Saturday, April 4, 2015

Mercer Corporate Park 4/4--Greater White-fronted Goose

Shari & I spent an hour walking around FREC (Forest Resource Education Center) in Jackson, but even 15 miles inland the winds were not conducive to productive birding. Best birds we saw there were Shari's first Eastern Phoebe of the year and 3 Black Vultures fighting the wind. During lunch at a nearby diner, she checked her phone for any rare bird reports and saw that Mercer Corporate Park had a Greater White-fronted Goose reported within in the last hour. That's a bird we don't see too often and certainly haven't seen this year, so we were off to Mercer County on a wild goose chase.

It wasn't much of a chase. We pulled into the drive, saw about 50 Canada Geese grazing on the grass and in less than a minute Shari spotted the goose. The challenge was to get the goose to lift its head long enough for me to get a documentary photo. Finally, in the moment between ceasing preening and commencing eating grass, I was able to get one good photo showing field marks.

We drove the 1/2 mile loop, not finding much else. We were hoping for coots (always amusing) but none were to be discovered. On the way out we had a different viewing angle of the geese and Shari took one more photo, this one showing the orange legs. We were pretty happy to get a rarity without the usual sturm und drang.
Photo: Shari Zirlin
14 species
Greater White-fronted Goose  1    Orange bill, white face above bill and orange legs
Canada Goose  50
Mallard  5
Ring-necked Duck  38
Bufflehead  7
Great Blue Heron  2
Turkey Vulture  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Ring-billed Gull  1
Fish Crow  4
Tree Swallow  3
American Robin  20
Song Sparrow  1     Heard
Red-winged Blackbird  1     Heard

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