Thursday, February 21, 2013

Barnacle Goose, January 22

After eating a quick lunch on the run, I headed to Jersey City to Lincoln Park where a Barnacle Goose has been recently reported.  At first I could not find the west side near the river until I realized that the park road crossed a bridge over an intervening road to get to the wet side.  I checked out all the geese in the marshy area and on the water.  No luck.  There was a relatively large flock of Canada Geese inside a chain link fence feeding on the athletic field.  I scanned this flock but could not find the Barnacle Goose.  Perhaps it left the area.  Then I entered the dog walk area so that I could scan the geese from a different direction.  I noticed a smaller very gray-backed goose at the far edge of the flock.  I walked back out of the dog walk area and walked to the chain link fence that is close to a circle at the end of the park road.  There was the Barnacle Goose! 

All of the geese were bunched together for protection from the wind and cold and laying down on the ground, stretching out their neck to feed on the grass.  When I first looked from this spot, the Barnacle Goose may have been obscured by the larger Canada Geese.  The light was terrible, because I was looking slightly southwest in the late afternoon into the glaring sun. I decided to try for some photographs anyway.  It was not likely that I would be back this way soon.  I had to do modifications in Adobe Photoshop to correct the bad lighting in these photos.  The photos were taken with a 400 mm lens carefully through the holes between the strands of the chain link fence--not impossible but it can be done!

I also found a Double-crested Cormorant.  My total is now 91.

I returned the way I came via, NJ Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. It cost me about $13.50 in tolls.  However, the roads are in good shape, probably due to the tolls, I made good time and I got the bird!  My total is now 92.  I made reservations yesterday at the Howard Johnson Hotel for tonight, because I was planning to go to Barnegat Light and Jetty tomorrow.  The Jersey birder I talked to about motels recommended that I stay relatively close to Tom's River given the damage south and east due to hurricane Sandy.  There were emergency workers in the HJ Hotel at breakfast every morning.  Tomorrow I head for Barnegat Light and Jetty to look for sea ducks and shorebirds.

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