Monday, 23 February 2015

News from Denmark

Hi All

As promised we have news from Denmark where Thomas Heincke has found a large flock of our birds and was able to to read many of the collars codes which confirmed they were the Slamannan flock.

There is still some work to collate the information and if anything of further interest is found I will let you know.

We have analysed the weather patters on the 16th and 17th February and reckon that the air flow on both days gave the birds the opportunity to move east and cross the north sea. (see below)

Weather maps courtesy of

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Final Update on Bean Geese for winter 2014/2015

A roost visit to the Slamannan Plateau on Friday last confirmed what we had thought for a few days was that the birds had left the area between the 10th and 17th of February. Much earlier than normal.

Brian Minshull and I made observations at the main two roost sites last Friday evening and only two Canada geese were recorded flying into a flooded area at Darnrig Moss well after dusk.

The last largest count of c200 birds was reported by an observer at Beam Farm on the 9th and after that a count of 35 birds seen a few days later was the last record of bean geese this winter.

I expect the flock will be in Denmark, and now awaiting confirmation that they have been seen in their usual haunts there.

I will continue to put posts up on their progress in Scandanavia.

Monday, 16 February 2015

News Update on Bean Geese

I managed to find 35 bean geese this morning in the western sector of the study area. The rest of the birds are not within the central part of the Avon Valley as I had a good look around when I was out.

We had good news confirmed the other day when Falkirk Council confirmed that proposed large wind turbines that were within the planning system for land to the south of Auchengean Farm have now been withdrawn. This is a major decision in favour of protecting the bean goose flock and their habitats within the Slamannnan Plateau area.

We still cannot relax, as other wind farm companies have been out and about selling their products to other land users within the bean goose area on the plateau.

Their is now so much easy money to be made by landowners installing turbines it is no wonder they rub their hands with glee with the thought of making so much money without much effort. The Scottish Government seem little interested in protecting the natural environment and the birds and animals that live within it with their main focus being on supporting renewable energy at any cost.

It is essential that anyone interested in the protection of this species within Scotland and the UK  keep an eye on the Falkirk/North Lanarkshire planning systems so that they can record their feelings on such matters.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

News update on Slamannan bean geese

The cold snowy weather has persisted over this past week or so and finding some of the birds has been difficult.
However they are still around, although not in one large group but several sub groups.
They have not been seen around the Fannyside Lochs roost site for a while now which would indicate that they are preferring to stay out in their feeding areas during the night.

They are ranging along the northern edge of the study area with odd forays to the western edge near Cumbernauld.

I attach some pictures taken recently by Brian Minshull my colleague who is doing some study work in the area and has kindly given me permission to publish them on the blog. Thanks Brian.

The pictures show how the birds feed in and around woodland areas which is so like the habitat they use on migration in Norway and breeding grounds in Sweden.