Posts Tagged ‘Taiga Bean Geese


Fabulous fabalis

There are two species of bean geese. Anser serrirostris the Tundra Bean Goose which occurs erratically but regularly in the UK and Anser fabalis the Taiga Bean Goose.

A regular flock of Taiga Bean Geese occurs near Falkirk each winter. This flock used to be on the itinerary of any winter visit North of the border. A regular flock also used to occur in the Yare Valley here in Norfolk. No more. Long gone are the days of 70 or 80 birds viewable from the end of the railway platform at Buckenham. They were always the subject of a regular winter visit to the Buckenham and Cantley marshes. The flock has diminished over time and for the last few years there have been few if any. A sad indictment of the current biodiversity depletion. As a consequence they have become a scarce visitor here in the South.

Taiga (pronounced Tiger) Bean Geese are larger, longer necked and bigger billed than their Tundra cousins; almost Swan like. I’d forgotten what a graceful bird they are until Tania and I saw a small group of four this week. Always distant and always wary we spent a little time watching them at Ludham. Fabulous fabalis


To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

I guess Tennyson wasn’t talking about Geese or Rough legged Buzzards when he wrote his famous lines but it felt appropriate earlier in the week.

Neither the Taiga Bean Geese in the Yare Valley or the Rough legged Buzzards in the Waveney were playing ball … at first.

The geese were sitting low among folds of ground and dykes. Gradually they grazed their way closer and I was able to take a photograph or two. On the still cold morning the shutter sounded off like the report of a shotgun and they didn’t like it. I regretted not muffling the camera. Unexpectedly … even at over 500m … the geese were edgy, took flight and settled at what they deemed to be a more respectable distance. Maybe it wasn’t me but the distant gunfire that spooked them.

The rough legged Buzzard on the other hand after playing hide and seek preferred to ‘make like a post’ . Only when it ruffled feathers did it show the white in the tail revealing its true identity.

We agreed both were worth the wait. See my guests take on the day in todays issue of the ‘The Times’

Click to enlarge

Taiga Bean Geese

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Jun 2023


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