Water Birds and Wingspan

Fall is always an exciting season for bird-watching at Goose Pond. Waterfowl are the most abundant birds on the pond -- both in number of species and overall number of birds, though  you may also sight birds of prey and other water birds.

In the past month, avian visitors to Goose Pond have included a pair of bald eagles, a banded peregrine falcon, and a white-faced ibis. In mid-September we were pleased to spot a merlin in our yard and it was later seen on the causeway.

Click on the photo below to see more!

Northwest winds and cold weather are helping increase the waterfowl diversity. A count on October 27 found 4 snow geese, 2,000 Canada geese, 5 tundra swans, 2 gadwalls, 2 American black ducks, 1,500 plus mallards, 100 northern shovelers, 190 northern pintails, 130 green-winged teal, 20 canvasbacks, 35 ring-necked ducks, 2 lesser scaup, and 41 ruddy ducks.  Also present were 6 American coots and 8 sandhill cranes.

  Goose Pond royalty of the muskrat mounds, photo by Mark Martin

Goose Pond royalty of the muskrat mounds, photo by Mark Martin

The arrowhead vegetation covering the pond this summer has died back and the tubers will provide ideal feeding for tundra swans. The best time to view the tundra swans that can number in the hundreds is from late October until freeze up.

  The newly completed Wingspan pavilion overlooking Goose Pond. MAS Photo

The newly completed Wingspan pavilion overlooking Goose Pond. MAS Photo

We are very pleased to have the Wingspan viewing pavilion project completed which will provide visitors with a birds-eye view of Goose Pond. Thanks to John and Marlen Kaiser for providing matching funds, donors, and to architect Jim Gempler for the beautiful design, metal artist Don Schmidt for creating the pavilion, and Louie Meister of LMS Construction that provided the oak benches and did the earth work including the disabled access trail, parking area, and turn-around.

Scopes will be set up for an open house at Wingspan on Sunday, October 29 from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. We hope you visit Goose Pond to check out the birds and the new viewing pavilion.

Written by Mark Martin and Susan Foote-Martin, Goose Pond Sanctuary resident managers