Friday, January 15, 2021

Another Day, Another Life Bird


All the birding community has been atwitter (sorry) about a tundra bean goose (Anser serrirostris) which, though it properly belongs in Siberia, has been wandering about Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. It's an opportunity to add a bird to one's North American life list that will probably never recur in this lifetime.

The goose had earlier been seen on the Schuylkill River, off of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, so Marianne and I hopped in the car Wednesday... Only to discover that the road was closed, for repairs I think. We tried spotting it from the far side of the river but no luck.

This morning we tried again and achieved success by the time-honored method of looking for a group of birders with their binoculars pointed in the same direction. And achieved almost immediate success. Those are some of the birders up above, carefully examining every bird in a flock of Canada geese. Among them, center front, was the tundra bean goose.

If I had the enormous telephoto lenses that some of the birders had, I'd have a great picture to share with you. The tundra bean goose is a handsome bird, with striking features. But I haven't. So I'll just share the pic that Marianne took with her cell phone:



HANNAH'S DAD said...

I was going to follow on from this by mentioning that in Australia we currently have a racing pigeon that’s shown up from Alabama, presumably by hopping a ride on a ship. When I went to dig up a url, I found the story had grown complications, with allegations that the pigeon’s leg band was faked:

Discussions of pigeon leg-band faking are above my pay grade, so I’ll just leave this here.

Michael Swanwick said...

I read about that! The quarantine officials were going to put the pigeon down, so pigeon-fanciers quickly came up with a claim that the leg band could have been bought locally, so the bird was spared.

I doubt anyone was fooled, however.