Archive | October 28, 2015

Cackling Goose Revisited

Cackling Goose

Cackling Goose

Although I felt well enough to go back to work on the Monday following my surgery, a mix-up in the paperwork gave me another day off as I didn’t have medical clearance to return. I was glad to have another day to get out birding and build up my stamina, for although I have an office job and sit most of the day, I still wasn’t sure how working a full 8-hour day would affect me. So I decided to head out with Jon Ruddy, first doing some walking at the Old Quarry Trail, then heading over to Andrew Haydon Park to look for the Cackling Goose and unidentified small goose I saw on Sunday.

The Old Quarry Trail produced the usual assortment of late October birds, with the only birds of interest being a male Red-winged Blackbird hanging out near the boardwalk, a couple of Golden-crowned Kinglets, several Purple Finches, and – most surprising of all – a young Savannah Sparrow. It was associating with two female-type Purple Finches at the boardwalk, and when it landed at the top of a spruce tree, Jon identified it immediately despite the late date and completely wrong habitat (Savannah Sparrows are open grassland birds, while the Old Quarry Trail consists of a marsh surrounded by mixed/coniferous forest). It sat at the top of the tree for a few minutes so we got a nice long look at the bird despite the distance. It flew off when the two Purple Finches did.

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