Saturday, 30 December 2017

News Update for 30 December 2017

The harsh weather conditions have seen a fair amount of snow lying on the plateau but as ever the bean geese manage to forage for food successfully.

Some years ago around this time we used to 'lose' sight of almost half the flock but this is not happening now with the bulk of the birds staying together within one mile of Slamannan town centre.

Roosting is occurring in several places to the west, north and east of Slamannan but in areas known to the bean goose team.

We still have two European whitefronts within the flock and recently up to 30 Pinkfeet.

I attach a picture of the flock taken last week not far from Slamannan. Can you spot them?

Monday, 18 December 2017

News Update 18 December 2017

The bean geese continue to feed in and around the township of Slamannan. They are ranging during the day from Strathavon Farm in the east to Threiprig/Shortrig in the west.

There are a few Pinkfeet within the flock and the two european whitefronts can still be seen on occasions.

Care should be taken on the minor roads in the area as low temperatures are creating some icy conditions.

Some roosting is again taking place at the Fannyside Lochs area.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

26 November 2017 Update on Bean Goose flock

Winter weather at freezing temperatures are now prevalent on the Slamannan Plateau.

It is having no effect on the geese and they continue to feed away quite contented if left undisturbed.

Had a nice visit today to Slamannan and within a mile of the village I found two large flocks comprising 214 birds. Two european whitefronts are still around and an addition to the area are nine Canada Geese feeding near but separate from one of the bean goose flocks.

Another species that do not normally spend the winter in the area is a flock of Lapwing numbering c40 birds.

No signs this winter so far of any wintering Hen Harriers, Merlin or Peregrine.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Update 2 November 2017

The Bean Geese have moved their daytime feeding slightly north of recent sightings near Oakersdyke.

The flock size we have been seeing recently has been c150 birds but I am sure there are more out there to be found.

I enclose some pictures recently of the flock near Parkhead Farm.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Update 22 October 2017

Dear Bean Goose watchers

There has been no change in the general location of the bean goose flock during daylight hours.

They are continuing to use fields north west of Slamannan on the minor road which runs past Oakersdyke Farm, Parkhead.

They are using a field full of long vegetation and are extremely difficult to see and count.

Note: Please do not enter fields to try and get nearer the geese as we are beholding to local farmers for allowing the geese to feed where they do.

A good plan is to stay in your car and use it as a hide, bean geese are extremely wary and will see you before you see them.

Please follow the country and birdwatchers code of conduct

Monday, 16 October 2017

Update 16 October 2017

It is reckoned that we have c214 birds back on the Slamannan Plateau. There have been quite a bit of observation during the last week and the above figure is not exact.

The birds have not been seen within the past week at Luckenburn but favouring areas in and around Oakersdyke Farm, Parkhead Farm and south of Easter Jawcraig.

Other interesting birds are the large numbers of Pinkfeet (c2000) using Gardrum Moss for roosting.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Update from Slamannan

Great news to report. After coming ashore near Norwich our flock of bean geese have arrived safely in their usual wintering haunts.

I was out yesterday afternoon and found c100 birds near Slamannan. Tag27 & 29 arrived later having stopped overnight yesterday near Selkirk.

GPS information showed that this group flew north to Edinburgh before turning west for their winter  quarters rather than fly a shorter route between Selkirk and Slamannan.

Thinking is that with two new juveniles in tow their parents were showing them the Forth estuary and the normal route of arriving in Scotland. (Only a guess)

Friday, 6 October 2017

Dramatic update on Tag29 today


Tag29 and probably 27 et al have arrived onshore in the UK at Norwich. No wonder I cannot find them at Slamannan.

We will sit back and see how long it takes them to come north!!

Attached map.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Update from Slamannan 02 October 2017

A visit in sunshine this afternoon found the flock of 18 bean geese sitting quietly together at LuckenBurn Farm

The strong westerlies will no doubt hold up the rest of the flock from making the north sea crossing.

Watch out for a weather/wind change which will probably make the others sitting in Norway move.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Update for this week. Slamannan Bean Goose flock

Hi All

Pleased to report that we have had a small flock of 18 birds seen on the plateau this past few days.

Simon in Norway tells me that there is a Taiga Bean Geese movment taking place at present with birds being seen in the south of the country.

Hope they don't try and cross the North Sea tomorrow as strong SE winds are forecast.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Latest update on Slamannan bean geese in Norway

Simon Rix has been out busy monitoring our bean geese in his local area around the Glomma River NE of Oslo.

He has seen 136 birds and been able to read some collars and even managed to identify some juveniles.

Our pair Tags 27/29 appear to have raised a brood of two again this year but only a few other juveniles appear to be present.

His blog site is worth visiting to update yourself with the 'action' and photographs, (

I attach below a photograph taken recently in Norway of our birds courtesy of Simon.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

News from Sweden on UCOL27 and UCOL29

Today news has come in that bean goose UCOL27 is alive and well with her collar transmitter fully charged up and letting us know that she is well with her mate UCOL29 alongside.

Information is being downloaded as we speak and it may give us a clue whether they have bred this year.

Great news indeed that the collars are still functioning.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

News Update 5 April 2017

It has been a truly remarkable spring migration for our bean geese this year.

I recommend that you visit the bean goose website to see the story unfold as it happened.


