This saturday was full of searching. In the morning I had junior staff, a science program of volunteers at Earthplace Nature center in Westport. Deterred by the lack of people here today it was not very busy, but still we had some things to do. After a small task of organizing the specimen room we went down to the pond to see how things were doing. The pond was frozen solid, and to test its thickness we used some old methods, which resulted in some awkward positions. After some stick poking and rock throwing we figured it was 2 inches thick, much thicker than we had thought, as today was much warmer than the past week.
Then we set off to see if we could find a deer hunter who had been illegally hunting on the property. We searched for clues, which we found very discretely- a string from a gilly suit, baited deer scat, some bloody deer hairs, and off the property something that looked like a small tent. It was a long search but we managed to find evidence!
At Earthplace the only birds were the resident flock of 8 Black Vultures.
Soon my dad picked me up and we went to go twitch the Barnacle Goose at Longshore Country Club, which is right up the road from Earthplace. I was hopeful, as Barnacle Goose was my nemesis bird. But again, nothing. All was not lost, though! There were Snow Geese, and I was thrilled to find my first Cackling Goose amongst a large flock of canadas. It was much smaller, with a stubbier bill and dark breast. Overall, they are much different than a canada.
So a I learned a lesson today. Searching for one rare bird may turn up another!