Saturday, 4 June 2016

Hedmark 2016 installment III - Bean Geese over the border

It’s taken a long time going through the pictures I took on my Hedmark trip and I haven’t yet begun on the videos.

I’ll begin with a short post on the Bean Geese which I saw on their breeding grounds on a detour into Sweden. I saw five birds which were clearly not breeding (or perhaps were failed breeders). They included a tagged bird which was why is how I managed to find them in a rather vast area. The birds were feeding in a vegetation rich bay of a larger lake close to a road and houses but unfortunately spooked as I stumbled upon them although I managed a few photos. I saw the birds again in flight about an hour later when their calling gave them away. The tagged bird I saw was tag 10 who I had also seen in Akershus in March and seemed to be paired.

The vast breeding area for this population quite conceivably extends over the border into Norway and I could see Norwegian mountains at the same time as I saw the geese but a far as I know there are no breeding season records from the Norwegian side although the area is not very accessible and little visited.
Tag 10 (right) with mate
and here is Tag 10 on 18 March in Akershus

10's mate. When I stumbled upon the birds I just took as many pictures as I could as I sensed from the birds calling that they would soon fly. It was only when looking at the pictures that I saw that I had captured 10

I hadn't initially noticed that there were 3 birds much closer to me but they saw me and as you can see from this birds tongue started calling loudly

bad shot of all 5 in flight. The neck collar of 10 (2nd from right) is visible

this map shows where Tag 10 has been recorded over the 2 days before I saw him. The Star (1) shows exactly where I encountered him. I will show pictures of the other numbered sites below
Site 1 - the bay where I saw them. 10 and mate were feeding to the left and the three others to the right

the lake is clearly used by fishermen

the area where the 3were feeding

the marshy area to the left of #2 which has clearly been favoured.

the view of site 3 from the forest road

and a closer view of site 3. The tag data shows this small pool with much lush vegetation around the sides was frequently used despite being very close to a road and house

Looking out towards #4 and the mountains in hte background are in Norway (Whooper Swans on the right)

the five geese flying in front of #4. Tag 10 is on the left
There was also pairs of Whooper Swan and Black-throated Diver on the same a lake although neither seemed to be breeding


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