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An Easter Goose

The annual spring flood of Cobb's Lake Creek in Bourget is on, and as all passionate birders must, I made the pilgrimage--on Easter Sunday, as it turns out. When I saw all the white stuff up ahead and realized it wasn't snow, I knew it was going to be good.

Ten thousand Snow Geese at a conservative estimate. But as I didn't get any good photos of the masses, I'm borrowing a shot I took two years ago (same spot, same time.)

The sight of them flying in skeins overhead, gleaming pearly white against blue sky, was just amazing. And those did lend themselves to good photos. The wind was fierce, it was only a couple degrees above zero, and the jacket I was wearing wasn't really designed for such conditions, but I must have been in love because I stayed out there for over an hour anyway.

Eventually I finished with my "wow"s and settled down with the scope for a long scan. There were a bunch of them massed in a field across the road from the flood, not too far away, so I focused on those. Snow Goose has a dwarf-lookalike called the Ross's Goose, a cute Mallard-sized goose with a stubby little bill. It's rare, but when you've got ten thousand Snow Geese in one place, there's a good chance of at least one in there, somewhere...if you can find it. It's always been a nemesis bird for me. And I've never understood how people manage to scan a tight-packed flock of ten spabillion white geese and pick out the one odd white goose.

I grumbled to myself about how impossible it was. Grumbled and mumbled right up until the moment when I saw a tantalizingly petite white goose, with a tantalizingly stubby bill, amidst the masses. I struggled to keep a lock on it. It helped that it was in the vanguard of its little cluster as they ambled left, and that a pair of Canada Geese (a small minority, for a change) were nearby as a landmark. I took some hurried photos--so hurried that I forgot to check my exposure and they came out overexposed and awful. But they were enough. Jon Ruddy and other experts confirmed that I had my lifer Ross's Goose!

Early thaw, abortedRecent Birdventures


April 3rd, 2018 at 11:07 am
Fantastic photos! And congrats on the lifer!
I was going to suggest hidden object games to help with the spotting, but seems you don't need it :)

April 3rd, 2018 at 12:21 pm
Thank you!

April 3rd, 2018 at 4:13 pm
Congrats again!

April 3rd, 2018 at 9:57 pm
Yay another lifer!!!

April 4th, 2018 at 11:01 am
How many is 'ten spabillion'?? Congrats on another lifer for you. Your photos are great as usual.