Monday, December 15, 2008

Greater and Lesser Snow Geese, plus Greenland White-front , Hadley - 12/14

Another highlight from the Northampton CBC. For most of the morning we were blessed to have a huge mass of Canada Geese coming and going from the Hadley Cove area on the Connecticut River. At peak some 2,000 Canada Geese must have been present. The party of four Snow Geese turned out to be quite interesting with a family group (1 adult, 2 first-winter) of 3 Lesser Snow Geese (C.c. caerulescens) providing a striking and excellent comparison with a first-winter Greater Snow Goose (C.c. atlanticus).

Lesser Snow Goose (C.c. caerulescens). Adult.

Greater Snow Goose (C.c. atlanticus). First-winter.

The Greater White-fronted Goose, showing characteristics associated with the Greenland race flavirostris, was a fine pick up by Brian Kane who'd been sorting through the Canada Geese resting in a well hidden part of Hadley Cove where much of the viewing was obscured by trees.


Richard Klim said...

Hi James. Had expected to read stirring tales of extreme survival in the ice storms of recent days. Clearly life (and birding) go on in Amherst...

James P. Smith said...

Hey Richard,

Great to hear from you! It seems like much of the ice storm hit areas above a certain elevation. Thankfully Amherst/Hadley/Northampton were low enough not to have been seriously affected. So yes, the Christmas bird counts go on much as planned. I know that some folks are still without electricity, days after the event.
Any exciting trips coming up for you in 2009?

Richard Klim said...

Well, a spring/summer trip to Japan was to have been the 'big one' next year. But although it was always going to be expensive, the recent sinking pound has pushed it way out of our budget.

So today I called Vaughan - we would be interested in Svetlana's Kazakhstan tour - but so far he's only got one booking...

Anyway, you seem to be having some great winter birding, and good to see that you're still allowed an occasional 'pass out' to visit the coast!

I'm sure Christmas will be a lot of fun with Matan & Susannah this year.

James P. Smith said...

Ah Kazakhstan....I still dream of getting there someday. I was recently given a copy of 'The Birds of Kazakhstan' by Wassink and Oreel and it really makes me hungry to visit. The lack of interest in travel there is puzzling as I know Vaughan's trip did very well there for a couple of years. Weird.

Yes Susannah is very good and still allows me to get out once in a while. We'll just have to see how restrictive the recent winter weather 'event' will be. We've had about 8 inches of snow so far today.