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Subject:Geese and others in the Twin Cities
From:Matt Dufort <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Matt Dufort <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 11 Mar 2012 14:09:12 -0500

Shooting off a quick email, as I want to be out in my backyard watching 
for migrants.

I spent the morning at Old Cedar Ave.  Thousands of geese flying over, 
with a large portion of them being Greater White-fronted.  Haven't added 
up my numbers, but somewhere between 1500-2000 white-fronts over an hour 
or so.  Smaller numbers of Canadas, between 500 and 1000.  Also around 
100 Snow Geese mixed in, and a few Cackling Geese.

Others reported flyover Sandhill Cranes and American White Pelicans, and 
a Goshawk at the Bass Ponds.

There was good duck diversity on Long Meadow Lake, around 12 species, 
including lots of pintail.  The overhead flocks of Mallards also had a 
lot of pintail mixed in (probably 80+ over the course of an hour).

Other migrants included a few flyover Horned Larks, a longspur or two, 
flocks of blackbirds, and plenty of Killdeer.

This afternoon, from my backyard in south Minneapolis, I spotted a big 
goose flock flying over.  It turned out to have all 5 regular species in 
it: ~300 Greater White-fronted, 40 Canada, 35 Snow, 5 Cackling, and 1 
Ross'.  Some Mallards and Pintail moving with them as well.  Very 
exciting additions to my yard list.

Many people I've talked to have pointed out that the numbers of several 
species of geese, especially Greater White-fronteds, in southeastern 
Minnesota this year are nearly unprecedented.  So I encourage you to get 
out there and see them!

Good birding,
Matt Dufort

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