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December 6, 2017 – The Cackling Goose that Wasn’t There

For the last few days, our e-bird Alerts have been going off regularly . . . a Cackling Goose was being see in a flock of Canada geese in Cumberland, Maine.  Neither of us has ever seen one and our year list is sitting at 274. Since 275 is a nice round number . . . I headed south for a what I hoped would be a easy pickup.

The geese were right where they were reported to be, surrounded by three other birders (complete with scopes).  The only problem, the Cackling Goose was not cooperating . . . and was no where to be found.

I did a little homework before I ventured out: a Cackling looks like a small Canada with a rounder head and shorter bill . . . so from a distance, identifying one is challenging.

After 45 minutes of scanning the Geese  . . . I admitted defeat and headed home with my tail between my legs.

On the drive home, I notices an unusual brown bird in a thicket.  Stopped and got some great photos of a White-throated Sparrow and a Northern Cardinal . . . so all wan’t lost.