Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mr. Bean

This morning I finally had time to go and have a look at the Bean Goose found by Tuvia last week at Kfar Baruch reservoir. The bird was very distant - I had good scope views but photography on the deck was useless. For the first time since I quit digiscoping some years ago (Richard - digiscoping sucks, doesn't it?) I felt I could use a good digiscoping kit. Luckily the bird was flushed by a passing eagle and it flew past me slightly closer.
I have very little experience with the Bean Goose complex: 1 (possibly) rossicus at Eilat, several fabalis in Germany, and some middendorffii in Taiwan, But identifying a bird here, out of context, is much more complicated. The chance of getting E Asian birds is also higher here compared to W Europe.
In the field, the bird seemed large, powerful and long-necked. The bill is to me of 'mixed' dimensions. Quite long but deep-based and quite triangular, different to my eyes from a typical fabalis. It has an extensive pinkish area on the bill, extending towards the bill base. Perhaps Mr. Garner has something to say about this goose.

The reservoir and its surroundings were actually very good with lots of birds, and lots of good stuff. In the reservoir there were 21 Greater Flamingos, 700+ Golden Plovers, many Wigeons, several Citrine Wagtails and a late Yellow Wagtail. Flying around were many raptors. This young (2cy?) Eastern Imperial Eagle was sat on a nearby pylon - watch it mate...

Many buzzards were hunting around the reservoir; this young Common Buzzard enjoyed the morning sun:

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