The iconic Bob Dylan was tapping into one of my dreams when he sang “The Anser, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind”.
Apologies to those of you who might not have “gotten” my [poor?] attempt at humour there, but I do dream about geese more often than I like to admit. And maybe, just maybe, I could smell a few in the wind this morning.
A quick look at some surface pressure maps for today show that a big low pressure system is sitting in the middle of the north Atlantic right now, and the resulting winds are lined up nicely between Iceland and Newfoundland. These are the kind of winds that birders here on “the rock” dream about in spring … the kind of winds that bring European rarities to this side of the ocean. Granted, it is a tad on the early side and I might be more excited if I saw these same maps in mid-late April when Icelandic migration is at its peak — but a guy can dream, can’t he?
For a more detailed discussion of Icelandic/European vagrants that have been recorded here in spring, check out this earlier post.
A number of species begin to arrive in Iceland in March, including Whooper Swan, Common Shellduck, Eurasian Oystercatcher, European Golden Plover, and (yes!!) Graylag Goose. It’s time to turn our attention east once again, and keep our eyes peeled for wayward visitors along our shores. I could do with one of those dreams coming true right about now.
In related news, these wind patterns continued for two weeks, and two Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons; Greenland race) showed up in Twillingate, Notre Dame Bay on April 2. Unfortunately, I narrowly missed an opportunity to go see them!