[Tweeters] Fill Greater White-fronted

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Mon Sep 23 18:46:39 PDT 2013

Hey tweets, all the reports of Greater White-fronted Geese dynamited me out of the house late this afternoon, a feat my husband thought was impossible. I can't remember the last time I birded the Fill this late in the day. It might have been the time he and I drove around the gravel roads of the Fill in the dead of night, looking for the elusive poorwill. in vain, I might add. And that was technically in the dead of a.m., not p.m.: 2 a.m. to be precise.

But the thought of whole vees of geese floating by overhead and me not there to see this wonder of nature was too much for me, and so we went. A good thing, too, because perched on a log near the Cut was a juvenile Greater White-fronted Goose! It's FOY for me this year, although Evan Houston had a vee going over in the spring that I missed.

The goose looked very young, really almost a baby. It was ratcheting up and down the log, finding something to eat in the cracks. The log looked pretty decrepit, so I imagine there were plants growing in the crevices, and perhaps a bug or two (if geese eat bugs). From time to time, the goose would give a plaintive little whee-a-Whee, whee-aWhee call, as if wishing it were with other, wiser heads. I would guess the juvenile was just too young and weak to keep up with its elders, and so had to drop out of the flock and catch its breath.

I'm not too worried about its survival, though. Even if it doesn't find anyone else to join up with, it can make a good living off the abundant grass and water plants festooning the Fill, even if it stays the whole winter. I hope it does. I would like to hear its little call again. It was a call from out of the true wild places of the far north. - Connie, Seattle


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