This morning I headed once again to the Black Dirt Region of Orange County with some target birds in mind. Long story short, I got none of them. What did happen made for some great birding. I made my usual stops along the valley, and found basically nothing. When I reached Breeze Hill Road, I found five Snow Geese, three near the pond and two in the horse paddock. Then on Turtle Bay Road, I found at least 2000 geese! I began to sift through them. At first, looking for Cackling Geese, I found nothing. As I scanned, I suddenly found myself looking at a beautiful adult GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE! This bird was vibrant in color and just a gorgeous goose. I made several calls, alerting all my friends to its presence. Bruce Nott, Linda Scrima, Bill Fiero and Rob Stone were all able to come see the bird. I then toured the valley, continuing my quest for the target birds and came up empty. Finally I returned to the fields at Turtle Bay where I once again found the GWFG. I then headed east to the Newburgh Waterfront to try for the Iceland Gulls that have been being reported there. I met up with Ken McDermott, and it didn’t take long before we found a first winter ICELAND GULL! We searched the abundant gulls for the next hour, but did not relocate the Lesser Black-backed Gull* that has been being seen (we’ve already seen it) the past few days. I finally pulled myself away from a great day of birding with some great birders.
*After I left, the group once again located the Lesser Black-backed Gull