Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Tundra Bean Geese

Towards the end of November you start getting days when it never really gets light. Low, dark clouds and lack of snow mean it feels like dusk all day long. Today was one of those days.
Forecast strong winds from the south drew me to Krokstrand where the only enjoyment was the pleasurable company of Per Buertange. Birds were noticeable only by there absence. An hour and a half gave me only 1 Little Auk (alkekonge), 3 Razorbills (alke), 1 Guillemot (lomvi), 1 Red-throated Diver (smålom) and 3 Velvet Scoter (sjøorre).
After this I went Hawk Owl hunting again but yet again failed to find one.

My only sighting of any note was also a lucky one. I spotted a couple of swans in a field and would probably have driven past were it not for a convenient lay-by. The 2 swans turned into 4: an adult pair and 2 young Whooper Swans (sangsvane) but there were also two geese with them in the stubble field. I needed to get the ‘scope out but they were a pair of Tundra (rossicus) Bean Geese. Previously considered to be very rare in Norway this subspecies is actually fairly regular and evens breeds in Finnmark (although no guide books show this).
even in this poor picture you can see they are Tundra as opposed to Taiga Bean Geese due to the short thick necks and and deep based bill

With the naked eye I only saw the adult Whooper Swans - in the poor light the geese and young swans merged into the background

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