Friday, April 18, 2014

Digi-scoping ... not quite done yet?

Ginger recently got a new point-and-shoot style digital camera which actually works pretty well for digiscoping which I'd pretty much abandoned for the last 4 years or so.  It has it's moments though, and for distant stationary birds, can do better than an SLR.  Here's some of the white-fronted goose flock from this morning.
I've included pics of this flock in each of the last 2 posts, you can compare the results.  Certainly the SLR is a lot more consistent, but there's something to be said for starting with 60x magnification of the scope as opposed to more like 7x magnification of the 300mm lens.

The real reason I tried digi-scoping again was to try to document the Ross's type Geese in a little pond in the Scottdale plains.  If I'm correctly interpreting GoogleMaps they're about 500feet off the road.
 They look the same size as far as I can tell.  Both have pale tips to the bill and some blue wartiness at the bill base.  They both had fairly generous furrowing of the feathers of the neck.  The bird on the right/back has a bill base that's pretty straight and I think would have been acceptable if this were the bad old days when they were still review birds (here's an old post of submitted Ross's and Ross's type birds.).

Here's the right bird again.

The 2nd bird is a little tougher to evaluate.
Its bill was a little thinner, in most shots the bill base is more concave, and it has less blue wartiness.  The bird, however, is identical in size to the other.  I can't decide if there's a true difference in head shapes.  Last fall when we had a group of white geese at 3 Oaks the borderline bird was nicely intermediate in size between the Ross's Geese and the Snow Goose.  I've seen this shape of bill on first year birds and I wonder if this isn't just a younger bird.  Sometimes there's still some duskiness on wing feathers to prove the young age; it being mid April it's probably not surprising the bird seemed pretty white overall.
I think the take-home message is that White-fronted Geese are pretty.

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