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Monday, February 27, 2012

Feb/26th-27th Excitements

Today we had to collect our father from his school job at the Providence Country Day School, where he is a Latin teacher. Passing the baseball field a white browed face showed itself to me, the sight sent tremors of excitement through my body. Arriving in the school parking lot, I was extra quick to leap from the car and slowly sneak across the field (camera in hand) to where I had seen this wonder, surely to the amusement of the nearby lacrosse players. Finally I reached a point close enough to raise my camera with any hope of getting a reasonable shot. "Snap" went the shutter, and in a second my photo materialized on the camera screen. There in the center of the image, surrounded on all sides by Canada Geese was a Greater White-fronted Goose. There seemed to be a little tension between the two species, and I captured photos of each species chasing the other. A hundred photos like the first quickly followed, but all too soon I had to return to the rest of my waiting family.

The Greater White-fronted Goose.

My prized goose.

A rare long necked duck, aka. a goose, with its more common relatives.

Have you ever seen a goose sprint - look at the orange feet.

Earlier in the day at RISD Beach I had been happy to find three Killdeer to lighten a quite birdless walk. Killdeer are rare this early in the year!

One of the three Killdeers at RISD Beach

A Ring-billed Gull

On the 26th we went for a walk at Borderland State Park. For the first half of the walk we literally didn't see a thing, then activity struck. Scanning the first pond we came to, I found nine Common Goldeneyes, three American Black-Ducks, two Canada Geese and one Mute Swan, in that order. Then a large black form was seen landing in a tree in the woods, having flown up from the ground. The Turkey Vulture posed for about minute before taking off to circle low above the trees, hoping in vain that our dog was not at that moment devouring whatever it was that the vulture had previously been gulping down. Did you know that vultures have been known to eat until flight is practically impossible with the pounds they had gained from their meal.

A Turkey Vulture

Later that day a pair of Killdeer were the lucky focus of our attention. Seen feeding in the baseball field of Hockomock Area YMCA. Baseball fields seem to be really good for birding - maybe I should take up the bat.

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