A Post From the Field

Breaking form, I'll keep this one short. Kind of.

I drove through a mild snow storm last night from Cape Cod to Long Island. Opting not to take the $50 ferry, I snuck through the outskirts of New York hoping to find a Wal Mart parking lot I could sleep in and get an early start looking for Barnacle Goose. It hadn't been seen in 8 days, and how many fields could a small black and white goose be hiding in on Long Island? 

Answer: Lots. 

However, as I was held up by a police barricade on an industrial parkway, I checked my hourly eBird alert which had Barnacle Goose smugly staring me in the face- photos included on an eBird checklist from you guessed it- Long Island, NY. I made the right move.

Turns out, I had passed the spot, 30 minutes earlier. A cemetery wasn't on my top 10 list of best spots to find Geese, but I'll have to revise that list now.

I woke up this morning in a closer Wal-Mart lot, and drove to the Catholic cemetery- no geese. I tried across the street at the Jewish cemetery. Geese! Lots of them. On the golf course adjacent to the cemetery fence were flocks of geese, where they must have roosted overnight. I picked through some of them and found a Snow Goose as before I could finish searching the whole flock got up and flew across the road and out of sight. I followed them, and found them back across the road at the other cemetery. 

A digiscoped image through the rain

A digiscoped image through the rain

The Barnacle Goose stuck out like a sore thumb. This brings me to 749 (plus two provisionals).

Almost there... to my goal of 750.

One more... What will it be? Dovekie up North? A rarity someplace else? Cold weather doesn't bother me, and Florida doesn't have anything too exciting right now so fleeing there doesn't sound too appealing. Birders will be everywhere- can't wait to pull a pop in and interview some CBC counters- who knows- if you're on the eastern seaboard, I may join you!

I'll sit at Starbucks a few more minutes and think about it...

 Eh, maybe I'll go back and take another look at that Barnacle Goose. It is however, quite a handsome bird. I'm not sure when I'll see one again!