Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ross's Goose!!!!! and others

Got the truck for the morning and headed out east of town to try and find some new arrivals and/or rare geese. Had some luck with both!

Opened the window early this morning to the sound of Song Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Brown-headed Cowbirds, all new for the Sault area year! Definitely a good sign for things to come.

First stop was Echo Bay, where there were 56 Tundra Swans, along with Ring-necked Ducks, Bufflehead, Great Blue Herons, 32 Sandhill Cranes on the ice, and 2 Cackling Geese in with many Canadas, plus the usuals. After that I headed out to Barr River, where there is usually a good flock of geese. Before even getting a chance at the geese, I heard a Ring-necked Pheasant calling, another new bird for the year. The flock of geese consisted of about 300 Canadas, and in with them a single white Ross's Goose! Perseverance pays off! I got some fairly bad digiscoped shots for record, then went to check on the flooded fields about 2 km away.

Ross's Goose at Barr River
Turns out they weren't so flooded anymore, so I headed back to Barr River to get more looks at the Ross's. Dave Euler was there, just about to leave when I pulled up. He hadn't seen the Ross's Goose, as it was behind some shrubs and other geese when he looked. It was still there though, and he and his wife Gail got good looks at it beside some Sandhill Cranes and other Canadas. Satisfied, I headed out to Pumpkin Point, where there were more Tundra Swans and Canada Geese (no rarities this time though), along with both Greater and Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Ducks, Bufflehead, a Northern Harrier, Snow Buntings, Killdeer, and Red-winged Blackbirds. Then I headed out to St. Joe's Island, where there weren't as many geese as last year, but did pick up an Eastern Meadowlark. Then I retraced my route, where the Ross's Goose was still hanging around, and back to the new birds on the way back other than a Red-tailed Hawk circling the highway. The list for the morning is below, SSM year birds are in bold as usual. Hopefully I will get out to WPBO tomorrow, maybe see some new stuff!

Ross's Goose - 1
Cackling Goose - 2
Canada Goose - 600+
Tundra Swan - 68
American Black Duck - 60+
Ring-necked Duck - 16
Greater Scaup - 6
Lesser Scaup - 4
Bufflehead - 12
Common Goldeneye - 50+
Hooded Merganser - 20+
Common Merganser - 40+
Ring-necked Pheasant - 1
Great Blue Heron - 2
Turkey Vulture - 29
Bald Eagle - 2
Northern Harrier - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
Rough-legged Hawk - 2
Sandhill Crane - 44
Killdeer - 3
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch - 2
American Robin - 10+
European Starling
Song Sparrow - 10
Dark-eyed Junco - 3
Snow Bunting - 20+
Red-winged Blackbird - 13
Eastern Meadowlark - 1
Common Grackle - 20+
Brown-headed Cowbird - 3
American Goldfinch - 9
House Sparrow - 20+

Number of Species: 44

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