Monday, 30 September 2013

Our winter flock has arrived on cue

A visit to the roost site at Fannyside Muir last night confirmed my thoughts that the birds would take advantage of the easterlies sweeping the North Sea. I was not disappointed.
I arrived around 7pm in the gloaming and found the birds already on the roost area. There were some small flocks of Pinks also in the area adding to the atmosphere. A group of about 40 bean geese seemed to have overshot the site and came back over West Fannyside Loch from the direction of Palacerigg Country Park before joining up on the pools.
It was not possible to estimate the numbers but there was plenty of chattering going on amongst the geese.

I got out this morning before my friend Brian appeared and found c160 birds at Luckenburn. Brian arrived at 10am and after a coffee in the Slamannan Cafe we set out to spend an hour or so looking at what had come in the previous day.

Most birds could not be seen as they were sitting out of site behind the woodland edge of the field I had seen them in earlier. Later they began to appear in our vision and we managed a count of c140 with several collared birds in view. We recorded Tag03 (Green leg ring) and a pair (3X and 6Y). Two other collared birds were present but we were unable to make them out. Several family parties could be identified.

I believe someone this afternoon had a count of 154 which would seem to be about what was probably there this morning.

Friday, 27 September 2013

A false alarm on 24/25th Sep

Tag07 moved south to Denmark and after a fly around several localities has gone back north to the Glomma River site NE of Oslo.
Were others with him on this journey?
Checked out the Slamannan area on the 26th but no bean geese to be seen.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Out birds are on the move again

Latest news from our bird tag 07 indicates it has flown south from Norway and landed in the sea off northern Denmark where the flock visit on their spring migration.

I am sure it will be with others and now awaiting a suitable weather forecast to cross the north sea to Slamannan.

They will soon be back

Sunday, 15 September 2013

More news from Norway

The Oslo Birder Simon has been out once again looking for the Scottish/Swedish Taiga Bean Goose flock. Alarming to hear his story of being confronted by a local farmer who was not pleased to see him because he was looking for geese.
Strikingly similar to Scotland where large goose flocks are not welcomed by the farmers who are losing grazing to them.
Not good to hear that they (farmers) have applied to shoot them as our bean goose flock may well get caught up in this situation.
However the local bird groups have objected and as the area is part of a nature reserve it may mean that shooting will not be allowed.
Another nice picture of Tag07 in flight with a few other geese. Thanks Simon.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

News from Norway

Simon in Norway has been out again exploring the forests looking for the bean goose flock. His exploits in his blogspot are worth reading as it all adds to our understanding of the habitats that these geese are comfortable in.
Their behaviour too is so similar to what we experience here in Scotland during the winter months.

The fields that they use on their arrival have just been cut again for silage but hopefully they will green up in time for their arrival here in approx two weeks time. One field has been reseeded but the grass is growing well in the present weather conditions.

We now a wait their next move, is it south east to the Norwgian coast or south to Denmark?

Friday, 6 September 2013

News from Simon in Oslo about the Scottish (Swedish) Taiga Bean Geese

Just checked out Simon's website ( and see that he has been busy hunting down our flock of bean geese.

He has managed to get a count of 144 birds with 7 of our birds fitted with collars in 2011.
3X male and his mate 6Y,
6X male and his mate 6Z
4Y Male (should have his mate 4Z nearby)
7P Male (should have his mate 4T nearby)
6S Male (mate unringed)

He has also identified GPS tags birds and one with a blue leg ring which was a Juv last year and the number on the collar was 16 (but fitted upside down)

The habit being used on the autumn migration is different from the spring one as Simon explains on his blog about the Glomma river not having sandbanks at this time of year. Therefore the birds have a different staging area to the north.

All fascinating stuff and thanks as Simon says to modern technology.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Further news on Tag07

News has come through that this bird and possibly some others have moved south out of Sweden and are near the Glomma River NE of Oslo where the stop over on the spring migration. At this stage it looks like they are returning to Scotland on the same flight lines.

We are hoping for some information on the flock size from our contact in Norway.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Latest news from Sweden Tag 07

Larry sent a text at the weekend to say that our bird Tag07 has started his migration south but still within Sweden.

It will be interesting to watch the weather this month to see if colder weather in Scandanavia makes the birds commence their autumn movement.

It will be of great interest to see if they use their stopover in Jutland on the way south.