December 5, 2006 [LINK / comment]

White-fronted goose chase

Local birdwatcher Allen Larner alerted us to a rare Greater White-fronted goose south of Waynesboro, so I drove on over this morning, and sure enough I soon spotted it in the middle of a flock of Canada geese in back of a farm house. They nest in the Arctic region of Alaska and northwestern Canada, and winter in Louisiana and points west. A separate race of that species breeds in Greenland, and those are the ones that are usually seen along the east coast, but they are few and far between. That becomes my fifth life bird of the year, bringing my grand total up to 364. I also saw some Red-tailed hawks in a couple places today, but not much else.

Yesterday I was driving in the Swoope area and saw a Bald eagle in a tree only about 30 yards in front of me. It was close enough to distinguish the black pupil from the yellow iris in its eyes. I also saw a Red-tailed hawk in that vicinity, as well as a (male) Kestrel.

We are seeing Downy woodpeckers and White-breasted nuthatches in our back yard almost every day; the suet feeder is what attracts them.