Date: 3/23/18 5:07 pm From: Josh <opihi...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] Four goose species at UMass today, and other western MA birds
I had a pretty fun day today, highlighted by a mid-day visit to the UMass Campus Pond, where I managed to see four goose species: Canada (about 1,000 of them), Snow (blue morph), Greater White-fronted, and Cackling. Keenan Yakola had posted in the Western Mass Birders group on FaceBook that the Snow and White-fronted were present this morning, which convinced me to swing by on my way home. I spotted the Snow easily; the bird is injured, walks with a noticeable limp whenever it is on land, but otherwise seems to be doing fine. Eventually I picked the White-fronted out of the crowd as well, which made my day. Then I noticed fellow Hampshire Bird Club member Devin Griffiths crouching near the White-fronted, taking photos. I greeted him and he informed me that there was also a Cackling Goose out on the water, and helped me find it. I even managed to get a few photos with the Cackling and White-fronted in the same frame. The resident pair of Peregrine Falcons also put on a good show, flying overhead, perching on the library, entering their nest box, and calling occasionally. This was all the more fun in that I had visited the same spot at least a half-dozen times this year since the ice melted off of it, picked through several hundred Canadas each time, and had seen only the Snow before now (well, also that really cool black-cheeked Canada).
Earlier in the day, I checked out Barton Cove, where the hen Redhead - originally noticed by James Smith some three weeks ago, and which has bounced back and forth between the Cove and power canal since - was still hanging around with a flock of Ring-necked Ducks. No fewer than three Iceland Gulls were present as well, one in the middle of the Cove with the big flock of Herrings and Black-backs, two others over by Unity Park in a smaller flock of mostly Ring-bills. Common Goldeneye, Common and Hooded Merganser, and Ring-necked Duck numbered around 20 to 25 birds each, nice diversity.
And I stopped by Tri-Town Beach in south Deerfield/Whately, and finally saw the Cackling Goose there (found Sunday and posted here on MassBird by Mark Fairbrother). As with the pond at UMass, I had made several stops at Tri-town in recent weeks and pored through lots of Canada geese without any luck, until today.