(Click on the photo for a larger image).
Many observers were able to view the cooperative geese of Duke Island Park, Bridgewater Twp., today. Based on reports, the geese were present at the park for the entire day. Early in the morning the Barnacle Goose, 2 Greater White-fronted Geese, 4 Cackling Geese and 1,100 Canada Geese were stuffed into the small pond located inside the park, east of the parking lot on Park Drive.
The Canada Geese left the pond, group by group, with most moving over to the large grass lawn along the entrance to the park and Old York Road. The diminishing Canada Goose numbers made viewing the target geese easier. An occasional Cackling and Barnacle Goose side-by-side photo opportunity was available as illustrated below.
Eventually, the Barnacle Goose left to join the others on the field. Those birders in attendance were treated to the Barnacle’s distinctive flight call as it flew off. As mentioned yesterday, Sam Galick’s finding of the Barnacle Goose represents a first record for Somerset County, assuming the New Jersey Bird Record Committee accepts it.
Two Greater White-fronted Geese (GWFG) doubles the previous total from Duke Island Park earlier this season. Jeff Ellerbusch recognizes one of them as the GWFG present this season based on the belly markings. The second boldly marked GWFG is a newcomer.
Duke Island Park continues to be a magnet for rare geese. Since 2011, the following goose species have appeared: Ross’s Goose, Snow Goose, Canada Goose, Cackling Goose (annual, as well as the highest count recorded in New Jersey, 33, on Jan. 2, 2012), Greater White-fronted Goose (annual) and now, Barnacle Goose. The eBird Hotspot data for Duke Island Park is here.
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