Saturday, February 14, 2015

Rare Bird! Ross's Goose

We saw a rare bird this morning!!  We drove to the Dobbins Farm Ponds . . . didn't see anything.  At the Fork Bridge we did see a great blue heron huddled against the wind.  Other than that - no ducks, nothing interesting, just a lot of small grass birds that flew too fast to be identified.

We got breakfast, then decided to check out the new Green Pond boat landing, which has just been completed for next week's Bassmasters Classic on the lake.  Afterward I suggested - let's go see what the old landing is like now.  There was a flock of about 15 Canada geese - with a little white goose walking, and then swimming, in the middle of the group.

At first we thought, just a common tame farm goose.  Then - snow goose.  But the more we watched it, the more we realized it was much smaller than a snow goose and did not act like a tame goose at all.  We studied it carefully, and realized it had none of the black of a snow goose on its bill, but it did have the gray at the back of the bill, like a Ross's Goose.  We both determined that that is what it was!!

They are not common around here at all - in fact, you won't even find them on the range maps.   I turned it in to eBird and to the Carolina Bird Club, and got agreeable confirmation on both.  Very exciting for a couple of casual (though hopefully careful) birders!

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