Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Let It Snow (Geese)

We've all been out on a bird watching trip and noticed that someone has "the hot hand." They are spotting all the birds, finding the unusual species, nailing the tough IDs--they are ON.

My buddy Steve McCarthy has had the hot birding hand lately. He's not only a local real estate baron, AND the Royal Meteorologist for The Whipple Bird Club, he's also the drummer for The Swinging Orangutangs, and a really good birder. For the second time this week, Steve called my cell phone to report a neat bird sighting. This time is was a trio of snow geese mixed in with a huge flock of Canadas along the Ohio River levee.

When Steve calls, I listen. So after getting his message, I called BWD's Managing Editor (and budding birder) Debbie Griffith.

"DG! Get your coat and be out in front of the office in one minute! Bring your binocs! We've got snow geese on the Ohio!"

After initially spazzing that they might be Ross' geese, I called Steve again and moments later he arrived with his sweet Swarovski scope. This gave us the look we needed to confirm that these were not the smaller-billed Ross' geese, they were dark-smiled snow geese (something I could not discern with 8x binocs from a distance.)

Amy, sorry about the flat tire, but at least you got snow goose for your life list!

It was a great way to start an otherwise unremarkable Wednesday.

Can't wait to get Steve's next call.


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