Our thanks to Carl Mitchell of WWT for his work in bringing all of this information into the public domain.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

News Update from Simon in Norway

Simon has been out looking at the bean geese and reports that the flock size has reached 129.

Many of our birds with collars are present and Simon has taken some good shots of them and supplied information on his thoughts of what he is seeing.

Well worth to have a look at his blog ( to look at the birds and pictures of where the birds are at present.

We are indebted to him for his enthusiasm and excellent fieldwork/photography.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

News update on Tag30 12 March 2017

Tag30 and possibly others have now arrived in the Glomma River area NE of Oslo.

This is one of their traditional sites that the stop off before moving north to breed in Dalarna County Sweden.

I would expect that Simon Rix the Oslo birder will soon be on the trail of these birds and put some photographs and information up on his website (

Sunday, 5 March 2017

News Update Sunday 5 March 2017

Another twist in the tale of this years spring migration. Tags 27 & 29 have returned to Pandrup Denmark after a jaunt across the sea to Sweden.

The weather conditions on their arrival were probably not to their liking and thought it better to return to pastures greener.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

News Update on Spring Migration 2017

Great news today was that Tag10 that has been on Orkney on his own has travelled via south Norway and navigated his way to Pandrup in Denmark to catch up with the rest of the flock. However Tag27 and more than likely Tag29 and possibly more have already moved north into southern Sweden.

Tag30 has also come back online to show that he was with the others who failed the crossing on the 7th and were blown to Orkney but it managed to make landfall in Denmark.

The bean goose website now shows this movement. Have a look at:

Always something of interest these days into the travels of the Slamannan flock.

Monday, 27 February 2017

News Update on Tag10 in Orkney

Hi all.

Have confirmation that Tag10 has been seen in Orkney all on his own. It will be interesting to see if and when he decides he is in the wrong country and moves to Denmark where the others are.

Thanks to the Observer in Orkney who has confirmed this and supplied a picture of our bird. I don't know his name but I believe he is an RSPB chap. All credit to him.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Latest spring movement news 21 February 2017

I managed to locate Tags 27 & 29 yesterday near Wester Lochgreen Farm around midday.

In total there was a small flock of 12 birds but due to their secretive nature I was unable to read any collars to see if their two young were within the flock.

Imagine my surprise on getting an email from Carl Mitchell am today to say that they left us probably sometime late yesterday as they have now turned up in Denmark (see below)

You will note that our bird Tag10 is showing up as still in Orkney so interesting now to see when he moves to catch up with his friends. 

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Update Information on Spring Migration

Information has come in that Tag10 one of last years birds has reached Orkney with the others but did not return south with Tags 27 & 29.

Tags 27 & 29 are still on the plateau today but not seen despite searching the last known locality.

It is thought that most birds have gone to Denmark but no confirmation of that has been received to date.

We are not sure if the two juveniles returned with their parents to Slamannan or perhaps are still in Orkney or lost during the flight over the north sea and Orkney.

Perhaps Simon in Norway may get a sighting and let us know when they reach the Glomma River in late March/early April.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Breaking News Saturday 11 February 2017

Well you won't believe it. Tag27 has now returned to Slamannan and probably accompanied with it's mate Tag29 and hopefully their family.

The flight line from Caithness would seem to indicate they flew directly south over the Cairngorms

Satellite information this morning indicates they are in fields NE of Oakersdyke Farm.

Hopefully they will now wait for a decent weather window before attempting their spring flight to Denmark.

Friday, 10 February 2017

News Update on Bean Geese Spring Movement

The bean geese that moved the other day have now turned up on Orkney and then moved to Caithness (see map below) which is not surprising given the wind direction on the original day of travel. See map below with the wind pattern in the north sea.

For full flight data look at bean goose website ( and click on migration link for spring 2017

Tag29 Location

Monday, 6 February 2017

News update special 6 February 2017

Arrived on the plateau around 1000 this morning and found a large flock of 209 Pinkfeet and 140 Bean Geese.

Suddenly I received a message from Larry Griffin (WWT) that Tag27 had flown over the Isle of May this morning around 0930.

See map below.

It is more than likely that its mate Tag29 is with it and some others  including their 2 juveniles.

More to follow as the migration progresses.

Friday, 20 January 2017

News Update 20 January 2017

During the last week I and others have tried to confirm whether our flock size had increased as reported in the last blog.

Unfortunately the increase in birds has not been consolidated with many observations of less than what was reported.

I have spoken with the observer and he has confirmed that his increased total may have been mistaken as some birds were moving back and forward between two field systems and he did not have the time to make further checks before he left the area.

At this time of the year it can be frustrating for observers of the bean goose flock as they rarely join up together in one flock so that total flock numbers can be observed. Instead they split up in separate groups and some of them cannot be located easily because of the topography of the area.

Further efforts will be undertaken in the next week or so to see if any increase has taken place.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

News Update 7 January 2017

Some good news to report that a visitor on his way through central Scotland has managed to record a total flock size of 236 which is the highest count this winter so far.

The birds were seen north west of Slamannan in two flocks and the viewer thought there may be more birds than that.

I have been out today after a NewYear holiday in mid Wales.

Poor visibility in the morning with visibility as low as 100m made looking for birds difficult but thanks to our GPS collared birds I was able to guess where to look.

I managed to find a flock of c100 birds in the same area as before but was unable to find further flocks today to confirm that we have had an influx of birds during the past two weeks.