Today was supposed to be on the lousy side. I planned to be a bit lazy and then go on a quick check of the res and maybe some other ponds and the School St. fields if it wasn’t too bad. Instead it was bright and sunny, so I headed out early. A full loop of the Arlington Res was pretty quiet. One pintail, one Blue-winged Teal, and a snipe were about it on the water and nothing interesting among the sparrows at Busa.
Moving on to Sandy Beach, I had a couple Blackpolls but none of the other warblers that had been around (should have gone last week). A quick scan from the boat club had nothing, so I headed out to Acton. Construction made for a slow ride and there were no birds visible in the field. More construction on the way back and nothing but cormorants on Flint’s Pond.
From here, I decided a quick check of the north end of the Cambridge Res would be a good idea. I drove up and could see Bob getting into his car. I somewhat jogged down but he was long gone. A quick scan showed a few small ducks and some interesting lumps (which turned out to be lumps). That was enough to double back for the scope.
As I got the scope out, I could hear a good number of geese coming in. Once I was back at the opening, I gave them a quick count, saw nothing of interest among them, and went back to the ducks. Two wigeon were close (and a Greater Yellowlegs had wandered out) and there were teal further out. After some staring, I decided two were Blue-winged and the rest Green-winged. There had been a couple in fairly close too, so I panned back to confirm my count. The geese were swimming through and I noticed one looked very short-necked. Checking more carefully, it was also shorter-billed and smaller overall.
Feeling pretty good for Cackling, I attempted a couple photos (light is not good in the middle of the day here), then gave Bob a call, figuring he’d still be nearby. While waiting for him, the goose swam across and climbed out onto the far shore. The size difference was quite obvious as it crossed.
Bob arrived to confirm pretty quickly and Marj was a minute or two behind. Although distant, views actually were a bit better. As they fed, we got good comparisons at all angles. It was interesting how some views made it very obvious and others made it hard to pick out.