Pair of Cackling Geese at Wurtsboro Ponds after flying there from the Bashakill!
This morning I met Lance Verderame at Haven Road at the Bashakill. We were watching many species of waterfowl along the road as well as 30+ Tree Swallows Lance had seen prior to my arrival. There were many good birds, mostly the usual suspects. As I watched to the west, four geese took off from the kill just the other side of the bridge from us. As they gained altitude, I noticed the back two geese were smaller than the front two. I focused on them and realized they were CACKLING GEESE!! I yelled to Lance who had already seen me looking and he yelled back Cackling Geese! Just then Scott Baldinger pulled up. We directed him to the birds in flight. Unfortunately, they continued to gain altitude and head east. It dawned on me that they could be heading to the ponds in Wurtsboro, which I said to the guys. Lance suggested I call Arlene Borko to see if she would check the ponds. I explained the situation to her and she went to check out the ponds. She called back minutes later, informing me that almost immediately the geese flew into the ponds. The three of us zoomed over to Wurtsboro to find the pair sitting at the edge of the pond. We viewed them for over half an hour, taking many photos of the birds. I made many calls to alert friends of their presence. We decided to leave them alone, while they rested, Arlene agreeing to check on them. Half and hour later, Arlene called to say that of all the birds at the pond, just the two Cackling Geese got up and took flight, heading in the direction of the Bashakill. I alerted folks of the change of status and kept vigil at the Bashakill for half an hour and no geese came in. This is the first record of this species for the county, though there was one previous report. What a great experience, and a true Wild Goose Chase that really paid off!
Sullivan County Cackling Geese!
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