Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ross's ... Geese

We were pretty close to chasing the Iowa Ross's Gull yesterday and if it'd been seen on Thursday we would have.  It wasn't so we didn't.  Ah well.  We found Ross's Geese instead.

They were mixed up in the large Canada Goose flock.  Their body size is less than the young Glaucous Gull in the foreground.  There's one white morph Snow Goose as well.  After not a whole lot of time all the gulls on the berm flushed (we didn't see the responsible raptor), and the white geese followed them (the Canadas were unimpressed).

The Snow is obviously the larger upper left bird.  The bird trailing it associated more with it than with the other 5 when they uncertainly circled the ponds (the flock split a few times).  It seems like it might be just a bit bigger than the other birds and when in the water through the scope may have had a bit less vertical a bill base.
The bottom 5 birds had consistently vertical bill bases.  One is a first year bird with some dusky feathering in the lore and face.

This afternoon I made a few central and north county stops with the highlight being 10 White-fronted Geese at the LMC ponds.  I've actually seen White-fronted on fewer occasions than Ross's in the county.

Here's the other 7, they were segregated at the other end of the pond

Finally a mega-crop record shot of 2 Harlequins in the New Buffalo harbor from yesterday.

The White-fronts were 271 for the county for me, my personal best.  Don't be impressed though, that'll be good for at best second (and quite possibly 3rd) place this year!

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