Greater White-fronted Goose and 14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls–Lehigh County, PA

Alex Lamoreaux|

On my way to the Allen’s Hummingbird in Bucks County this morning, I briefly stopped at Dorney Pond (eBird list) in Lehigh County to look for the reported Greater White-fronted Goose. The bird wasn’t there, unfortunately. This was the 3rd time I had visited Dorney Pond over the past 2 years in order to see a GWFG and didn’t get it. It seemed like most of the Canada Geese that had roosted at the pond had left for the day, so we thought about stopping back later after seeing the Allen’s. As we were leaving, a medium-sized gull flew over and I snapped a picture and largely ignored it. When I looked at my photos in the car, I was confused about what exactly it was. I had thought it was a Herring Gull in the field, but something looked goofy.

After successfully seeing the Allen’s Hummingbird, we drove back up to Dorney Pond to try for the goose again. As soon as we pulled up, we could see the pond was loaded with at least 400 Canada Geese – we knew the Greater White-fronted must be mixed in (eBird list). Due to the location of the sun, it was difficult to scan through the geese from where we parked, so we starting to walk down to the other end of the pond. That is when I spotted an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull floating on the lake, among the geese. Then I spotted another one, and another one – until we realized there were 11 adult and 3 immature Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the pond! Holy cow! The gulls flew up and circled over the pond, mixed with a few Herring and Ring-billed. Then most of the gulls flew off, except for one adult which perched on a floating buoy in the pond and once even flew up to mob a passing adult Bald Eagle!

After the gull excitement, we went back to scanning through the geese. A few minutes later I spotted the Greater White-fronted Goose with its head tucked up and sleeping, on the opposite side of the pond! Success! My 4th visit to Dorney Pond finally paid off, plus there were 14 Lesser Black-backs! Below are some photos and a video that I took.

Greater White-fronted Goose – adult at Dorney Pond, Lehigh County, PA. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

One of 14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Dorney Pond, Lehigh County, PA. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

One of 14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Dorney Pond, Lehigh County, PA. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

About the Author

Alex Lamoreaux


Alex Lamoreaux has been an avid birder and naturalist since he was a youngster, growing up exploring the farmland and Appalachian ridges near Hershey, Pennsylvania. He attended Penn State University, studying wildlife biology. Alex has traveled extensively throughout North America, Central America, and South Africa and is a freelance nature tour guide, field biologist, and wildlife photographer. Alex has worked on wildlife research projects ranging from Whimbrel migration along the coast of Virginia to Yellow-billed Cuckoo nesting in the desert southwest. He has been the migration counter at the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory for the past two fall seasons, documenting the massive visible migration of raptors and songbirds along Lake Superior. Alex loves to share his knowledge of nature, and strives to bring the birding community together to share in the fun that studying birds and wildlife has to offer. He has helped to organize and coordinate birding events in his home state of Pennsylvania and beyond. Contact Info Alex Lamoreaux aslamoreaux@gmail.com (717) 943-7086