Migration and breeding quarters


Four Bean Geese caught at Slamannan in October 2012 were fitted with GPS tags (Tags 3, 6, 7 and 8). In 2013, a redeployed tag was fitted to an adult male (Tag 6), and in October 2015, four new tags were deployed (10, 27, 29 and 30). The notes below, and maps available through links, help explain the routes through the spring and autumn staging areas to and from the summer quarters of the Scottish Bean Goose flock.

Autumn 2017 migration


Tags 10, 27, 29 and 30 continue to work after the 2017 breeding season. The autumn 2017 migration diary is as follows
  • 8 Oct 2017. Tags 27, 29 and 30 arrive back at Slamannan (Scotland) their winter home.
  • 7 Oct 2017. Tags 27, 29 and 30 continue north via Selkirk (Borders, Scotland). They roost overnight on a small water body to the east of Carlops (Borders, Scotland).
  • 6 Oct 2017. Tags 27, 29 and 30 arrive in Norfolk, just the north of Caister (Norfolk, England) at 06h00. They then head north west. By Noon, they cross the Wash (Norfolk, England). They continue north and roost overnight on Derwent Reservoir, just to the west of Consett (Northumberland, England).
  • 5 Oct 2017. Tags 27, 29 and 30 leave the staging area on the River Glomma (Akershus, Norway) and head south west over southern Norway. By Noon they have crossed the southern shore just to the east of Lyngdal. Once they enter the North Sea, they encounter strong north westerly winds which push the birds south and east.
  • 14 Sep 2017. Tag 30 leaves its summer quarters in central Sweden and heads south to the staging area on the River Glomma (Akershus, Norway)
  • 26 Aug 2017. Tags 27 and 29 leave their summer quarters in central Sweden and head south to the staging area on the River Glomma (Akershus, Norway) to the north east of Oslo

Spring 2017 migration


Tags 10, 27, 29 and 30 continue to work after the winter season. The spring 2017 migration diary is as follows:
  • 14 March. Tags 27 and 29 head north to the staging area on the River Glomma (Akershus, Norway) to the north east of Oslo where they join Tag30 and up to 111 other Bean Geese.
  • 12 March. Tag 30 heads north to the staging area on the River Glomma (Akershus, Norway) to the north east of Oslo. It is seen by Simon Rix in a flock of 66 Bean Geese.
  • 3 March. Tags 27 and 29 head north to Stromstrad in Sweden presumably intending to carry on to Akershus (Norway), but conditions are not favourable, so they return to Pandrup (NW Denmark).
  • 3 March. Tag 10 leave southern Norway at dawn and arrives at Pandrup (NW Denmark) by 09h00, where it rejoins the rest of the Scottish flock. An epic spring migration.
  • 2 March. Tag 10 leaves Orkney at dawn and heads east across the North Sea and arrives on the south Norway coast at 14h00.
  • 20 February. Tags 27 and 29 attempt a second crossing of the North Sea which is successful and the pair make landfall in west Denmark by midnight.
  • 10 February. Tags 27 and 29 head south again and arrive back at Slamannan by 18h00. Meanwhile, Tag10 remains on Orkney.
  • 9 February. Tags 27 and 29 head south and rest in Caithness.
  • 7 February. At 18h00 the three tagged geese are recorded just to the south east of Fair Isle (Shetland) and make landfall on Stronsay (Orkney) by midnight
  • 6 February. Tags 27, 29 and 10 run into stormy conditions and turn back. However, the strong south easterly wind pushed them north west.
  • 6 February. All four tagged geese leave Slamannan a little after dawn and head east into the Firth of Forth. By Noon, Tag 30 was at 55.24N, 5.45 E in the middle of the North Sea, and by midnight it had made landfall in west Denmark.

Autumn 2016 migration


Tags 10, 27, 29 and 30 continue to work after the breeding season. The autumn 2016 migration diary is as follows:
  • 2 October. The four tagged geese migrate south west across southern Norway and straight to Slamannan, Scotland where the geese will spend the winter.
  • 16 August. Tags 10, 27 29 and 30 move south to the staging area near Akershus, Norway. The geese make regular movements between forest roosts and fields close to the River Glomma.
  • 5 August. Tags 10, 27, 29 and 30 finish their annual moult and move to forest wetland near Storbo (close to the Norwegian border).

