This afternoon I was sifting through a flock of Canada Geese at Blue Chip Farms in Ulster County and I observed the above bird, which I believe is a Cackling Goose. The bird was a shade paler than the surrounding Canada Geese, with a small stubby bill, and a shorter neck. I am having a little hesitation in positively identifying this bird because although the bird was smaller than the Canada Geese, it did not appear to be as small as some Cackling Geese that I have seen in the past. According to the Crossley Guide, “Most look small and cute compared to Canada Geese, but this is not always the case”. I believe that this bird falls into the latter category. If anyone has thoughts about this bird, please comment.
I did some other running around today, particularly looking for the Snow Geese that I’d seen fly over last night. I didn’t have any luck with them, but I did get some photos along the way:
I spent the afternoon and evening at the Shawangunk Grasslands, which were a little quieter than last weekend. I still had several Rough-legged Hawks and Northern Harriers. When I left at 4:30 the Short-eared Owls were still not up. Here’s one shot I got of a young harrier:
And one more shot of the Cackling Goose: