A Good, Long Day, 02/16/19

~CACKLING GOOSE at Lockenhurst Pond in Westtown, NY 02/16/19.~

Regular readers of this blog may remember that it took me 51 weeks in 2018 to get a CACKLING GOOSE in Orange County. Well, today I potentially had three. Which just shows you how crazy birding can be. First thing this morning I headed to Glenmere Lake, hoping for the ROSS’S GOOSE that Kathy Ashman had seen there earlier in the week. The Ross’s wasn’t present, but I did run into Kathy and we had some good birds, including one bird that looked to us like a sure Cackler and a second bird that looked pretty good, but was slightly larger with a slightly longer bill. See photo below, I’d love to hear any opinions on these birds. The birds stuck together the entire time we were there, a cute tiny couple. Other waterfowl present: Wood Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, Canada Geese, Mute Swans, American Black Ducks, Mallards, Gadwalls, and a single LESSER SCAUP.

~I’ll be interested to hear opinions on the bigger of these 2 birds – both birds were significantly smaller than the surrounding Canadas, and although the photo doesn’t show it that well, both had a lighter, frosty look to them. CACKLING GEESE (GOOSE?) at Glenmere Lake, 02/16/19.~

I tooled around the black dirt and then took a walk at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge’s Liberty Marsh; it was actually pretty quiet and I had mostly the usuals including White-crowned Sparrows at two locations. On Onion Avenue there was a large flock of mixed blackbirds – perhaps 1,000 birds or so, nearly all Red-winged Blackbirds with a sprinkling of Brown-headed Cowbirds, Common Grackles, and European Starlings thrown in.

~Mixed blackbird flock – mostly Red-winged Blackbirds, but I also see Brown-headed Cowbirds, E. Starlings, and a single Common Grackle.~

My final stop in southern OC was at Lockenhurst Pond. This is the small pond on Route 284 in Westtown, NY; I just looked it up to see what it was actually called. While I was there I sifted through the flock of approximately 400 Canada Geese and eventually located another CACKLING GOOSE. This bird looks good to me, see top photo as well as below.

~CACKLING GOOSE at Lockenhurst Pond in Westtown NY, 02/16/19.~

After a late lunch, I headed up to the Newburgh Waterfront to try for more waterfowl and gulls. I had only the 3 expected species of gull, and for waterfowl the only noteworthy species was 9 Northern Pintails. I can only remember one other time having NOPIs on the Hudson River. Just as it was starting to get dark and I was thinking about heading home, I saw something I’ve not seen before. A group nearly 60 Canada Geese flew in and landed on the river. I don’t know if they were out in the fields all day, or if they just finished a long flight, but as soon at they landed all the birds were drinking from the river. I found it sweet to see 60 Canadas sipping away as the sun set.

~Ring-billed Gull in flight over the Hudson River, Newburgh Waterfront 02/16/19.~

6 thoughts on “A Good, Long Day, 02/16/19”

  1. My goodness, three Cackling Geese in one day! That’s pretty spectacular. I love the photo of the Red-wings in flight. It would make a beautiful painting. As always, it was good seeing you this morning.

    1. It was great to see you too, Kathy, and to share the Cacklers. It’s always more fun to share a good bird. If Lisa O’Gorman painted the blackbirds, I’ll bet it would look fabulous. Matt

  2. Matt,
    There is no question you had three Cackling Geese this morning. I’m glad there is a great birder out there finding these birds. Great work! John

    1. Excellent to hear John! And thanks for the compliment – that means a lot coming from you. I still can’t believe I went for nearly a year without and then 3 today. Birding is crazy. Matt

  3. Great shots. Have missed out on most geese this year-had them all last yr. Was down to Cape May co. yesterday looking for a gym. that was seen 5-6 days ago. -no success. did get a few Ravens, oystercatchers and my first great egrets and robins for the year. Last week had Trumpeter Swans in good light at Assunpink and Saw Whets and Short Earned owls at the Pole Farm in Mercer co.

    1. Thanks Bruce, and thanks for checking in, it sounds like you are keeping busy and getting some good birds. It was nice to get the Cacklers yesterday, but I am greedy and I want a Barnacle or a Pink-footed, lol. Matt

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