I have had such a successful birding year already with yet another new species to add to my list: the Egyptian Goose. I was hiking at a newly discovered birding spot in town last week and met a group of ladies on their afternoon walk. They noticed my lens, stopped to talk, then pointed to the geese about 1/4 mile from where we stood. My legs couldn't get me over there fast enough. Luckily, I was able to get within a few feet without spooking them.
**This is a scheduled post. Tomorrow is my birthday, so Double D is taking me hiking at Clark Creek Nature Area in Woodville, MS, about 60 miles from our house. In addition to birding, the area has several nice waterfalls and uncommon trees. Hopefully I will return with some nice photos!**
Further reading about the Egyptian Goose (Abridged excerpts from Wikipedia):
The Egyptian Goose is thought to be closely related to shelducks and their relatives. Native to Africa south of the Sahara and Nile Valley. They were considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians, appearing in much of their art. Because of their popularity as an ornamental bird, escapes are common and small feral populations have become established in Western Europe. Escapees have also bred on occasion in other places, such as Florida and New Zealand. Both sexes are aggressively territorial towards their own species when breeding and frequently pursue intruders in the air, attacking them in aerial "dogfights". They nest in a large variety of situations, especially in holes in mature trees. The female builds the nest from reeds, leaves and grass, and both parents take turns incubating the eggs. Egyptian Geese usually pair for life. Both the male and female care for the offspring until they are old enough to care for themselves.