Date: 11/9/20 8:29 pm
From: David Guertin <dave...>
Subject: [VTBIRD] Snow Goose encounter
On Sunday morning I was at the Dead Creek goose viewing area before
dawn, which was entirely devoid of birds save for a lone raven croaking
from a tree. But as the sun rose I was privileged to witness a massive
flight of Snow Geese as they flew up from the creek to the fields,
circling for several minutes before landing in the field in front of us.
The cacophony of what I estimated to be 1800 geese was deafening and
thrilling.

Fortunately for those of us standing on the road, the geese settled down
right up close to the fence, where we had great views of their behavior,
standing around, feeding, walking, honking, and doing various goosey
things. One of my goals for the morning was to find a Ross's Goose, so I
carefully scanned the enormous white haystack for a slightly smaller and
shorter-billed needle (which I found!), during which I came across a
Snow Goose with a numbered neck band. I reported the band number to the
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, and just received a reply that my
Addison County goose is a female, banded on August 12, 2013 on the South
Plain of Bylot Island, Nunavut. (Of course I looked it up on a map; it's
off the north coast of Baffin island.)

It's no news that Snow Geese nest in the arctic, but seeing the
pinpointed location for this particular goose somehow makes it more
vivid, and I can just picture this goose settling on her nest across the
bay from Greenland, year after year, and then making the long journey to
the southern U.S. coast, stopping by our little state to fuel up. It's
something to remind myself if I ever find myself getting blasé about
just another migrating goose.

Dave G.
 
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