Forsythe....in the 70's and guess what I saw...Above water Tepees...Thousands of them it would seem. Along the first leg of wildlife drive and prior to the tower I was asconced with this site. At first since it was mid-tide, I thought they were just reeds of grass poking up in the water. But after I grabbed my bins, ....that was what I saw. It was like someone had taken a thousand ducks and turned them upside down in unison and there were tepees everywhere. I really had to look to find a Pintail that was actually upright out of the water. Fascinating site.
Now....along with these were Green Winged, Black Ducks, Mallards but also Canada Goose. Since I was escaping the dearth of my computer for the day, I was in no hurry to make it home. So I got out of the car and attempted to scan for Cackling Goose.... I was totally aware that Canada Goose have a few sub-species such as the Cackling brand and the Aleutian for I have seen those back west. I didn't quite pick up on any during this fine day though.
But pouring over my Sibley in the car, I was quite surprised to find out that there are additional sub-species of this fine goose. "Lesser", "Richardson's" and "Duskey" to name the other three I had no idea existed. In hindsight I am sure I have seen the Richardson's since they hail from the plain states, and most likely the Lesser since they too intermingle in those same states. But, since I have never actually compared the Common Canada Goose to the Richardson's or Lesser in my many visits to the states of the Plains, I can't count em..... And I am also pretty sure I have laid eyes on the Duskey sub-species as they appear to like the tip of Washington State which has been my residence in the past. Goes to show you...purchase a Sibley and you shall learn!
So even when the bird pickings might seem a bit on the dry side, hey...now I have Canada Goose sub-species to scan for next time I am back west. Those other 'brands' don't appear to be all that common on the east coast and even if they are here, good luck in distinguishing them!
To tag on to the Goose story.....the Canada Goose appear to prefer the waters prior to the Tower on the first leg of the drive or, after the dogleg as you make you way on the return side. In contrast, Brant like it more on the loop between the first leg and into the middle stretch. I wonder why? Why are the various geese not intermingling?
According to Cornell Labs, Brant prefers the coastal waters while Canada Goose prefer fresh water. So while the water near the tower is brackish, perhaps not enough for Brant, and more Brackish where the Brant prefer to toddle around in. Must be it......
The more you go out and see, and observe, the more questions you come up with. Google and you shall find answers to your questions. The Cornell Lab is an excellent source for images as well as song, and habitat information.