On Nov 12, 2006, at 1:36 PM, [log in to unmask] wrote:
> I found no flocks of Snow Geese at Dead Creek late this morning,
> but at
> about 10:30 there was a flock of about 1000 along Cider Mill Road
> Rts. 125 and 23 just outside Middlebury, and another flock of several
> thousand near the intersection of Rt. 23 and Prunier Rd. in
> Weybridge. Two
> hunters told me that a dark bird that I had seen in the latter
> flock was a
> Brant, as I had suspected but couldn't be sure without a scope.
> They said
> they were going to try to sneak up on the flock. When I returned
> two hours
> later the flock was gone.
> At Dead Creek several hundred Mallards were in the puddles of water
> not far
> from the viewing area. A few Black Ducks were mixed in. A Northern
> Harrier and at least one Red-tail soared in the brisk wind.
> Now for the mystery: At the western end of the viewing area I
> found one
> lone goose hanging out with several dozen Mallards. From the neck
> this goose looked very much like Sibley's "white juvenile" Snow Goose,
> though overall somewhat lighter.
The coloration on the Snow Geese and Ross's can be very variable.
> But the head coloration and the bill
> looked more like a Ross's Goose.
The bill is the about the only discernible feature on a Ross's Goose.
> The bill, though not quite black, was
> dark enough that it had no discernible "grin-patch." The base of
> the bill
> was definitely vertical like the Ross and not curved like the
> Snow. The
> bill seemed small, but I had nothing to compare it to.
The bill of a Ross's Goose will be incredibly small when compared to
a Snow Goose. Although it might be hard to tell if you have not seen
both species before the bill on a Ross's goose is quite noticeable.
I would use some literature online to compare what you thought the
bill looked like to some photos. Check out http://www.greglasley.net/
> It had a distinct
> black line from the bill to the eye, the forehead was white, the
> top of the
> head was tannish, and the back of the head was white. The back of
> the neck
> was tannish, like the white juvenile Snow. It's hard to judge the
> size of the bird, having no other geese with it, but it was much
> taller and
> fatter than the Mallards, and probably longer.
Its hard enough to tell in a flock of Snow Geese too.
> When I first saw it, it was
> about 200 yards away, but over the next half hour or so, it gradually
> foraged its way to about 100 yards from me. So I had very good
> views even
> with just binoculars. Does this sound like a Ross's-Snow hybrid? Any
> other ideas? Ross's would be a life bird for me, though I guess a
> doesn't quite count!
Its up to you if you are confident enough to call it or not.
> Ken Copenhaver
> Fiarfax VT
Also I had a Drake and a Hen long-tailed Duck at Shelburn Bay Park
last Tuesday, I'm not sure if these are worth reporting but they
flew past our geology class just past Allen Hill.
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