Spring 2016 migration


Tags 10, 27, 29 and 30 were fitted on 9 October 2015 at Slamannan. The spring 2016 migration diary is as follows:
  • 5 April. Tags 10, 27, 29 and 30 move north to the River Glomma at Braskereidfoss. From here the geese will move north into the breeding areas in Dalarna, a county in west central Sweden.
  • 14 March. Tags 10, 27, 29 and 30 seen alive and well at Akershus (Norway) by Simon Rix.
  • 13 March. Tags 30, 27 and 29 make the move to Akershus (Norway). Tag 10 now working only intermittently.
  • 3 March. Tag 30 seen alive and well at Pandrup (Denmark), and the tag has has started to work again.
  • 29 February. Tags 10, 27 and 29 continue to feed near Pandrup (Denmark) roosting on the sea when the inland roosts are frozen.
  • 10 February. Tags 10, 27 and 29 leave Scotland on the evening of 9/10 February, arriving in NW Denmark on 10 February. This is six days earlier than the geese have left Scotland in the past. No location data have been received from Tag 30.

Spring 2014 migration


Tag 6 was fitted to an adult male on 7 Oct 2013 at Slamannan. Tag 7, fitted in autumn 2012, continued to work throughout the winter 2013/14 and onto into spring 2014. The spring 2014 migration diary is as follows:
  • 24 March. Tag 6, after his detour north, arrives on the River Glomma staging area, near Akershus, Norway, presumably meeting up with Tag 7.
  • 21 March. Tag 6 leaves north west Denmark heading north. After staging near the lake system at Ovre Friken, Sweden, he continues north to Dalarna County.
  • 10 March. Tag 7 remains in the Akershus area of east Norway until at least 26 March.
  • 9 March. Tag 6 heads to the west coast of Denmark to the same farm in Jylland, Denmark as in spring 2013 (see Spring 2013 migration, below).
  • 8 March. Tag 7 heads north again and arrives on the River Glomma, near Akershus, Norway.
  • 6 March. Tag 7 heads north to Norway, and makes a minor detour just to the south of Mysen for two days.
  • 2 March. Tag 6 arrives in northern Denmark and spends the next few days just to the north of Frederikshaven on the east coast.
  • 1 March. Tag 6 heads south east towards Denmark. Presumably to join Tag 7.
  • 28 February. Tag 6 starts his journey across the North Sea, making landfall in the early evening near Vanse in southern Norway.
  • 21 February. Tag 7 start his journey in the morning and by Noon is midway across the North Sea heading for Southern Norway. By 6am on 22nd, he's back at the same farm in Jylland, Denmark as in spring 2013 (see below). Tag 6 remains at Slamannan in Scotland.

Autumn 2013 migration


During summer 2013, Tag 6 was found dead in Dalarna county, Sweden. It was not clear how the bird died, although the carcass had been predated. Tag 3 also stopped working mid summer. Tag 7 stopped working during the middle of the summer although started working again in July. In order to safeguard the precise potential breeding areas of the geese, the summer locations are not given, but are represented by shading the northern part of Dalarna County. The 2013 autumn migration diary is as follows:
  • 17 September. Tag 7 makes the moves north, alighting at Kielder Water (Northumberland, England) at 09h00, and arriving very close to the Slamannan winter quarters by 12 Noon.
  • 10-16 September. Tag 7 spend seven days in northern England. Various small roosts and feeding areas are used. Are these known to Tag 7 and other Bean Geese he is migrating with?
  • 9 October. Tag 7 heads south west out over the North Sea. Arrives at 02h00 just north of Hull (England).
  • 6-9 October. Tag 7 spends three days in a small river valley to the west of Kristiansand (south Norway).
  • 6 October. Tag 7 leaves Neskollen (Norway) and heads southwest to a river valley near Vigmostad (Norway). Is this the start of the migration to Scotland?
  • 25 September. (00h00) Tag 7 arrives back near Neskollen (Norway) having flown over 600km to Denmark and back again !
  • 23 September. (18h00) Tag 7 heads south on the next stage of his autumn migration and is located just east of Oslo. On his way back to Denmark the spring staging area?
  • 19 September. Tag 7 starts to use a stubble field adjacent to fields used in the spring. Intense feeding now will lay down the fuel needed for the migration back to Scotland.
  • 4 September. Tag 7 moves south again and feeds in a cereal stubble field near Neskollen (Norway). Tag 7 is seen by Simon Rix among a flock of 144 other Taiga Bean Geese. Tag 7 makes use of a lake 4km to the south west for roosting and a peat bog 5km to the north.
  • 2-3 September. Tag 7 roosts at a Lake to the east of Dal (Norway).
  • 1 September. Tag 7 heads south from the summer quarters and is recorded near Holjes (Sweden).
  • 1 July. Tag 7 starts to transmit location data again from the summer quarters.

