[Tweeters] Canada X Greater White-fronted Goose

hrudkaj mary hrudkajm at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 6 18:22:44 PDT 2007

While killing time (murdering minutes?) before catching the 
Southworth/Fauntleroy ferry I wandered over to Yukon Harbor which is south 
of Manchester.  My goal was to look for shorebirds of which there were none.

But there was a flock of 15 Common Terns along with many Caspian Terns and 
assorted gulls.  Seeing the Caspian and Common terns together really made me 
see the size difference between the two.

Nearby were five or six Canada Geese preening and moving around the sea 
grasses mouldering on the shore.  Off to one side was what at first I took 
for granted as being another Canada goose.  But upon closer inspection I 
found it to be a cross between Canada and a Greater White-fronted goose.  It 
had the facial white ring at the base of the bill and the fluffy white butt 
of the greater white-fronted goose.  At the bend of the neck there was a 
dull white, almost gray chin strap so well displayed by the Canada geese 
nearby.  It had orangeish-pink feet and legs which were visible as the goose 
sauntered over to the other geese.  I've only ever seen this cross once 
before up by the Three Crabs about three years ago.  Guess that old gene 
pool needs stirring from time to time just to keep us birders on our toes.

Further out in Yukon Harbor there were red-necked grebes, common loons, 
western grebes, horned grebes and pigeon guillemots.  On the way out Hood 
Canal past Belfair St. Park a lone common loon has taken up its winter 
roost.  Time to keep an eye out for those incoming winter visitors.

Meanwhile, at home, a male mountain quail was calling about 0700 this 
morning.  Guess he looked at the wrong page in his calendar if he thinks now 
is the time to start calling for a mate.

Mary Hrudkaj

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