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 > between > 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 > down, > 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/ snowross.html . > 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 > overall > 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 > hybrid > 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. > > -------------------------------------------------------------------- > mail2web - Check your email from the web at > http://mail2web.com/ .