It was a sunny day in May, 2016... A walk around Reflections Lake was agreed upon. Reflections Lake is an interesting birding location, because a lot of times it is dreadfully boring, but then there are times it hands out great lifers like free candy! Because of its usually dreadfully boring reputation, I have stopped going there with high or even low expectations. I used to expect or dream of a long wanted Northern Harrier to fly in over the vast marshland below the observation tower. Every visit, I scanned the fields and trees with my bins for minutes on end, only to come up with nothing. Anyways, let's get onto the good stuff! I don't remember much of what we saw at the beginning, but here's a list of what we saw before 2 very special birds; A pair of TRUMPETER SWANS, many RUSTY BLACKBIRD males, MALLARDS, a couple Red-necked Grebes, Black-capped Chickadees, Robins, MYRTLE WARBLERS, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, a NORTHERN PINTAIL, BARROW'S GOLDENEYES, and a higher number of LESSER YELLOWLEGS than what I've seen. Dad and I walked along the edge of the lake, and through some birches I could see a little lagoon-pond flowing out of the lake, and the habitat looked very marshy. From there, I could see a small goose with a white ring around its neck. hum, maybe it's a Brant. Quickly, I caught up with Dad, and told him about the tiny goose. Momentarily, him and I found a little path that lead straight to a narrow embankment along the edge of the lagoon-pond. I got a little worried about not seeing it again, but I didn't see or hear it flying away. After searching through some SHOVELERS, Teal, and Mallards I caught direct sight of a brown and white bird's backside. This bird I confirmed was a goose, and it was small, so it the goose from a minute before. The only problem was the bird did not turn its head once, not ONCE. When eventually I lost all hope of him turning his head to the side to look at his ring, a duck swam right into my view, as its head slowly disappeared behind an embankment, but this time I got excellent views. I don't know if I'd cleamed my binos recently, but for some reason I saw everything so vividly. While I didn't see the birds bill very well, Everything else was in clear view. Its white forehead, chestnut on the rest of its head, black tertials, black tail end, and gray flanks and back, were so sharp and clear, I knew nearly instantaneously what it was. I pondered if it was a Redhead, a locally rare Mat-Su CO. bird, but I confirmed it in a few minutes afterward to be a surprise EURASIAN WIGEON!!! They are a rare but annual spring migrant in the county! I feel so lucky to have seen a crisp breeding plumaged bird! As for the goose; For the longest time, I was sure what I'd seen was a Brant, however, Brant was not put on the county list until 2017, when my great friend discovered 4 at goose bay (Cook Inlet. He had obtained poor but diagnostic photos. On my bird, I'd overlooked a fieldmark of even more significance than the "necklace". Instead of dark gray coloration diagnostic of Brant, my bird clearly had the silvery-brown coloration of a Canada or Cackling Goose. Now, in 2018, I realize what I was seeing all along, an ALEUTIAN CACKLING GOOSE!! The Cackling Goose is an uncommon spring and fall migrant, and the Aleut subsp I think has occurred in the county a few times. I remember the goose being absolutely tiny, and definitely had a necklace, so I'll call it an ALEUTIAN CACKLING GOOSE! Not a lifer like the Eurasian Wigeon, but the coolest subsp of Cackling Goose and an amazing find! That day in Reflections Lake and even birding history, has to be one of my best and most unforgettable Reflections Lake days! I'm Jared Conaway, and stay tuned for my next TIMELINE post! P.S. Note that the Timeline series takes place before I had a camera, so most will be photoless unless I post scenery pix on some from my Dad's camera.