Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Invasion of the White Geese!

Well, there has been an unusually large number of white geese (ie Snow and Ross's) in the Chicago area over the past week or two. Both of those species are quite rare in the city itself, although they can be seen in some of the westernmost suburbs. Judging by the various reports, there must be dozens and dozens of Ross's Geese in the Chicago area this week...I wonder if other states are seeing the same thing? There is also a Greater White-fronted Goose, another local rarity, along the lakefront.

I almost froze my fingers to the bone on Saturday checking out the flocks of geese at Montrose. I saw both Snow and Ross's Geese, the first ones I have ever seen in Lincoln Park, and in fact I think they are the first Snow and Ross's Geese I have ever seen (in my ten years of birding) within the Chicago city limits. (Well, prior to this winter, at least, I did see a Ross's Goose at Wolf Lake a month or two ago.) So right now there are five Harlequin ducks, an Oldsquaw, at least two Ross's Geese, and about thirty Snow Geese hanging out within a couple of miles of downtown Chicago. If it is warmer this weekend, I think I'll walk (or even ride my bicycle) along the entire central lakefront to see what kind of numbers I can come up with. Could be fun.

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