The Greater White-fronted Goose (GWFG) at Duke Island Park is nearing the end of its eighth week in the area. It was seen this afternoon in the pond with approximately 650 Canada Geese. The GWFG was originally found by Mike Newlon on November 27, 2011 and has been seen at Duke Island Park, Duke Farms, the Raritan River from both the Bridgewater and Hillsborough sides, and along Beekman Lane in Hillsborough. This implies all of these sightings are of the same individual. A second GWFG was seen occasionally in December at Schoolhouse Road in Franklin Township in the Sandhill Crane vicinity and another (?) on one occasion at North Branch Park in Bridgewater. How many GWFG have actually been in the area is anyone’s guess. In 2012, the Somerset County GWFG is added to the others observed by many at Assiscong Marsh in Hunterdon and Overpeck Park in Bergen and the single observations in Middlesex and Monmouth Counties.
Canada Geese are ridiculously abundant in the South Branch area of Branchburg and Hillsborough Townships at the current time. While traveling from Opie Road in Neshanic to Duke Island Park in Bridgewater there were 100s into the 1000s of Canada Geese seen in the South Branch of the Raritan in the area of River Road leading to the Studdiford Bridge. Along with this, another 2000+ Canada Geese were in the air near the convergence of the North and South Branches of the Raritan at Old York Road. The geese were drifting south. North Branch Park was not visited today and one can only wonder how many Geese would have been added to the total from there.