Fairbanks geese of the season arrive in Fairbanks

Posted: Friday, April 19, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The first geese of the season arrived in Fairbanks on Thursday and received a rude welcome.

Just minutes after two Canada geese landed at Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge at 10:20 a.m., a bald eagle flew in and chased them off.

Rondell Jimmie and Roland Riley of Minto were sitting in the parking lot watching as the first two geese of the season arrived.

''They came in and made a circle or two and landed,'' Riley said.

State biologist John Wright, manager of Creamer's Field, said the geese were about a week behind schedule this year.

The April 18 arrival is the latest in 15 years, according to Wright's statistics. Last year the first geese touched down at Creamer's Field on April 11. The earliest arrival on record was April 5 in 1998.

Riley had a theory about why the geese were late showing up at Creamer's Field this year.

''They're having a hard time getting through security,'' Riley said with a laugh, referring to the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Wright attributed the late arrival to a colder-than-normal April, which has kept the ground around Fairbanks covered with snow.

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