WATCH: Snow geese ‘tsunami’ surprises Richmond residents as hundreds take off together

Above: Snow geese ‘tsunami’. Credit: YouTube/Maikel Parets

It’s not unusual to see snow geese around the Lower Mainland this time of year.

However, one Richmond resident caught an unusual sight on camera earlier this week when hundreds of the geese took off from a field at the same time.

Maikel Parets was filming the gaggle of geese when it appears something spooked them and they all took flight. The noise is deafening.

Varri Raffan from the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta says these are Lesser Snow Geese who have migrated here from Russia. They make their home on Wrangel Island, above the Bering Sea, and spend October, November and December in the Fraser Delta area. It’s a 5,000 kilometre journey.

“After they fly to Skagit Valley in Washington for January and February,” she says, “and then from mid-March to mid-April they come back this way for their spring migration.”

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Raffan says it is not surprising to see this many geese together as they are really family orientated and stick together for migration and feeding.

“Between our area and Skagit Valley you could get up to 70,000 birds,” she says.

WATCH: Global BC reporter Linda Aylesworth looks at what residents in the area to protect their farmland from the snow geese:

Last month the sanctuary uploaded this video of Lesser Snow Geese taking flight after a Bald Eagle flew over them:

In another video shot earlier in November, hundreds of geese are spooked and take off. The video description says someone was shooting at the birds: