FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The first Canada geese of the season have landed in Delta Junction.
A small flock landed on a farm Tuesday morning, signaling the springtime arrival of hordes of geese soon to follow at Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks.
About a dozen geese touched down at Misty Mountain Farm and began pecking grain out of the cow manure.
''They landed right in the pasture with the cows,'' farm owner Scott Miller told the Fairbanks Daily News Miner. ''I was out checking the cows and they came in and landed. I said, 'Look at that, the first geese of the season.'''
Now it should be a week or so before the first travelers touch down at Creamer's Field, said refuge manager John Wright with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
As it does every year, the Borealis Kiwanis Club will be spreading grain at Creamer's Field in anticipation of the geese's arrival. The group plans to go out Thursday night.
Last year, the first geese in Delta Junction were reported on April 5 but they didn't show up in Fairbanks until April 18 after a spring storm dumped more than a foot of snow on Fairbanks. It was the latest arrival date since 1987.
The average date for the arrival of geese at Creamer's Field since 1976 is April 14, though it's been more like April 10 in the past eight or nine years, Wright said.
The first geese of the season in Delta Junction usually show up at Clearwater Lake, a good part of which remains open year-round. But there were no reports of geese on the lake as of Tuesday, said Steve DuBois with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Delta Junction.
Other than Clearwater Lake and some open stretches of water on the Tanana River, there isn't much open water for geese to take advantage of at this point, DuBois said. Neither is there much bare ground because of the recent cool temperatures.
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