Tag Archives: lifer

Sorting through Flocks of Canada Geese


One of the joys and sorrows of winter birding in the Northeast is all of the odd geese (Greater White-fronted, Pink-footed, Ross’s, Cackling) that show up with the migratory flocks of Canada Geese.  But searching for an odd goose in a sea of Canada Geese is a study in perseverance. It has taken me 5 tries this year (and 3 last year) to finally get on the Barnacle Goose that has been in Califon, NJ. Part of the problem is that there are many farm fields where the flock could be munching it’s way through the corn stubble. Then there is also lots of pasture land with yummy, tender, frost-weaken grasses.  Some of the fields are close to the road while others are far and really not viewable.  So I would end up creeping around back country roads looking at field after field of geese.  (Ya know, there really are a lot of Canada Geese in the world.) And, of course, the flock in front of you may not be THE flock you are looking for.  Sigh, it is a trial.  BUT, I finally found the Barnacle Goose today in an orchard (of all places).  Can you see it in the picture?  Trust me it’s there.  And yes, it was snowing, again.


Filed under Local schmocal, migration, Photos

Ross’s Goose in Franklin Lakes, NJ


After dipping on the Barnacle Goose yesterday, I really wanted to get the Ross’s today, especially since it is so close by. I called my birding bud this morning at the crack of dawn (well it was really more like 8:30, which is still pretty early for a Sunday.) to see if she wanted to come along and got a reluctant Yes. It would be a lifer for both of us.

We arrived at the pond to see 2 young men getting back in their car with long faces. I rolled down my window to ask the all-important question. Did you see the goose? They both broke out into big grins and came walking over. Yes, indeed, they had. It was with a small flock of Canada Geese.

It was one of those rare occasions where you go to where the bird is and get out of the car and Voila! There it is. And I mean right there. No scope required. Nice. I love when that happens.

All kinds of things turn up in wintering flocks of Canada Geese.  It pays to scope them out and read the local ListServ.


Filed under Local schmocal, migration, Photos