Friday, 31 March 2017

My last beans of the spring?

I thought that I was finished with the Scottish Taiga Beans after two of the tagged birds moved further north to a regularly used staging site in Hedmark 4 days ago on 27 March. However, another of the tagged birds was still transmitting from the Glomma area this morning so I decided to see who he had company of.

I was very surprised to find in total 44 Beans including 7 ringed birds. The ringed birds included the one that was supposed to be there “30” plus also “10” who transmits more sporadically. The geese were together but separate if that makes sense. Pairs, singles and small groups (family groups?) were scattered around and they are clearly getting ready for the breeding season. It is interesting how the flock breaks up before the final push to Sweden. The staging point in Hedmark has been used regularly by GPS tagged birds but the sporadic counts from the site (max 82 birds in 2014) have suggested that it is not used by the whole flock meaning that once they leave the Glomma that they may take different routes to the breeding grounds. Today though there was a count of 81 birds there including 8 with rings (awaiting details) so this means that the flock (129 maximum this year) is now split between Glomma and Hedmark. It will be interesting to follow 10 and 30 once they leave Glomma and see if they too stop off in Hedmark or choose a different route..

Together with the Beans was a single White-fronted Goose, 80 odd Pink-footed Geese and 34 Cranes. One of the Pink-footed Geese had a neck ring AG6. This bird was ringed 28.04.2016 in Mid Norway when it would have been on its spring migration. Since then it has been seen many times this winter, first in Denmark from 19 Oct, then in Belgium from 19 December until 28 Jan, in Denmark again from 24 Feb to 3 March and then my sighting today.

Pink-footed Geese were a feature of the day. A flock of 144 sat on the ice in Maridalen at 9am and were still there at 14:30, a huge flock of ca.700 were stood on the mud in Svellet and at Kjelle there were 44 which had the company of a Tundra Bean Goose. Rain and low cloud ha probably caused the Pink-foots to take a break on their migration.

Cranes and Mistle Thrushes were noticeable today with ore 100 Cranes and a flock of 24 Mistle Thrushes so they have arrived in good numbers but otherwise few other species have arrived in any numbers with for example very few Teal to see so far.

Svellet held my first Curlew of the year.

Taiga Bean Geese (sædgås) - note how orange the legs are 
three neck collared birds 6S, "30" which is a GPS collar and her mate 6U (always alert so a male I assume)
a montage of 4 ringed birds. The 7th ringed bird I saw was "10"

Tundra Bean Goose with Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås). Note the much shorter, thicker neck, deep bill and large head 
Bean Gooe is much darker in flight than the Pink feet

from below the orange vs. pink feet are obvious. Here the birds are flying in front of corn storage silos

The Tundra Bean on its own 
side by side comparison with a Pink-foot

White-fronted Goose (tundragås) with Taiga Bean and Pink-foot 

+/- 144 Pink-footed Geese on the ice at Maridalsvannet

The flock of Pink feet at Kjelle that held the Tundra Bean 
700 Pink feet resting on the mud in Svellet

these clever Magpies (skjære) were sheltering from the rain on a neighbours house

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