Freezeout Spring Bird Migration

March 22-26, 2023
Snow Geese during spring migration at Freezeout Lake WMA near Choteau, Montana, USA

Freezeout Spring Bird Gallery

Freezeout Spring Bird Migration

Dates; March 22 – 26, 2023

Price: $1400.00  Workshop price is for instruction and a special guest seminar by Donald Jones. Transportation. lodging and meals are students’ responsibilities. We will carpool. This special class is limited to only 4 students to ensure the best experience. Act quickly if you want in! 

Lodging:

The Stage Stop Inn in Choteau 406-466-5900 contact the hotel directly to get the special group discount http://www.stagestopinn.com

If flying, Great Falls is the closest airport with Kalispell, Montana also an option. 

Itinerary:
We will base out of the small town of Choteau, Montana. 

Wednesday, March 22- meet and greet at the Stage Stop Inn in Choteau. We will go out for sunset at Freezeout Lake

Thursday, March 23- Birding at Freezeout Lake. Seminar by bird wildlife photographer extraordinaire Donald Jones,  at the hotel

Friday, March 24- Birding at Freezeout Lake

Saturday, March 25- Birding at Freezeout Lake, old granaries 

Sunday, March 26- Birding at Freezeout Lake at sunrise. The workshop concludes after the morning field session. 

Location:  

One of the great joys each spring here in Montana is my annual visit to Freezeout Lake Wildlife Management Area to witness the spectacle of tens of thousands of migrating birds. I’ve been documenting the migration for nearly 30 years and it never gets old. The main attraction is the arrival of huge flocks of snow geese. Generally speaking, the best time to visit is the 3rd week of March (when we will be there). There are also thousands of majestic tundra swans and numerous species of ducks including numerous northern pintails with their elegant courtship flights. To cap it all off is the amazing landscape in we will be experiencing with the snow-capped Rocky Mountains looming ever-present in the background. The landscape shooting is also stellar and we will visit several old granaries in the area. 

I guarantee that you will be blown away, especially when witnessing the mass blast-offs of the snow geese at dawn and again in the early evening. I must note that the exact dates of the biggest concentration of birds can vary somewhat (though there will be many birds on our dates). Also, the weather can vary from pleasant to extremely windy with snow and cold. It’s Montana in spring! So dress for all conditions. 

We will be shooting near roadways with minimal hiking. Don’t feel like you have to bring a monster 600mm telephoto lens. I do great with the 100-500mm and often use my 24-105 wide-angle to capture the snow geese taking off with great success. I am including a special seminar by Donald Jones at the hotel during a break in the action. Simply put Don is one of the most accomplished and knowledgeable bird/wildlife photographers in the business. Not only will this be an unforgettable nature experience, but a great way to improve your bird photography skill level. 

EQUIPMENT SUGGESTIONS: A sturdy tripod is a necessity for good landscapes. Participants should have a working knowledge of their equipment (know which button does what!) before the workshop. I suggest an SLR camera with a wide-angle lens (17-35mm range) and  a telephoto lens up in the  300-500mm range 

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Chuck Haney Photography
608 Pine Place
Whitefish, MT 59937

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