BIRD GUIDING AROUND OSLO

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Get off my land!


I set out this morning to try to locate the Bean Geese and see if I could read more rings/tags and try to identify more family parties. When I arrived though at 0930 though there was very thick mist and it remained that way until mid morning. I therefore decided to check out the Tuentangen area at Nordre Øyeren.

The latest information from the satellite tagged bird (07 with black leg ring) which I saw on Tuesday is that it is still feeding at Flakstadmåsen and on a few stubble fields near to Neskollen (near to where I first saw the flock) but that the roost site has moved 20km to the north to a tiny lake (max 200m x 100m) in a heavily forested area with no farms, houses are farmland close by.
The middle bird is "07". The satellite collar is visible as is the black colour ring on the left leg


This lake was used as a roost site for one night as the birds headed south from their breeding grounds to Akershus but it seems strange that it is being used again as it requires a lot of flying and therefore energy use every day. The most likely explanation is that they have been disturbed at the other roost and feel safe at the current roost even though the lake seems (to me) to be much too small.

At Tuentangen I had a chat with a farmer who objected to me being in the area. The farmers in the area have applied for permission to shoot geese which are feeding on their crops (permission is needed as the location is within a nature reserve) and the local bird club has chosen to oppose the application. The farmer was, in his own words, fed up with geese and those who “admire” them, i.e me. Now it has to be said that I do admire wild geese and I am fascinated by the truly wild and shy Bean Geese but the 1000’s of geese that are in the area (see the picture labelled “Barnacle, Greylag & Canada Geese” in my 4 Sept posting) are mostly of feral origin and are I believe getting out of control. Given there are no natural predators in the area that will have any effect on the population then I think that some human control is probably a good idea or else the population will grow to unnatural levels - if it isn’t there already.
There were fewer geese to be seen today although I did have a flock of 450 Barnacle Geese on one stubble field. It does surprise me that the Bean Geese do not choose to join all the geese feeding on stubble fields here but I guess the Bean Geese are truly wild and shy and could not deal with all the disturbance. That is probably also the reason that Bean Geese populations are declining while feral geese and also Pink-footed Geese are rapidly expanding because they are willing to exploit areas that the Bean Geese and other wild geese are not brave enough to.

At Tuentangen I had two Red-throated Pipits which I scared up and which flew off calling but yet again no pictures. This autumn has been very good for R-t Pipits in southern Norway perhaps as a result of a very good breeding season after the warm weather in northern Norway for most of the summer and they are being reported far more widely than in other years. Also here two juvenile Black-tailed Godwits (svarthalespove) which were first reported yesterday and which were feeding in a hard to access inlet off the Nittelva River. I did manage a picture of these but nothing to write home about.
Two Black-tailed (or should it be White-wingedW) Godwits amongst a flock of Teal

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