Westchester County Barnacle Goose, 02/04/18

~BARNACLE GOOSE!!! With a Cackling Goose just to the left. Rye, New York 02/04/18.~ 

I remember a blog post from a few years back on 10,000 Birds where Corey Finger referred to the BARNACLE GOOSE as “inherently cool”. That struck a chord with me at the time because I felt the same way. To me, of all all the geese we get in our area, the Barnacle Goose is definitely the coolest and by far my favorite. I finally got my lifer back in December of 2014 in Ramsey, New Jersey, after dipping several times on the one that was in Orange County in 2012 (I think) and also missing out on the one at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx (I ran for the bird after work one day, which happened to be the first day it hadn’t been seen in ages).

So, I knew that if the bird was still being reported, I would run this weekend for the Barnacle Goose that had been reported all week at Edith G. Read Wildlife Sanctuary in Rye, New York. When I arrived in the morning, the bird was not on the pond at the sanctuary, where it has mostly been seen. Luckily, I ran into Tom Burke and Gail Benson while I was there; an hour or so after seeing them they called to say they had located the bird on private property. I raced over to join them and got excellent scope views of the bird. I was pretty excited to see the bird, first just because it’s a Barnacle (see paragraph above), and secondly because I was convinced at that point that I was not going to get it. The BAGO’s  Cackling Goose buddy was right by its side, it was my first Cackler of 2018. The birds were a little distant for good photos, but I was happy to document my first Barnacle in New York State. Huge thanks to Tom and Gail; I never would have gotten the bird without them, not a chance.

~A Barnacle Goose and a nice photo op with a Peregrine Falcon make for a darn good day of birding. This PEFA was perched in a tree on the boardwalk at Rye Playland and did not seem to mind the many folks and dogs that were passing below.~ 

12 thoughts on “Westchester County Barnacle Goose, 02/04/18”

  1. Matt,
    C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !!!
    It IS an outstanding goose and I hold them in a special place also. The invitation to join Tom and Gail was sincerely appreciated but, with the forecast of possibly testy conditions, I thanked them and stayed home. The knowledge that a fall could be TOTALLY life changing is strong in my mind and I couldn’t risk it. The accompanying CAGO, seemingly a richardsoni, was another nice addition. Good going.

    1. Thanks, Ken. Tomorrow and Gail mentioned they were trying to get you there, but definitely better safe than sorry, that’s for sure. Matt

  2. Great bird. Missed it last yearend missed an opportunity at the Jersey shore a few weeks ago. It was a one day wonder and could not get the free time to chase. Had a good day at the pole farm near Princeton yesterday. Ended up with Long Ear, Saw Whet, and Short Earred Owls. Tried for a pink fitted in the a.m but it had left the area.

    1. Dang Bruce, you get some good birds. We had 9 Greater White-fronted Geese in OC earlier in the week; I tried to relocate today with no luck. Matt

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