Monday, February 4, 2013

February 4: White goose

My husband and I got up early this morning in order to hit the Rockland breakwater before work--in hopes of seeing a Ross's Goose that has been hanging out there at lower tides amid a flock of Canada Geese. This goose is very similar to the Snow Goose that sometimes passes through this area in late fall/winter, only about half the size. It breeds in the Arctic and usually winters near the Gulf Coast, so this errant bird was a bit off course. We'd never seen one before.

Fortunately when we scanned the water just offshore at the breakwater "beach" this morning, this little white goose was easy to pick out of the crowd, even though all the geese were sleeping. Since we both had to rush off to work, we worried that our only view of this life bird might be as a floating white blob with its head under its wing. But just as we were getting ready to walk back to our cars, it woke up and then briefly stood up out of the water atop a rock, as if to show itself off to us before shortly thereafter drifting back to sleep on the water. Apparently the flock is a drowsy one that early in the morning.

Although not so drowsy that when I returned to my car and then decided five minutes later to go back to the beach with my camera and try to get a photo, I found that the entire flock of about 70 geese had disappeared. Only a spanse of exposed rocks remained. The flock, I found, had shifted to an inlet on other side of the breakwater, and most of the birds were back asleep.

Drifting offshore,
does the sleeping white goose
dream of ice floes?

Can you pick out the little white Ross's Goose?

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