It’s funny how things work out sometimes. I woke up with the startings of a sore throat, so on my way out for the morning I stopped at QuickChek to get some cough drops. This took my out of my usual way to Glenmere Lake, and past Goshen Reservoir. I’ve done this before; I should probably do it all the time but I never seem to remember. Anyways, when I got to the corner of Reservoir Road and Conklingtown Road I could see there was a number of Canada Geese present. I pulled over and quickly scanned with my binoculars. I quickly got on a goose that I thought was a good candidate for a CACKLING GOOSE, so I ran for my scope to get a better look.
I liked it for a Cackler, significantly smaller that the surrounding Canadas, with a short stubby bill. I ran for my camera (all this in the steady rain!), and documented. It was a dark and rainy morning, so much so that the above shot was taken at 10,000 ISO! So, I’ve applied a fair amount of noise reduction to the photo and the result looks more like a painting than a photograph.
I spent the rest of the morning birding in the rain, an endeavor which has proven extremely fruitful in the past, but unfortunately that wasn’t entirely the case today. I kayaked Glenmere Lake hoping for shorebirds – I found none. I went to Wickham Lake to follow up on a report of an American Coot there earlier, but the bird was either gone or hidden from sight while I was there.
My best stop also had the worst weather. I visited the south end of the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge’s Liberty Loop. Karen Miller and the Mearns Bird Club had a couple of dowitchers there yesterday, as well as some other shorebirds. Well, it poured down buckets almost the entire time I was there – making for some very difficult birding. Just keeping my gear usable with all the water was a task. BUT, I got some good shorebirds: Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, at least a dozen Pectoral Sandpipers, and the pair of Dowitcher Species. Timing and my overall impression have me leaning towards Long-billed, but I just don’t know. I birded my way home through the black dirt, mostly sorting through sparrows (so many!). The rain lessened and then stopped as I pulled up to the house.