Greater White-fronted Geese that had been reported in the Connecticut River Valley on the NH, VT border, and seen the day before by a friend of ours. These rare birds were a subspecies from Greenland. They sometimes show up in the Northeast, usually found among flocks of Canada Geese.
Our area of NH got snow overnight and looked like a winter wonderland in the morning. Our river and pond were still frozen, not a place to look for waterfowl yet.
The Connecticut River Valley is warmer than where we live in NH, and many of the extensive farm fields along it had less snow than our area. We loaded scopes, cameras, snacks and Phoebe, our Corgi, in the car and drove along the river. We stopped wherever we could, and searched for geese. We found a flock of about 500 Canada Geese along the NH border and checked each and every one of them, searching in vain for the Greater White-fronted Geese.
The Canadas flew around in irregular formations, with much honking. Darn, no luck.
We finally had to give up where we were searching, then went to another place, a dam in the Connecticut River in Vernon, VT, accessed from the VT side of the river, where the river was unfrozen. We saw over 1000 Canada Geese there and, again, looked at every one trying to find the Greater White-fronted Geese. There were many other waterfowl, including Common Mergansers, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Ducks, Mallards, Black Ducks, and 14 elegant Northern Pintail Ducks. What a treat it was to see all the ducks. We never found the Greater White-fronted Geese, though. That's how birding is sometimes, you win some, you loose some. It was a lovely day just the same.
Photos © Lillian Stokes, 2007