[CT Birds] [extralimital] Providence Graylag Goose

Alexander Lin-Moore alexander.lin-moore at yale.edu
Thu Dec 22 10:09:47 EST 2016

Sorry to clog up everyone's emails with more about the RI Graylag, but
since 1) it's quite nearby for potentially an extremely rare bird, and 2)
we're the only state with an accepted Graylag record, I think it's worth
discussing a little more.

I went and saw the goose yesterday afternoon and totally echo everything
that's been said so far. The bird has no obvious signs of being a
domestic-type Graylag: no bands, no potbelly, easily able to fly, and no
knobs/downward curve on the bill or white feathers surrounding the bill. It
was freely roaming around and interacting with the Canadas.

I'm not an expert on Canada Goose subspecies, but I'd take a guess that a
good portion of them were subspecies B. c. interior, which does nest in
Greenland. Additionally, the number of more "common" European geese on the
east coast this season is already an incredible 16 (3 for Barnacle Goose,
13 for Pink-footed), per eBird, suggesting a big movement of European geese
into N. America this year, possibly bringing even rarer geese along.
Although these are very indirect data, they do seem to support the arrival
of an even rarer European goose.

I got a couple pictures of the bird feeding on land and attached them in my
eBird report with more of my thoughts if anyone wants to have a look:

I wasn't here for the Wallingford Graylag, so I'm not in as good a position
to make statements about its similarity to confirmed records. At the moment
I'd recommend anyone with an interest or who has experience with the 2009
bird to go look at this one in Providence. In terms of finding it, the bird
seems to do a short circuit throughout the day, visiting the cove pond
(eBird hotspot) in the morning before moving across the road into the golf
course in the afternoon (where I saw it). Parking is available at the top
of the hill for the cove pond southbound, and at the roadside (not too many
spaces) next to the golf course northbound.

Good birding!

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