Hi All, 
This afternoon I went to Allan H Treman State Marine Park, as I often do. 
Viewing conditions were very good, with calm cold air. I had been scanning the 
lake from the NW corner of the field and gravel paths, and then walked S on the 
path along the edge of that field. Small flocks of Canada Geese were flying SE 
overhead, and I checked them all in case there was a stray Snow Goose among 
them. (I had seen a flock of Snow Geese recently along Hanshaw Rd, but that was 
from my car, and I wanted Snow Goose on my fossil-fuel-free list for the year.) 
At 4:59pm in one small flock there was a white goose with black primaries - 
success! - but it looked small. Most of the flocks headed S toward Cayuga Inlet 
near Dragonboat Cove and the mouth of Cascadilla Creek, but this flock dropped 
sooner, behind the woods N of the marina. I hustled across the AHTremanSMP to 
my favorite place to scope the SE part of the lake, on the paved path opposite 
the White Lighthouse Jetty. I found the small white goose among the Canadas, 
but they were so close to the Swan Pond that they were behind the shrubs & 
saplings at the S end of the Jetty. The light was fading and the scope view was 
frustrating. I climbed the weedy mound at the base of a giant Cottonwood tree 
to get above some of the obstruction. The white goose was dabbing at the 
surface of the water like a huge, very slow phalarope. It had a bright white 
head, with no yellow stains like Snow Geese often have, and the bill looked 
small, but with no other white birds behind it for contrast it was hard to be 
sure of the exact bill size. Discerning a grin patch in that low light was out 
of the question. Still, it looked more like Ross’s than Snow, so I put out a 
text alert. As I hoped, Jay McGowan was at Stewart Park in minutes with a 
camera, and verified the ID (Whew!). Maybe it’ll still be around in the 
morning. Sometimes Ross’s Goose doesn’t mind being with Canada Geese, which 
makes them easy to pick out, while a single Snow Goose is more likely to track 
down a flock of other Snow Geese it there are any around. 

- - Dave Nutter

Cayugabirds-L List Info:

1) http://www.mail-archive.com/cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu/maillist.html
2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds
3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html

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