Date: 3/3/18 3:53 pm
From: Rowe, Richard A, 'Dick' via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] Ross' Geese and Mute Swans in Rockbridge Co
I was able to get out and do a little birding this morning. About a week ago, we had reports of 3 snow geese at a pond and other locations outside of Lexington. It wasn't until Wednesday, that Kerry Kilday got a good look at the birds and he determined that they were Ross' Geese. The ROGO were reported this morning at a local pond, so I headed over to see them.
In addition to the Ross' Geese there was 1 Ruddy Duck, 2 Gadwalls, a few Mourning Doves, and 1 Wilson's Snipe.

At Willow Lake in the northern part of the county near Raphine, the 2 Mute Swans are still present. After watching them for a few minutes, it seems clear that the adult is a male and the immature is a female. The male (cob in swan terminology) was courting the female (pen). I'm beginning to think that this pair may claim Willow Lake at theirs. I wouldn't be surprised if they nest there. In addition to the swans, there were a few Tree Swallows cruising the lake, a single Snow Goose, a few Buffleheads, a bunch of scaup (I didn't spend much time on them but I think both Greater and Lesser were there), 2 Pied-billed Grebes, and some Ring-necked Ducks.

At McCormick's Farm there were a few Gadwalls and 2 Hooded Mergansers on the front pond. Overall, McCormick's Farm was pretty quiet, but I did find 3 Rusty Blackbirds. They were at the tops of the trees, so it was difficult to get good looks at them.

I posted some photos of the Ross' Geese, Mute Swans, a Field Sparrow and a Rusty Blackbird on Flickr, if you're interested.

Dick Rowe
VMI Biology Dept

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