Date: 11/20/20 6:55 pm From: Ted Floyd <tedfloyd73...> Subject: [cobirds] Geese galore at Waneka Lake, Boulder County
If you're looking for something to do during the upcoming "safer at home" Thanksgiving week, consider a jaunt over to Waneka Lake, eastern Boulder County, providing excellent opportunity for study of diversity in the subfamily Anserinae.
For example, this hatch-year *greater white-fronted goose,* which Hannah Floyd pointed out to me yesterday, Thurs., Nov. 19, at Waneka Lake:
[image: 01 GWFG.jpg]
Also in the flock yesterday at Waneka Lake was this duo of hatch-year *snow geese:*
[image: 02 SnGo.jpg]
Earlier in the week, these beautiful adult *Ross geese* were at Waneka Lake:
[image: 03 RoGo.jpg]
There are some hybrids in the big flock, like this presumptive *snow goose x cackling goose* seen yesterday at Waneka Lake:
[image: 04 CacG x SnGo.jpg]
And, of course, there are tons--literally tons--of "white-cheeked geese" out there. Canada geese in the low hundreds and cackling geese well into the four digits.
Here's a for-sure Canada goose from yesterday, and I believe this one, based on bill size and structure + overall heft, is a "big ugly" or *"giant" Canada goose,* eBird taxon *moffitti*/*maxima*:
[image: 05 CanG-maxima.jpg]
Most of the Canada geese out there, though, appear to be of the eBird taxon *canadensis*, which I consider to be *parvipes*, the *"lesser" Canada goose.* Birds like this one, seen yesterday at Waneka Lake:
[image: 06 CanG-parvipes.jpg]
Finally, the cackling geese. Oh man. They are legion. Most are, I assume, *"Richardson" cackling geese* of the nominate subspecies *hutchinsii*. Birds like this one, seen yesterday at Hecla Pond:
[image: 07 CacG-hutchinsii.jpg]
But a handful, perhaps actually a rather large handful, are, I believe, candidate *"Taverner" cackling geese,* *Branta hutchinsii taverneri*, birds like this one yesterday at Hecla Pond:
[image: 08 CacG-taverneri.jpg]
A final thought. If geese aren't your thing, there's so much more to see at Waneka Lake and nearby Greenlee Preserve, Thomas Open Space, Waneka Landing, and Hecla Pond. For example, this *white-throated sparrow,* photographed this sunny Fri. morning, Nov. 20, at Greenlee Preserve:
[image: 09 WTSp.jpg]
The bird has been at the preserve's feeding station for more than a month now.
If you visit Waneka Lake & vicinity, please bear in mind that the site is being heavily visited during the pandemic. Wear a mask, and be cognizant of the many other folks using the park.