Re: Bean Goose; Piute; 3/6/23

Jonathan Feenstra

Note that Rosamond Lake is 100% off limits, as the Air Force considers it a run-way. (For those who already have access to Piute, that means you, too. Please don't try to drive out there.)

However, it may be possible (or not, due to flooding) to walk to the shoreline of Rosamond Lake from the north shore of San Miguel Lagoon. There's no real path, but with some stout boots and tough pants, it's doable.

Late this morning, there were a couple hundred white geese out there. Too far to identify, but a good spot for another grass-eater to take refuge.

Jon Feenstra

From: Kimball Garrett <cyanolyca818@...>
Sent: Monday, March 6, 2023 5:58 PM
To: balbhl@... <balbhl@...>
Cc: Chris Dean <chrisdeanbirder@...>; LACoBirds <>; Feenstra, Jonathan <feenstra@...>
Subject: Re: [LACoBirds] Bean Goose; Piute; 3/6/23
Regarding the species of bean-goose involved....  Limited existing data suggest that Tundra Bean-Goose is the more likely species to be found in California -- five accepted records, vs. none for Taiga (although at least one of the two records accepted only to the level of Tundra/Taiga was suspected to pertain to a Taiga). As for this particular individual, which I was able to see at a distance this afternoon, my impression was that it was rather short-necked and stout-billed, so more likely Tundra based on structure. However, this is a very complex and difficult ID issue (complicated by considerable variation in both "species") and only a battery of very good photos (from which bill structure, "grinning patch" shape, head-to-bill ratio, etc,. can be measured) will allow a reasonably confident assignment to species. 

As for refinding this bird, my guess is that it will return to Piute Ponds or, perhaps more likely, between there and the sw. shore of Rosamond Lake where most of the local geese spend much of their time. Those with permits to visit Piute would do well to check there and, road conditions permitting, to check the flooded areas out toward Rosamond Lake.  At some point most mornings, some or most of the geese fly west from Rosamond/Piute to the west, likely ending up at the Lancaster Sewage Ponds. Therefore, somebody with lots of time on their hands could also station themselves along Sierra Hwy at Ave C and watch for geese flying into the sewage pond area. And of course the sewage ponds would be worth checking if access for birders can be arranged, but that is by no means guaranteed.

Kimball Garrett
Juniper Hills, CA 

On Mon, Mar 6, 2023 at 4:06 PM Braxton Landsman via <> wrote:
Out of curiosity, does anyone have any ideas as to the exact species of this bird?

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