While Northern Lapwings have been making their presence known over the past month, another Code 4 species that’s also normally in Europe at this time of year has been showing up in the Northeast U.S. and eastern Canada as well. I’m talking about Pink-footed Goose, a species that was an extremely rare vagrant until the late 1990s. Since then sightings have become more frequent, and recent years often have yielded multiple sightings. [See this article from Birding for more information on the growing numbers of Greenland-breeding geese wintering in North America.]
The first one this year was found on Nov 5 at Cherryfield, ME by Joel Wilcox. (Cherryfield is about 50 miles ESE of Bangor.) When found, it was in a farm field north of Willey District Road just west of Wing Siding Road [map available here] with a flock of about 30 Canada Geese. It is still there as of Nov 21. It’s been seen in the same general area, though at times it’s been a little further to the east. In other news, Maine has been inundated with Pine Grosbeaks over the past several weeks.
The next Pink-footed Goose was found at Peace Valley Park, Bucks County, PA on Nov 17 by August Mirabella. It was east of Sailor’s Point. Directions to Sailor’s Point can be found in the second last paragraph of this page. This map may help. However, it was last seen the morning of Nov 18.
Our final Pink-footed Goose comes from Goulds (a.k.a. The Goulds), a suburb of St. John’s, NL. It was found by Lisa de Leon on Nov 19. It is the eighth record overall for Newfoundland but the first fall record. It took flight shortly after its initial discovery but was refound in the same location on Nov 20. A map of this spot is available here. The recommended viewing location is at the top of the hill at the end of Cox Lane (located just north of the blue marker on the map). Unlike many other Pink-footed Geese which hang out with other geese, this one has been foraging with crows and pigeons. I am unaware of any reports, either positive or negative, from Nov 21.
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