Thursday, 30 October 2014

News update from Slamannan

What a day yesterday. Weather cold, clear, calm and even a bit of sun pm to warm us up.

We had a visit by Brian Minshull, Mike Thornton and Jessica Shaw from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) who were keen to see the flock and familiarise themselves with the area that the birds winter in. All of this was achieved and much more. Especially when Larry Griffin (WWT) arrived in the afternoon to look for two geese that had collars he could download information from.

We had 158 bean geese plus two Juvenile Pinkfeet in one flock with others elsewhere. As the day progressed towards dusk we split into two groups to record roosting behaviour. At Fannyside we saw the flock of 158 birds come into East Fannyside Loch in two group well after dusk. About the same time Larry and Mike reported a flock of 51 flying to roost at Darnrig where they were later found in amongst quite a large number of Pinkfeet. Larry with some assistance has been able to download information from two birds which has given us fantastic information on their wanderings here plus Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Our winter total has now reached 209. Hopefully there is still time for others to come in and increase the flock size.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Recent News on the Slamannan Bean Goose flock.

A flock of c61 birds were seen on Monday 20 October. This would indicate an arrival the previous day (Sunday 19th).

The following day there had been a large increase with 179 birds being seen. Seven birds with collars were identified and many juveniles too.

This is definitely a late arrival date for our flock and may well be due to climate change or inclement weather for the crossing of the North Sea.

However they all look in good fettle and with probably two sub groups coming together there was a fair amount of squabbling among themselves.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Recent News from Sweden

Here is report from Thomas Heinicke who has been monitoring our flock of bean geese in Sweden and Denmark.

I am grateful to Thomas for allowing us to share his records from Sweden on 15th October 2014.

visit to lake Brosjön area on 15.10.14

- found the flock at the fields SE of Huggenäs kyrka (coordinates:59.129348, 13.022927): about 70 birds (09:10) at cereal stubble, couldn't read neckbands because of disturbance

- re-found the flock at fields near Jonrönninge (coordinates: 59.113611,13.003075): 84 birds (09:50) at cereal stubble; found the following neckbands: V3+V6+7T, 7Y+7Z, 1 transmitter (whitish), 1 transmitter (greyish)

- birds were back at lake Brosjön at 10:50; found 39 at lake Brosjön(59.193426, 13.012941) with neckbands V6, 7T, 7Z, 7Y, 1 transmitter (greyish),then another 37 birds at flooded grassland N of the lake (59.198141,

13.017126), following neckbands: V3, 7X, 1 transmitter (whitish)

This type of information from Scandinavia gives us lots of information on the movements of the Slamannan flock when they are not with us.

I notice too in Simon's blog from Norway today that snow has arrived near his area and he talks of movements of wintering Thrushes.

Perhaps if the cold weather continues we may get some bean geese crossing to Scotland soon.

Friday, 17 October 2014

News update from Slamannan

A visit to the plateau yesterday produced a sighting of a small family party of bean geese. Two adults with a juvenile in tow was a pleasing site after days of wondering when any beans would turn up.

I had a quick look around again today but the family party were not in the same place. It is interesting that there is no sign of winter Thrushes either this autumn. Perhaps a milder autumn in Scandinavia has kept them all in their breeding territories.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

News update from Slamannan

Sadly no bean geese have been seen so far this winter. We had a report recently from Denmark where one of our birds was seen in a flock of 154 bean Geese.

I plan to visit the roost area tonight to see if the easterly winds we are having will help our birds cross the North Sea.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

News Update on Bean Goose flock at Slamannan

The bean goose flock has still not put in an appearance this winter. I have looked every day recently but to no avail.

I will check again tonight at the roost area and hope that the c2,000 Pinkfeet does not deter the bean geese from coming into their usual roost.

Today on the plateau was lovely and warm with little wind. Nice views of the local Buzzard at Fannyside Mill and a nice female Sparrowhaw hunting near Grangeneuk Farm.