Monday, December 27, 2021

A wayward Brant


As my route last Sunday went right past the area that has hosted a Brant (Branta bernicla) for a few weeks now, I stopped in to see the locally famous bird. Kelly Miller found it on December 6. The wayward sea goose could not have picked a more urbanized site. The white background is the wall of a massive Amazon warehouse, and the little goose is traipsing through turf grass among overly mulched ornamental trees. It associates with the flocks of Canada Geese that inhabit the numerous retention ponds.

The area is nothing but gargantuan warehouses and scads of noisy, lumbering semi-trucks. A far cry from the wild northern tundra where this bird spends its summers. In winter, Brant typically is found along seacoasts. While small numbers move through the Ohio waters of Lake Erie, Brant is quite rare inland.

Here's what the area looks like, courtesy of Google Earth. I marked the exact spot that I took the above image, and the goose is normally seen in this area. Not exactly wilderness, but the Brant seems to be doing fine, and flies well. Why it chose such a site is hard to fathom. But many a landlubber birder has gotten their "life" - or at least "state" Brant because it did.

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