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January 7, 2017 – Pink Footed Goose

Pink-footed Goose Snow Goose

Pink-footed Goose the Big YearIf you saw the 2011 movie the Big Year, you probably remember the Jack Black’s character’s mission to find the Pink-footed Goose. He just misses the bird at High Island, Texas; then again in Boston; before finally getting him in December at a warm spring on a mountain top in Colorado. The Pink-footed Goose was a fun movie device but Texas and Colorado sightings were quite improbable.

This past week the Maine Birding community was all aflutter (pun intended) about the sighting of a couple Pink-footed Geese in Rockland. The Pink-footed Goose nests in Iceland and Greenland and winters in Britain. Seeing one (much less two) in Maine is very, very unusual.

Ingrid and I went to work on Thursday and Friday hoping the Pink-footed Geese would still be at the Rockland ballfields when our weekend finally arrived. After an hour drive on Saturday we were disappointed to see 30 Canada Geese . . . but no Pink-footers. Fortunately another birder jumped out of her Mini-Van and told us the PFG had moved a half mile down the street to the LONZA plant.

Five minutes late Ingrid and I were standing behind two Lonza dumpsters with a handful of fellow birders, snapping photos of two Pink-footed Geese, 35 Canada Honkers and a Snow Goose bonus. The Snow Goose as a lifer for me.

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