen last week, due to a rough end of the winter season on the Front Range of the Rockies. No matter that the water was "hard," the tens of thousands of Snow Geese have still been arriving there as their major rest stop before heading on to Canada for their summer season. They have been landing and settling down on the ice and also on surrounding fields.

geese and moon
Snow Geese and Moon. (Mike Daniels, Townsquare Media)

Just after sunrise and just before sunset (and at occasional times during the day), the entire population of snow geese will rise above the lake in one of the grandest displays of birds in all of Montana. Photographer Mike Daniels shows us a portion of that feathered cloud from a visit March 24. (see photo above)

The lake also gets a good population of Tundra Swans, also on their migration north this time of year. Some of those birds also find their way to the Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge near Stevensville.

The Freezeout Lake is in the Freezout Wildlife Management Area, and, yes, they spell it differently. The lake is 40 miles west of Great Falls, between Choteau and Fairfield on Highway 89. I know some people in the Bitterroot who go there almost every year to see the amazing sight.

geese and mountains
Snow geese and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. (Mike Daniels, Townsquare Media)

More photos at Mike Daniels' Facebook page.

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