Monday, February 20, 2017

Cape May Zoo 2/20--Pink-footed Goose

Pink-footed Goose
However, before we could start lunch, another text alert came in: the Pink-footed Goose had reappeared at the Cape May Zoo. We'd just been there 45 minutes ago. Back north we drove. This would be my 4th attempt and Mike's 5th, or maybe 6th. The first time we'd gone to the zoo we couldn't find parking because it was so crowded due, I assume, to the school holiday, so this time we parked in a lot across the street and walked over to the entrance. While we were waiting for a red light to change, a guy rolled down his car window and told us that the goose was moving toward the back of the pond. That saved us, because otherwise, we would have scanned the wrong part of the lake and perhaps missed the bird. We walked toward a wooden walkway that went to a gazebo in the middle of the pond, scanned for a few moments before Mike found the bird, right up front. Very obvious against the larger Canada Geese.

Those who know more about migration than me believe that rare geese like Pink-footed or Barnacle follow migrating Canada Geese to North America. I've been wondering about the cohesiveness of geese flocks. Does the flock that flies from Greenland to New Jersey all stay together, or does it have a shifting population? Does the Pink-footed Goose stay with its original flock, or does it attach itself to any large flock of geese? Whatever the answer, it seems like this goose goes back and forth between the zoo, a sports complex nearby (where, once the soccer games begin the geese flee) and surrounding, nearby fields, including a cemetery. This makes the bird somewhat elusive since it doesn't keep a reliable schedule.

Now, with the Pink-footed Goose on my 2017 year list, I have all 11 large waterfowl to be found in New Jersey:

  • Pink-footed Goose
  • Greater White-fronted Goose
  • Snow Goose
  • Ross's Goose
  • Brant
  • Barnacle Goose
  • Cackling Goose
  • Canada Goose
  • Mute Swan
  • Trumpeter Swan
  • Tundra Swan
All 11 birds were first sighted in 11 different locations around the state. All this really means is that at the end of the year, when these birds start to show up again, I don't have to chase...unless the rarer ones turn up in Ocean County.

So, while we were striking out in the early part of the game today, we came up big in the bottom of the ninth.

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