Thursday, November 12, 2015

Gulls & Geese

We must be getting late into the autumn with a post title like that. Here are a few interesting birds from the Stratford/Bridgeport area from the past two days.

We'll start with an interesting white-cheeked goose at Short Beach in Stratford. A Cackling Goose had been seen there the day before, which I had in the back of my mind while going through the flock. I did see one small goose, but I do not know what to call it...Cackling Goose versus "Lesser" Canada Goose (ssp. parvipes) versus possible hybrid...




unidentified white-cheeked goose

If a Cackling Goose, this is not your standard hutchinsii (AKA Richardson's) form. That form classically looks stubby-billed, very square-headed, and often has a grayish sheen to the upperparts with contrasty feather edges, like this:

"Richardson's" Cackling Goose (with Canada Goose) in CT a few years ago

This bird in question doesn't really fit that mold. I'm not sure what to call it at the moment. It's possible that the bird doesn't fit neatly into one particular form and may have to go unidentified. From what I've read and heard, we have a lot to learn about the white-cheeked geese and their taxonomy/variation/interbreeding. Comments welcome.

Now to birds I can identify.

Two SNOW GEESE, adult and immature white morph, were among the Canada Geese at Seaside Park in Bridgeport today.

Snow Geese, adult and juvenile (with Canada Geese)
Also at Seaside today was my first ICELAND GULL of the season, a beautiful adult which is done no justice by this phone-scoped image.

adult "Kumlien's" Iceland Gull

And yesterday I took a quick 15 minute stop by, yes, Seaside Park as I was passing through the area. No repeat of the previous day's Franklin's Gull, but there was a nice juv LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL in the flock.

juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull

 - Nick

1 comment:

  1. As someone who gets to see a fair number of Cacklers, I would not call that small goose a Cackling, for the same reasons you mentioned. Seems fine for a small Canada (parvipes, or maybe just as likely, a runty bird of another subspecies).

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