[Tweeters] Re: Pierce Co birding, 11/11/08 (Cackling Geese)

Charlie Wright c.wright7 at comcast.net
Wed Nov 12 16:16:34 PST 2008

Hello All,
Matt asked a good question about Cackling Geese. My impression is that the
northern Puget Trough is seeing a huge increase in numbers of wintering
Cackling Geese where they normally were found only in migration or in small
numbers. I've seen the flocks at Nisqually NWR and the Kent Valley increase
steadily over the last 10 years. Oddly, their increase has been much slower
so far in Pierce County, and not for lack of habitat. This is showing signs
of change. For example, today I found a flock of about 750 Cackling Geese on
Van Ogle's Ford Road (94th Street) between Alderton and Sumner. No telling
if or how many of these will winter, but last year at least 50-100 wintered
in the Puyallup Valley. Notably, over 2/3rds of the birds today were
Taverner's Geese, which account for many/most of the wintering birds in King
and Thurston Counties.

In other news, I've been able to see Tom Mansfield's pair of Eurasian
Collared-Doves almost daily on drive-bys since he first reported them.
They're almost always sitting on the telephone pole above the intersection
he mentioned. Also, today there were 3 Trumpeter Swans with the Cackling
Geese in the fields on Van Ogle's Ford Road. This is the same spot where up
to 75 Trumpeters spent last winter.

Charlie Wright
Bonney Lake, Washington

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