Pink-footed Goose, Spokane Audobon Society Trip

Matthew Moskwik mpmoskwik at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 3 19:54:43 PST 2001


Inlanders,

Saturday the Spokane Audobon Society took a field trip (led by Warren Hall) to the Bank's Lake and the Sun Lakes Region of Central Washington.  We had excellent weather with temperatures probably in the low 60's and no wind.  We were able to find several good birds on this trip, including a possible Pink-footed Goose at Coulee City County Park.  Our trip list reached 67 species, however I will only list the trip highlights below.

4 Snow Geese swimming in a small bay at Coulee City County Park with the Pink-footed Goose.

1 Pink-footed Goose: Because of the extreme rare nature of this sighting nobody in the party was totally sure that we were indeed looking at a Pink-footed Goose, however the bird seemed to match the description in the National Geographic Field Guide.  The goose that we observed was associating closely with the group of Snow Geese that we also observed at the park.  At first we thought that it was a Greater White-fronted Goose, but on closer observation we realized that it couldn't be one for two reasons.  The goose was a lot smaller than a Greater White-fronted Goose.  It was smaller than the Snow Geese, but larger than a Mallard.  It had a pinkish bill with a dark tip (these features were noted by everyone on the trip, probably 15 observers).  The base of its bill may have also been dark, but this feature was difficult to observe in the light, so I cannot be sure.  We were unable to see the leg color of the goose, since it was in the water.  Therefore, it is possible that this goose was indeed a Pink-footed Goose, however that still doesn't mean that it is a wild bird.  Therefore, if anyone is in the area, they may want to check this bird out.

2 Surf Scoters at the south end of Blue Lake.

2 White-winged Scoters on Lake Lenore

1 Red-necked Phalarope at the south end of Soap Lake (a very late migrant)

We couldn't locate the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper that was seen at the south end of Soap Lake about 9 days ago.

Matthew Moskwik
mpmoskwik at hotmail.com
Cheney, WA
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