Orange County Geese!

This morning I headed to the Black Dirt Region to check on the goose situation there. I immediately came upon at least 3,000 geese on Onion Avenue! As I started to check them, they all took off, flushing over to Pierce Circle. I relocated to Pierce, hesitant that they would flush again. They didn’t. I actually had a much better vantage point and the birds were much closer to the road than on Onion. I started to check the first section of fields and immediately found a CACKLING GOOSE! I photographed it for a few minutes and moved on to field two. Though there were many more geese in that adjoining field, I found no unusual species. There was a tremendous pileup of geese at the back of the field, so something could have been among them. I moved to field three, with half the geese and immediately found a Cackling Goose. I photographed it then quickly went back to field one where I found the first bird still present. I returned to the second bird and took more shots. As I did so, I noticed just across the ditch in field four, another Cackling Goose! That was at least three Cackling Geese in this huge flock. I moved back and forth between the last two birds, taking many photos. As I watched them, a Cackling Goose flew in from the left, calling as it went. I had three in front of me at one time! I then headed back to field one to see if I could find the first bird again. There were now hundreds of birds in that field as more geese had continued to come in the entire time I was there. I couldn’t find the first bird in the masses, so there were either three or possibly four Cackling Geese present on Pierce Circle this morning. Either way, that is a record for me. I had never seen more than two at a time before! The total number of geese by the time I left was at least 4,000. There were also five SNOW GEESE at one of the local ponds. I never located any Greater White-fronted Geese today.

Cackling Goose #1, found in the first field on Pierce Circle.

Cackling Goose #1, found in the first field on Pierce Circle.


Cackling Goose #1 again, note the small size, short neck, tiny bill. The bird was very pale, but back lit in this shot.

Cackling Goose #1 again, note the small size, short neck, tiny bill. The bird was very pale, but back lit in this shot.


Cackling Goose #2 This bird is a typical Cackling Goose with all the right field marks.  The slightly larger bill than the other two birds present is indicative of an adult male.

Cackling Goose #2 This bird is a typical Cackling Goose with all the right field marks. The slightly larger bill than the other two birds present is indicative of an adult male.


Another shot of Cackling #2, note the long primary projection.

Another shot of Cackling #2, note the long primary projection.


Cackling Goose #3 from field four.

Cackling Goose #3 from field four.


another shot of Cackling #3. Though #2 and #3 were within 100 feet of each other and roamed around a lot, they never joined up.

another shot of Cackling #3. Though #2 and #3 were within 100 feet of each other and roamed around a lot, they never joined up.

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2 Responses to Orange County Geese!

  1. Jim says:

    It always amazes me how quickly things can change. I birded the same region last Saturday before/during that massive coldfront and had less than a dozen Canada Geese in total.

  2. One of the interesting things about the Black Dirt Region is the fact that the geese freely move back and forth to northern New Jersey. You can never be certain that they will be there when you go. Nice to hear from you Jim!

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