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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Peace Valley Strikes Again...

Yesterday driving home from work I saw flocks of Canada Goose returning to Peace Valley for the evening and thought, one day we're going to have a Barnacle Goose appear in the flock here. Just a thought. And I kept on driving.

This morning when I got to work, I found that last night I had narrowly missed an email saying that two days earlier there actually was a Barnacle Goose in that flock. Ouch! After feeling impressed to look at the robin flocks last month--only to find out later that a Redwing was in that flock at Peace Valley--this month I had another impression that could have led me to a good bird at Peace Valley. While I'm encouraged that I'm in tune enough with the call of the wild to get these impressions, I've got to learn to start following up on them more!

So, today or tomorrow I need to go on a wild goose chase. Or semi-wild goose chase. Barnacle Goose is a European species. Sometimes they are kept in captivity in the U.S. and some people think that the birds seen in the Eastern U.S. are merely escaped birds rather than true wild vagrants from Europe. While that may be the case, it is curious that almost all the Barnacle Goose sightings in the U.S. are in the East, with SE Pennsylvania hosting sightings almost every year. If the birds were merely just escapees, it seems like they should show up in a more random manner across the country--like Egyptian Goose.

Anyway, learning to follow the call of the wild is a lifelong challenge. The legendary Pine Woods tracker Tom Brown claims to be able to sense were animals of any given species are by tuning into the universe somehow. I'm not sure how far you can take this, but I do find that you can get into a groove where you are more in tune with what is out there. The trick is to learn to follow those impressions to get to the birds!

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