Yet another “WILD” Goose chase!

This morning I just had to chase something! I hadn’t had a new year bird in over three weeks and needed to find one. The problem recently, the birds have been mostly one minute wonders. If you were there when it went through, you got to see it. I went over my yearly needs alerts and decided on a destination. I headed north to just southeast of Syracuse to try for a Ross’s Goose. Then, only 45 minutes east of there, there were two Barnacle Geese. I thought this would be a plan that might pay off. Three quarters of the way up rt. 81, it began to snow and sleet with thirty mile per hour winds. I hadn’t counted on that. It slowed my progress. The storm lasted just over an hour, only stopping ten minutes after I reached my first destination. I arrived at Woodman’s Road Pond at 11:30 am, and was amazed at the waterfowl. This rather small lake had a tremendous number and diversity of birds. There were only about a 1000 Canada Geese when I arrived and I knew the Ross’ Goose was with Canadas. Over the next hour and a half, 3000 more CAGO came in. Other waterfowl included a CACKLING GOOSE, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, American Coot, American Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard and Black Ducks and Green-winged Teal. Great Blue Herons, Ring-billed Gulls, Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks and a few passerines rounded the list. Wayne Myers, a local birder came along, informing me that the Ross’s Goose hadn’t been seen so far today. I decided to head over to the Utica area and try for the BARNACLE GEESE. It only took 45 minutes to get there, and I arrived at the pond on Cedarville Road to find several birders already viewing the geese. Kevin McGann was one of those present. We had heard a lot about each other, but had never met, very nice guy. These birds were an easy add. Its always great to see this species and it was my first time seeing more than one. I then decided to head back to Syracuse to see if the Ross’s goose might have returned, but it hadn’t. I started the long ride home, happy to have seen the Barnacle Geese and added many new birds for two counties I don’t normally get to bird.

The pair of Barnacle Geese at the Cedarville Road Pond.

The pair of Barnacle Geese at the Cedarville Road Pond.

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