Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mercer Corporate Park 2/15--Greater White-fronted Goose

Greater White-fronted Goose (left), Mercer Corporate Park
Mercer Corporate Park in Robbinsville, like Marshall's Pond in Toms River, inexplicably attracts rare waterfowl to its two little ponds. It is about a 45 minute drive from here, so when I saw that a Greater White-fronted Goose had been spotted in among the Canada Geese I was out the door in 3 minutes and on my way.  The beauty of this chase is that, because the area is so small, I would know whether the bird was there almost immediately. No looking for flocks of geese on far-flung farm fields then sorting through thousands of lookalikes for the one rarity.

As soon as I pulled into the park I saw a Northern Harrier floating low over the brushy area. There was a small flock of geese in the first pond. From the car I scanned them with my binoculars and they all looked like Canada Geese. I brought out the scope, set it up on the edge of the pond (the geese were, of course, on the far shore) and started at the left. About halfway through the flock I saw the little brown goose with the orange bill and white face. Total time to find: under 3 minutes. That's the kind of chasing I like.

Digiscope of GWFG
I was able to get surprisingly decent photos from across the water. I was even able to digiscope a shot that more or less looks like a GWFG. Sometimes my hand is steady enough to do it, sometimes not. I haven't been able to find an attachment yet that fits both my phone and the scope.

Other birds that were there included a Great Blue Heron standing just at the water's edge and 5 Gadwalls in the 2nd, overgrown pond.

There is only one more rare goose or swan that comes to New Jersey that I haven't tracked down yet this year--Pink-footed Goose. I know where one is. I just have to get down there soon.

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