Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Northern Shrike at Ojibway & Ridgetown Geese Diversity V2

Ross's Geese
Happy 12/12/12! Due to an exam I wrote this morning, I took a personal day from work and was lucky enough to enjoy a gorgeous, sunny day today. I figured I would try my luck at Ridgetown Lagoons and wow... three lifers today! Upon arrival to the lagoon, I saw a friendly birder with a scope and he pointed out some of the highlights. Ross's Goose and Great White-fronted Goose made for two lifers in the span of 10 or so minutes. Ken Burrell arrived on the scene a few minutes later and pointed out a few Cackling Geese amongst the Canada Geese (Lifer 311, 312 & 313).

Greater White-fronted was a really nice surprise!
Ridgetown Lagoons is where I saw Snow Geese back in March of this year.

Do you see the Cackling Goose in comparison to Canada Geese?
I think the middle goose is a Cackling Goose. Thanks to Ken Burrell for pointing them out to me. 

On the way home, I drove by Ojibway Park and found this Northern Shrike sitting on a telephone wire! This was reported earlier this week, so hopefully it stays around. The last time I saw one was Nov 2010! Read more about this awesome bird here:

Northern Shrike - Lanius excubitor ... Literally means Butcher Watchman!

Cackling Geese were only 'recognized' in 2004 ... Prior to that, they were thought of as a sub-species of Canada Geese. Genetic differences were big enough to warrant a new species! Pretty cool!

Oddly enough, at the time I posted this posting, David Sibley's blog had an entry on indentifying Cackling Geese. Check it out here: .

Alternative titles for this blog posting could have been:

"What's Good for the Goose is Good For My Life List"
"I'm Grinnin' Like a Snow Goose - Three Lifers at Ridgetown"
"Duck... Duck... Ross's Goose, White Fronted Goose, Cackling Goose"

The birding gods smiled upon me today.

Goose Birding,

Lifer Summary:
311 - Ross's Goose,
312 - Great White-fronted Goose
313 - Cackling Geese


  1. Wow! What a great birding day!
    I better pop on over to Ojibway tomorrow to see if the Shrike is still there. That would be a lifer for me.
    Are the Ridgetown Lagoons accessible for everyone?

    1. Karen,
      Ridgetown Lagoons are quite accessible. Good luck with the Shrike!

  2. Congrats, Dwayne! I had to go all the way to Washington State for my Cacklers. I would love to see one in Ontario. I check every single group of Canadas I pass. One day it will pay off. ;)

  3. Thanks, Dwayne! I will try and try again. :)

  4. Nice to see some activity on this blog again! :) Like I can talk. Hope your exams are going well, or are you done?

    1. Brian, thanks for noticing my two-week hiatus :-p ... I only take one night-course at time generally, and I wrote the exam on Wednesday. I think I did really well!



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