Spring 2013 migration


Four Bean Geese caught at Slamannan in October 2012 were fitted with GPS tags. The geese are marked with Tags 3, 6, 7 and 8. The 2013 spring migration diary is as follows:
  • 18 May. Tag 6 stops working. The bird is later found dead.
  • 10 May. Tag 3 stops working due to battery failure.
  • 20 April. Tags 3, 6 and 7 arrive in the northern part of Dalarna County (Sweden). In order to safeguard the precise potential breeding areas of the geese, the summer locations are not given but are represented by shading the northern part of the county.
  • 18 April (18h00). Tag 6 moved north to the Glama River near Braskeriedfoss.
  • 18 April. Tag 7 overnights on a wetland, 10km south of Sarna (western Sweden).
  • 17 April. After heading north, Tag 7 spends the evening on a lake (Skurvsjoen).
  • 14 April. Three of the four tagged birds remain near Akershus, Norway. They are roosting on the River Glomma and feeding in fields closeby.
  • 4 April. Tags 3, 6 and 7 make the move from Jylland, Denmark to Akershus, Norway. Contact has been lost with Tag 8; the GPS module has failed but the GSM link continues to function.
  • 28 March. Tag 6 makes a move north to Akershus, Norway. However, once again he heads straight back to Jylland, Denmark (a round trip of 656km).
  • 16 March. Tag 6 makes a move north within Denmark, but thinks the better of it and heads straight back to Jylland, Denmark.
  • 26 February. All four tagged birds (3, 6, 7 and 8) arrive Jylland, west Denmark.
  • 25 February. Tags 7 and 8 recorded crossing the North Sea.
  • 24 February. Tags 6, 7 and 8 spend the night just off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland.
  • 24 February. Tags 6 and 7 recorded (perhaps flying over) fields near St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland.
  • 20 February. Tag 3 recorded near Eyemouth, Borders, Scotland.
  • 17 February. All four tagged birds (3, 6, 7 and 8) feeding and roosting near Slamannan, Falkirk, Scotland.

WWT/SNH are extremely grateful for the support given during fieldwork by Angus Maciver, Brian Minshull, RSPB Scotland, Charlie Howe (Clyde Ringing Group), James Leonard, Allison Leonard and Denise Veitch. Permission to catch the geese at Slamannan was kindly granted by the landowners, the Hunter family. WWT/SNH are also grateful to the many observers who have kindly provided sightings of the marked geese, in particular Simon Rix, Tony Fox, Ketil Knudsen, Alan Leitch, Colin Bushell, Dan Mangsbo, Einar Flensted-Jensen, Eva Johansson, Egil Ween, Frank Abrahamson, Jostein B.Engdal, John Nadin, Johan Södercrantz, Jimmy Steele, Kalle Källebrink, Keld Ørum Jensen, Lars-Göran Hansson, Martin Scott, Odd Rygh, Richard King, Stuart Green, Svalan, Thomas Heinicke, Torbjörn Jansson and Thomas Ring.

Data and map may not be used without prior written consent of WWT/SNH.
© WWT/SNH 2017