Originally found on Saturday, 7 January, by Peter Priolo, the Barnacle Goose in these pictures has been present on Eastport Lake in Eastport, New York, since, though it does fly out to feed in nearby fields from time to time. I *ahem* coincidentally happened to be in the area on the day after it was found and enjoyed decent scope views from the sidewalk on Main Street looking north into the lake. It was a pleasure to study and digiscope a North American rarity at leisure in the company of other birders, even if the bird was not quite as close as we would have wished.
In the recent past Barnacle Geese that showed up on the east coast were almost uniformly considered escapes from waterfowl collections. That started to change as banded birds showed up that were demonstrably wild birds wandering from their European homes. The breeding populations of both Barnacle Goose and Pink-footed Goose are increasing in Greenland and it seems that more and more individuals are heading west and south with breeding Canada Geese and make their way to the eastern United States and Canada. That is, of course, awesome for birders like me who like to see neat geese without having to fly to Europe!
Here’s hoping we get another good vagrant goose soon. What goose would you like to see?
If you twitch a Red-breasted Goose in New York this year, I am going to puke! 😉
I suppose it’s too much to hope that this reassessment of the barnacle goose means I can count the two that wintered on a pond near the Susquehanna River some years ago.