[Tweeters] Ross's Goose continues in Vancouver

Cara Borre cmborre at comcast.net
Sun Dec 22 18:06:49 PST 2013


THE FACTS:

The Ross's Goose that has been reported previously at these coordinates:
45.6635x-122.7406 in Vancouver continues to share the company of Cacklers
and Snow Geese in this plowed-over cornfield. This area is just south of
Vancouver Lake and found here on google
maps:https://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=45.663504,-122.740484&ll=45.663504,-122.740484

I located the goose in my scope after first scanning with binos and not
initially finding a smaller white goose among the flock. Probably took me
5-10 minutes of scoping to find the Ross's Goose, which can be
distinguished from the larger Snow Geese by it's lack of a "grin patch",
it's smaller bill, it's vertical, rather than curved base as the bill meets
the head (all tips in Sibley). Here are my pics from
today:http://www.flickr.com/photos/86563450@N05/11505782564/in/photostream/
that may also aid identification.

THE FOLLY:

On my way home, following a brief, foggy detour to Puget Island, it
occurred to me I had almost completed a "goose big week", or more
accurately, a 2-day "goose-a-thon". Having seen "the" Emperor Goose,
Canada Geese and Brandt in Gardiner on Thursday, and "the" Ross's Goose,
Cackling Geese and Snow Geese today in Vancouver, I was just missing
Greater White-fronted Goose. I decided to go for this "golden goose" with
a stop at Nisqually. It was about 3:30pm when I pulled in, already
becoming dark. I made a quick lap only to find a few Canada Geese. As I
approached my car in defeat, I decided to give the visitor center pond a
try. Making my way to the visitor center I heard the familiar sound of
distant Cacklers and turned to see waves of geese approaching from the
south. I scanned the ever darkening sky, but could only turn up Cackler
after Cackler with an occasional Canada thrown in. They started to land so
I tried a new strategy and scoped them as they landed. Still Cackler,
Cackler, Cackler, Cackler, Canada..... then, as "goose bumps" rose on my
neck, a pink bill with a white front came into view. My wild goose chase
was complete and perhaps a new Christmas birding tradition born.

Cheers,

Cara Borre
Gig Harbor
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