Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Yard Bird #133: Greater White-fronted Goose

I was prepared for this one. Reading reports in the last three days of Greater White-fronted Geese in Arizona by David Van der Pluym, Lanie Epstein, and Arlene Ripley, it became clear there was a sudden influx of this migrant. So last night I listened to recordings to refresh my memory of their high-pitched, yappy honking. Then I went to bed with the bedroom window wide open. Priming my subconscious was probably key to my waking up at 4:52 to the distinctive sound of a small group (who knows, 5 to 25 birds?) flying southeast right over our yard! I wasn't fast enough getting my recording equipment ready, and having leapt out of bed found it hard to get back to sleep.

I've been having issues with bats draining the hummingbird feeders, so these days I'm taking them down every evening, putting them back up before dawn each day. So after dozing for another half hour this morning, I put them up a little earlier, smiling at the sound of a small group of Coyotes yipping in the neighborhood a couple hundred yards east of here.

This is only the second new bird for the yard this year. Early this spring I heard an American Robin fly over as I was working at the computer. Yes, after 14 years in this urban Tucson yard, I still hadn't had American Robin. I've had Dickcissel, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Clay-colored Sparrow, Broad-winged Hawk, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, and even the first state record of Ruby-throated Hummingbird (well, it would be if I'd ever get around to submitting it to the bird records committee).

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