Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bean Goose debate

this Bean Goose has been around the Read's Island area for a couple of weeks at least associating with about 20 - 30 Pink-footed Geese but occasionally like today the flock joins up with a few Greylags (could these few be wild birds?) -- but the Bean appears to be a mix of Tundra and Taiga from bill pattern, orange subterminal band,  and its usual deep base with obvious lower mandible, grinning patch, small size compared to Pink-feet with shortish? neck that usually looks quite thick but then it often feeds in a horizontal posture that makes it look long in the body and perhaps? exaggerates the length of the neck which can look longer and thinner when alert but still nothing not like the Taigas of the previous week; similarly the bill can look quite long in some postures and the head can look elongated  -- Tundra Bean is rather variable and more likely to raise confusion over ID than Taiga, according to most of the recent literature, but balance of expert opinion seems to suggest it is a Taiga or something in between!! -- obviously some of the shots are not sharp but some illustrate postures that were not captured in other shots

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