This is the year for Cackling Geese in New England. These small geese mainly breed in AK and arctic areas and winter in a few places in the west, the lower central part of the country and TX. They are very uncommon in New England. On Sunday we went to see a group of seven that have been hanging out together, in with a large number of Canada Geese, in farm fields in Ipswich, MA. See the three smaller birds above, much smaller than the Canada Geese.
It seems that one cackling Goose was seen first, then on Fri. 11/6 six more joined it. Seems they all spend the night at Stage Island pool on Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island, MA, then fly out early to go feed in the fields in Ipswich.
We saw them quite distant in the fields but were fairly easy to pick out because of their small size next to the larger Canada Geese. They were mostly feeding with their heads down, making digiscoping difficult. They were too far for my Canon SLR digital camera and 500 mm lens.
There really were seven, here seen together. They stayed close, but not always right next to one another. There are four subspecies of Cackling Geese and some of this is still being worked out, see my blog post here. If you find more Cackling Geese outside their normal range, let us know, and send photos, if you have them. They're really interesting little geese and fun to see.