Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Update on flock size this winter

A visit to the plateau yesterday morning and evening confirmed that we have c230 birds present. There may be a few more out there so keep counting if you are looking at the flock.

We had a good view of a pair with 5 goslings yesterday morning at Luckenburn.

Below a picture taken of Charlie Howe with a newly ringed bean goose (06)

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Roost visit information

A visit to see the bean geese coming into roost was successful with c200 birds arriving on Fannyside Muir at 1900hrs.

It was a cold night with temperature showing at 8 deg centigrade. A strong north westerly wind was blowing approx. force 4/5 with intermittent light showers of rain.

Prior to the roost 100 bean geese were recorded at Luckenburn Farm.

Monday, 21 October 2013

News from the Slamannan Plateau

One of our birds may have lost its collar as it is sending out static position information for the past two days. A hunt yesterday produced no real clue other than it would appear the collar has detached itself from the birds neck. I am now looking for an adult male with a white ring on it's right leg.

Saw a flock of 74 at Luckenburn yesterday with another smaller group of 53 today. With the rest of the flock elsewhere it has not been possible to get a full update on the size of the flock this winter.

Got a pleasant surprise today on the plateau when I heard a Green Woodpecker calling. Later it flew off from nearby in the direction of a distant wood. Still no sign of flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing this autumn.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Another interesting day on the plateau

Arrived on the plateau at 0945 this morning and found a flock of c100 bean geese north of Slamannan. Retired to the Cafe in Slamannan for coffee to await Steve (Lilac films) arriving. 

Sat with the car window open and suddenly heard a helicopter flying over the area and immediately thought of the disturbance likelihood for the birds. 

Just as I thought, when Steve and I returned to the spot to film them only to discover that they had moved elsewhere. The hunt was now on to find some others so that the filming could take place.

A quick drive along to Luckenburn found a group of c40 birds which Steve was able to capture on film. We then moved to a quieter spot near East Fannyside Loch to do some interviews. The film should be ready for publication around the end of the year so something to look forward to. 

Tag07 arrived on the plateau around 1500hrs yesterday and had a rest before moving to one of the fields at Luckenburn to feed up after his journey from Yorkshire. He was probably one of a group of c40 birds in the same field this morning but poor light hindered good identification. It is quite possible that this separate group were all with tag 07 during the autumn migration. 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Tag 07 home after his wanderings around Yorkshire

News just in that Tag 07 was over Edinburgh at midday so should be back on the Slamannan Plateau this afternoon. What a bird. Cannot wait until I get out tomorrow to check up on him.

Had a good Bean Goose Action Group meeting this morning. Plenty of encouraging information from Judy Paul of the RSPB who is working with Greengairs and Slamannan Primary Schools on their bean goose projects.

More wild life filming due for tomorrow. The Forestry Commission are making a film of birds and animals in central Scotland that the public can see if they get out into the countryside. They have included Bean Geese as one of the interesting species that can be seen in the area.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Latest news on the whereabouts of Tag 07

This bird has at last started to work his way north out of Yorkshire but is presently west of Darlington nr Barnard Castle. We still don't know whether he is on his own or part of a larger group of birds.
Not managed out onto the plateau for a couple of days now so no cannot report any sightings to you.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Plenty bean geese to see today

A visit this morning to the plateau started off with nothing being seen but after a visit to Derek Hunter at Luckenburn to thank him for help and cooperation in allowing us to catch the birds on his farm again things changed for the better.
A drive along past Grangeneuk Farm gave me a sight of a flock of geese c50 towards the east. A short drive later I found c90 birds near Easter Jawcraig and later realised that a larger flock of c100 birds was feeding to the south of my position.
Some good collar identification was undertaken allowing me to work out pairs with juveniles in tow. The weather closed in soon after making further observation difficult.
I would reckon that our flock has increased to c200 birds. A call to Larry Griffin on the whereabouts of Tag07 was made to find out that at 2am this morning he was near Barnard Castle. Coming north gradually, what a bird.
I had help from a birder in Yorkshire yesterday who checked out the previous night roost north of Ilkley only to find that no geese were present on a remote reservoir. Great to get such help and cooperation from other like minded people.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Tag07 has made it across the North Sea back to the UK

This amazing bird made a 10 hour flight from Norway to land in Yorkshire. He is moving about around Harrogate/Ripon area so don't know what his plans are. Will he come north to Slamannan and when!

See maps below:

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Further news on Tag07 in Norway

News yesterday indicated that Tag 07 was approaching the SW coast of Norway. This would indicate that he may cross the north sea on Fri/Sat as winds will be favourable. See map below.

Visited the roost site last night to find a very complex situation. Groups of Pinkfeet and smaller numbers of Canada Geese all calling loudly made listening out for bean geese difficult. In the gloom of the evening I reckoned c50 bean geese landed on the small loch at Fannyside whilst the moorland pools were dominated by Pinkfeet and Canada Geese. Would not be surprised given the cold clear night if most of the bean geese stayed out in their feeding areas.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Another day of excitement

We set nets to catch the bean geese on Saturday and spent Sunday waiting. A long wait and at nightfall the birds had failed to enter the catching area. At 7.40pm we set another net so that our chances of catching were increased.
At 9.15am this morning I received a call from Carl Mitchell that a catch had taken place and help was needed to process the 14 birds that had been caught. I arrived on site 15 mins later to find all the sitting quietly ready to be fitted with collars/gsm units. I will add a few pictures to the blog when time permits.