Lake Elizabeth gooses 12/10/13

Noah Arthur

Yesterday, Dave Kiehl and I birded around the South Bay most of the day, but ended up at Lake Elizabeth in Fremont, where there was a huge flock of geese on a lawn on the northwest side of the lake. Most, of course, were 'GREATER' CANADA GEESE, but there were about 25 'ALEUTIAN' CACKLING GEESE in the flokck as well as one adult SNOW GOOSE. The most unusual bird was a goose that looked like a small edition of the Greater Canadas, closer to the Aleutians in size but with the long neck and bill of a Canada Goose. I got some photos, which (by shear luck, as I don't know any of the field marks for these guys and had no idea what I should try to capture in the photos) showed that it has no black stripe through the throat, indicating that it's a 'LESSER' CANADA GOOSE rather than a 'Taverner's' Cackling Goose. I'm not sure how common or uncommon this is around here.
On the south side of the lake was a small flock of loudly honking BARNYARD GEESE, so we ended the day with a very nice total of five species/subspecies of geese. 
Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA

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