Daily Observations

Migrating Swans

I walked over to WhaleFest this afternoon and while I was there, I met a guy who was curious about a goose he had been seeing around New Thompson Harbor. After the talks were over, he took me out there to take a look at the bird.

Weather: This morning it was partly cloudy and a few small flakes of snow actually fell. By early afternoon it was mostly cloudy over town, but blue skies still prevailed over the mountains. This evening skies were clear again, but the forecast is for increasing clouds over the next day or so. Winds were calm around campus, but it looked like there might be some pretty good chop out on the water.

Birds: I saw a flock of almost 30 swans flying over town on my way to WhaleFest. I first heard them and couldn’t quite figure out what I was hearing. I thought there might be a goose or something in the harbor (I was walking along Crescent Harbor at the time). I finally looked up and saw them.

As best I can tell, the goose at New Thompson Harbor is a juvenile Greater White-fronted Goose. It does not have the white at the base, but one of the bird books makes it sound like that does not always develop until the bird’s first spring. The pictures I took didn’t turn out too good, so I’ll probably try to get down there again in the next day or so.

I talked to someone today that told me that when he was up by Rosenburg Lake in the early 80s, there were lots of Ptarmigan there, but he has not seen so many in the times he has visited since then. I’m still trying to figure out the Baranof Island ptarmigan and grouse mystery. Maybe that deserves its own post at some point.

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