Thursday, January 01, 2009

A New Year's Day Lifer


Last winter there was a Barnacle Goose in Califon, NJ about 45 minutes from me. The same Barnacle Goose appeared again this fall. For no reason whatsoever, I never went and saw the goose last winter or this fall. Between these seasons, the NJ Bird Records Committee voted to add Barnacle Goose to the state checklist. So, today I finally got around to searching for the Califon Barnacle Goose. It had last been seen on Xmas. After getting slightly lost, I checked its usual hangout - a wide area of the Raritan River. This area was mostly frozen. Being rather rural, this area has about 1000 fields where geese could be, so I went exploring. Luck was with me and I found a large flock of geese hanging out in an apple orchard. Sure enough, there in the front was the Barnacle Goose. A real beauty! It was a bit too far for good photos unfortunately, but it was a nice treat.

Here's the uncropped photo:
I did some additional birding at some reservoirs. The highlights were a Glaucous Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull at Spruce Run. Can you pick out the Lesser Black-backed Gull?

9 comments:

Susan Gets Native said...

Heck, yeah. I can pick it out....
(pointing to computer screen)
: )

P. Ollig said...

Sweet lifer! And on the first of the year, too. Maybe you should consider going for a Big Year in '09. You've got a helluva great bird to start with. ;-)

John said...

Great life bird! The Barnacle Goose is a beautiful bird regardless of its countability.

Christopher said...

Sweet! What a great way to start out the year. I'm going to guess that the LBBG is the 11th one from the right. (or maybe it's the 12th)

Patrick Belardo said...

Thanks everyone!

@Paul - The thought crossed my mind a few times as I was out birding and high on "lifer endorphines." Then I realized I was crazy.

@Christopher - It's the 11th and a half.

@Susan - You're not one of those people who borrows my PC and then puts smudgy fingers all over it are you?

corey said...

Nice bird. It's great to get a good bird on 1/1 isn't it?

N8 said...

Great one! It's nice when a great bird like that is just down the road (after a year of chasing birds all over the state, 45 mins away sounds like just down the road to me).

Thea Sinclair said...

Congratulations. I had planned to look for this bird Dec. 19, and the snow came in and stopped me. Can you post on NJ birds where the orchard was and time of day you saw the goose?

Patrick Belardo said...

Hi Thea, this was LAST New Year's Day. I can't recall the name of the farm...