Big Bean Goose

Spurn, East Yorkshire, 12 May 2012

This one seems to have eluded me. Was present on/off last Saturday and hasn’t reappeared since. Those familiar with (Western) Taiga and Tundra Bean Goose were struck by its size and bill shape. Looking at the pics, it’s pretty massive Bean Goose- kinda Greylag Goose sized. It is a 2nd calendar year bird (less than 1 year old) and  ‘lost’ (i.e. not with it’s family group). Aged by the mix of juvenile and new scapulars and heavy moult underneath includes little juvenile feathers. Eek!

One I very much would have liked to have seen. Following this bird (also here and here) in California in November 2010, I learnt a lot and seems some middendorffii types, or even a new taxon of Bean Goose–  can kinda look like this. Indeed on first seeing the photos of this Spurn bird it immediately reminded me of the Californian individual. I also wonder if its seemingly late spring occurrence (east coast Britain in mid May) is out of sync for here but right for spring migration in far east?

Any experience? Is it just a large (Western) Tundra Bean Goose? I don’t think so.To me looks more Taiga-like but even then thicker-billed than typical Western Taiga Bean Goose. More photos and some discussion here. Thanks to Sheffield legend, Pete Wragg for photos below:

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‘Big’ Bean Goose, Kilnsea Wetlands, Spurn 12th May 2012. Photos Pete Wragg

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About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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