Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Bean Geese addiction continues.....

The bird 06 which migrated seemingly alone north from Denmark on Friday and missed the staging grounds in Akershus by 100km or so before flying south and being seen on a lake in Sweden then flew north to the breeding grounds in Dalane in Sweden on Saturday. Yesterday though he started heading south west and after stopping at Gjesåssjøen in Hedmark  he arrived this morning to join the rest of the flock on the Glomma. How amazing is that??!! And also what was the point of all that??

These two pictures show the progress of Tag 06 and Tag 07.
Here is up until Saturday. Tag 07 is the red bird doing what he is supposed to do. Tag 06 is the green bird who doesn't appear to have a clue...

The plots from Monday showing Tag 06 starting the day at Gjesåssjøen and then making it down to the Glomma at Udenes but not before strangely heading off NW before then turing round.

I set off this morning to see if I could find him and if there were any other new arrivals.

I arrived at the fields at Nikivegen just before 0900 to find the flock present. I initially thought they weren’t all there but soon saw that a number of birds were feeding nearly out of site over a slight rise in the field. From 0919 the birds started flying south towards the river being led out by the 2 White-fronts which are still present and did a close fly by without me being ready with the camera. The geese kept on leaving in small groups until at 0942 a large group left leaving a single bird on his own. I half expected this to the bird 06 who has seems to enjoy his own company but it was an untagged bird. Counting the birds flying off gave me 169 which is a clear increase over the 151 I counted on 20th March. I saw no new neck collars although I couldn’t read all, however there were 12 inscribed neck collars of which I read 9 compared to 11 that I have read previously.

I was able to follow a flock down to the river which were clearly flying faster than the 80km/h speed limit I had to (theoretically) follow. I was able to time them at 5 minutes for 8km which gives a very impressive average speed of 96km/h!!

On the river there are now wide muddy banks and two sandbanks for the birds to rest on. Here I was able to see colour leg rings on the radio/GPS collared birds when they came out of the water and identified 5 of these birds today.

Unfortunately I did not (knowingly) see 06 although I did see 07 who has a black ring on his left leg. The GPS data for today shows something very (at least for me) interesting. Whilst 07 and the flock I saw was on the field at Nikivegen 06 was on the fields at Horgen. Was he on his own? Or are there even more birds? And why does he continue being different even after rejoining the rest of the flock?

A summer plumaged Red-throated Diver (smålom) feeding on the river was exceptionally early and very unexpected. There were no dabbling ducks here though except for a few Mallard and it is clearly still too early for them. There does seem to be a second wave of migrating Whooper Swans today with small flocks at three locations including on the sandbanks.

There were clearly many new passerine migrants in today with singing Dunnock (jernspurv) and Redwing (rødvingetrost) joining the increasing numbers of Chaffinches (bokfink) and Robins (rødstrupe). I also noticed (small) flocks of thrushes feeding in fields for the first time this spring.

It was frustrating to not see 06 today and I feel there is unfinished work to be done.....
panorama shot of the river Glomma under Udenes Kirke (church). To the right can we see a sandbank with resting Whooper Swans and Bean Geese. The other sandbank is behind the trees closest the camera

Two Taiga (fabalis) Bean Geese and a Pink-footed Goose (right)

7P who has always one of the closest birds and easiest to read



the four radio/GPS collared birds

the field at Nikivegen. A number of birds are over the hump close to the trees

both of these are fabalis but if the bird on the left was on its own it could very well be called rossicus

Bean Geese on the closest sandbank.

Bean Geese on the water under Udenes Church

Bean Geese on the river

green leg ring on right egg: 03

Red-throated Diver

the two White-fronted Geese (tundragjess) and a radio/GPS collared Bean Goose


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