More Geese

IMG_0165I once again headed to Orange County this morning with a Greater White-fronted Goose in mind.  I don’t know if anyone may have noticed, but GWFG are showing up south of us in record numbers.  Since this species has eluded us this year, I feel confident some have to stop by with the numbers that have already passed us. That said, I didn’t find any.  I did have my highest numbers of Canada Geese so far this fall in the area, a minimum of 4,000 by best estimate.  Among them, I found 8 Snow Geese (three adult blue, three juvenile blue and two white) and 2 possibly 3 CACKLING GEESE!  After sifting through many geese in a number of locations, I found a huge flock on Skinner Lane. I feel they numbered at least 2,000 birds.  Among them I found the first Cackling Goose of the day. I got a number of photos and then moved on.  Searches in several locations revealed huge numbers of Canada Geese, but nothing else.  By midday, I noticed many geese in the air and they all seemed to be moving toward the Camel Farm. Earlier in the day, there wasn’t a single goose there. Now, they numbered 3,000 strong.  I found a single Cackling Goose well out into the field near one of the ponds, but couldn’t get a photo due to it being mixed in with so many geese.  As I watched, I noticed that just up the road in a horse paddock there were some SNOW GEESE, my first of the day.  I went up to get some photos and immediately spotted a second Cackling Goose in the paddock.  I got many photos of this cooperative bird, and the Snow Geese.  I suddenly heard some strange hawk calls and looked up the street to see a Red-tailed Hawk perched on a tree with something in its talons.  As I watched, the source of the strange calls became evident with an adult PEREGRINE FALCON attacking the hawk!  Both were screeching and squealing in angst.  They both eventually flew off.  As I started to view the geese by the ponds again, an adult Bald Eagle flew through the masses, sending everything skyward, it was chaos!  I had planned on posting the birds to “What’s App”, but since everything was scattering across the valley, I saw no point.  The important thing is that there are number of Cackling Geese and Snow Geese in the area if anyone is looking for them.

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