Sunday, 30 November 2014

News update on the whereabouts of our bean geese.

I was out today in lovely sunshine looking for bean geese but came home empty handed as they all seemed to have found the most secluded spot on the plateau in which to feed.

It has been a  rather dreary past couple of weeks with easterly winds bringing in a lot of low cloud and mist which has made viewing difficult.

At the Fannyside roost area last night less than 100 birds came in from the north, with most settling on the large loch and the others going on to the muir pools.

On a more positive note it was nice to see some nice groups of Fieldfare and Redwing all showing well in the sunny conditions.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Latest News from Slamannan

After spending a week feeding near Slamannan the bean geese flock have now moved to feed in the northern fields of the study area.

Dawn and dusk flight have confirmed this change. Much of this area is not visible to monitor so numbers of birds in the sub groups are unknown.

A large flock of Pinkfeet c160 birds that were present near Slamannan have also now moved away.

For several days last week 5 Whooper Swans were present beside the River Avon at Hillend Farm.

They are liable to be chased away by the landowner/farmer as was noted one day last week. Being birds of habit they moved back to feed in the same field the following day.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Update on the Slamannan flock of Bean Geese

This past week has seen c150 birds feeding NW of Slamannan, with the rest of the flock further to the north of the area.

We now reckon we have about 212 birds this year but hopefully we will  get an accurate count in due course.

Roosting is still occurring at the Fannyside Lochs area.

A female Hen Harrier was seen on Garbethill Muir recently, a rare visitor these days as wintering birds have been scarce for some years now.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Latest News from Slamannan

With the bean geese arriving later than normal on the Slamannan Plateau they have not spent their usual period on the arrival fields but have already moved away and are now split into at least two flocks. One flock is NW of Slamannan and the larger group out to the north of the study area.

We have been able to download a lot of information from tags on two birds this winter and at present this is being analysed.

I attach a photo of the migration flight of one bird from Norway to Scotland this autumn. It shows how the birds can land in the sea overnight and continue their passage the following day.