Johnson County – March Big Walking (Biking) Day – Ross’s Geese

I did my third Big Monthly Walking Day today.  I wanted to go Saturday but with the weather I knew it wouldn’t be productive.  So I had to go on Sunday.  The problem was it was my wife’s birthday and my daughter went to work at two.  So I had to cut the morning walk to be home by 10:30 or so.  I then planned to go back out later in the afternoon.

I started the day in a different area, a little farther out in the country.  I figured I would get grassland and country birds.  Wrong choice. I only heard a group of Horned Larks and nothing else that I wouldn’t get in the city.  But I did find a Red-tailed Hawks nest only a half mile from home.  And an Eastern Meadowlark was at the edge of town.

The female flew out of the nest about 5 seconds before I took the image.  Franklin 03/30/13

The female flew out of the nest about 5 seconds before I took the image. Franklin 03/30/13

The morning turned out to be what I expected, no great surprises or misses.

I was hoping the Blue Jays had an owl cornered, but I guess they were just flying around the neighborhood.  Franklin 03/30/14

I was hoping the Blue Jays had an owl cornered, but I guess they were just flying around the neighborhood. Franklin 03/30/14

The only real surprise was a Swamp Sparrow where I didn’t expect one and there was a pair of Eurasian-collared Doves instead the usual one I have been seeing.

Brown Creeper inching up a tree.  Franklin 03/30/13

Brown Creeper inching up a tree. Franklin 03/30/13

I walked a little over 5 miles and ended up with 37 species.

For the afternoon I needed to go to the Lowes pond – 3.3 miles – a little over an hours walk with no where to bird in between.  I decided to forgo the walk but keep it in the spirit of BIGBY, so I rode my bike which only took 20 minutes to cover the distance.  The pond had the usual birds with a changing Horned Grebe the best looking bird.

Took this photo Saturday when the Horned Grebe was closer.  Lowes Pond 03/29/13

Took this photo Saturday when the Horned Grebe was closer. Still not a very good photo.  Lowes Pond 03/29/13

And to think it was frozen only a little while ago?

Just a short time ago the pond was frozen...   Lowes/Walmart Pond - Franklin 03/30/14

Just a short time ago the pond was frozen…
Lowes/Walmart Pond – Franklin 03/30/14

Two guys ice fishing in the light snow.  Lowes/Walmart Pond 02/09/14

Lowes/Walmart Pond 02/09/14

I then rode out to the local high school to pick up the remaining grassland birds.  With that accomplished I was done for the day and started what I thought would be the half hour ride home.

Riding through the industrial area I went by a new building that has a retention pond that is filling up.  I saw some white birds and figured they had put out some fake swans to scare off the geese.  I then got closer and the white geese moved.  They were by some Canada Geese and heading over the edge but from the distance my first thought was Ross’s Geese!

My first thought was that someone had put out fake geese, then they started to move.  Two of the six geese going sown to the pond. Franklin 03/30/14

My first thought was that someone had put out fake geese, then they started to move. Two of the six geese going sown to the pond. Franklin 03/30/14

I then had to ride around the back of the building and and walk through some mud to get a better look.

ROGO Franklin 033014E

By their small size they sure looked like Ross’s.  A closer look showed the small bill with no discernible “grin patch”.  Looked good for Ross’s but since I have seen so few of them or even that many Snow Geese for that matter, and then usually at a distance, it still is a tough call.

ROGO Franklin 033014G

ROGO Franklin 033014F

ROGO Franklin 033014D

ROGO Franklin 033014C

The best picture of the day.

ROGO Franklin 033014A

I then headed home having walked over 5 miles, biked over 11, seeing 54 species on the day, and another county first for me.

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2 Responses to Johnson County – March Big Walking (Biking) Day – Ross’s Geese

  1. amy kearns says:

    Those Ross’s Geese sure are cute! Great pics.

    • BobC says:

      Thanks. I agree they are cute. Like when my daughter would see a lost puppy or kitten when she was younger. She always wanted to bring one home since they were so cute. That is what I thought about the Ross’s Geese. Except of course the Ross’s was already full grown, unlike the puppy or kitten.

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