Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Today I went up to IKEA in Westchester, OH to look for some Christmas presents. There is a retention pond behind the store holding waterfowl right now so I was sure to take my bird maker biggers'. I looked briefly before going in but didn't notice anything exciting. After shopping I came out and took some more time to look. I was really looking for a Cackling Goose but didn't see any. Only Mallards for ducks. Just before I left a Great Blue Heron landed on the ice briefly and I noticed some gulls had come in. As I was scanning the gulls I came to 2 geese. Although I had never seen them I was fairly certain they were Greater White-fronted Goose because of the recognizable barring on the belly/lower breast. They had orange orange legs and bills with white on the front of the face and were smaller than the Canada geese they were with. Before I even looked in the book I called Jeff Brown and told him I think I have a couple of GWFG and described them to him. He said he would be there in 10 minutes. Right before he showed up the geese flew and I was in danger of being "that guy who sees things". Luckily I was able to follow them and they landed in the corn field just south of the lake and we were able to refind them.
Now, I am not sure exactly what David Sibley is trying to say about bill color not being a reliable identifier of the "Greenland" type of GWFG but there was no ambiguity about these bills. They were not just orange, they were no doubt about it orange. I suppose he is saying that sometimes the Greenland types bill is not so orange and obvious which I can understand, but again, these were no doubt very orange. I guess I don't really care what race they were, just that they were Greater White-fronted Geese! Woo Hoo! A lifer and #327 for the year!

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