Real snow birds in Florida

I had heard there was a pair of snow geese out on the beach near downtown St Pete. Snow geese are rare in Florida although not unheard of. In early 2020 we had a pair hanging around the Feathersound neighborhood. Last March there was a pair spotted on the other side of the state (makes me wonder if it’s the same pair). Searching the web, there have been many sightings of them in Florida several times a year all the way back to 1996 so it’s not that rare. They really shouldn’t be here though. Their habitat is in the central part of the country and shouldn’t be this far east (they do go farther south though, migrating into Mexico during non-breeding season).

They spent the early morning that I was there cruising along the beach area near North Shore Park. They looked like they were eating the grass along the sea wall. They didn’t seem to mind the people walking around and even walked closely to the volleyball area.

Stepping up over the sidewalk.

Twice they walked down to the water and took a quick swim and then headed back out on the beach.

They picked up an ibis friend who walked with them for a while.

It wasn’t a good sign that they were here. Although they seemed fine when I was there, a couple of days later they were picked up by a rescue group since they were starting to act sick. They are being rehabilitated and hopefully will be released soon.

Snow in central Florida?

Oh wait, I left out the part about the snow being a goose. My first snow goose sighting happened in early January on a golf course near work. I read that this is only the 3rd recorded sighting of them in Pinellas county ever so they are pretty rare around here.  I had heard that they were there a few days before I could get over there. I put my camera in the car and left for work way before sunrise (a fairly common thing anyway) and stopped by the golf course before work. They had been sighted on a small pond right next to a side road and there they were. They were pretty far away across the pond but I was able to snap the above before heading to work. After work I stopped again and they were gone. They could have been some where else on the course but it was almost dark. I have recently read on Ebird that some were sighted at Myakka River State Park so I’m wondering if those are my geese.