Friday, January 16, 2015

Tundra Bean Goose Twitch Jan 11-14 2015 Nestucca NWR Oregon

Ever since a Tundra Bean Goose was reported in Oregon on November 12 2014, I have been itching to drive the 615 kilometres to see it.  That is a long way to go without a guarantee that it will be there when we arrive.  (See the blog report in November of our trip to Neah Bay, Washington unsuccessfully searching for the rare Hobby).  Almost every day I would get a rare bird ebird report in my inbox stating the bird was still there. Then Christmas came along and stalled the plans.  Finally New Years passed and we started checking the weather reports.  A three day window of sunny weather appeared on January 11-14.  Dian gave the go ahead (as usual) and we left Abbotsford on the 10th in pouring rain. It was around 4 PM when we came to the intersection of coastal highway 101 and Highway 18.  We had to decide whether to turn south to Lincoln City and check in to our motel or turn north towards Nestucca NWR in the fading light and try for the goose before we settled in.  A short drive brought us to the reserve.  We travelled about 500 yards into the reserve when Dian said we had just passed a few geese.  We continued into the reserve until we came to a lookout where we scanned the the fields below.  We saw lots of Canada and Cackling Geese but not our target.  After half an hour the light was really fading so we decided to check out the small flock we had seen when we entered.  Sure enough, there it was about 50 yards off the road right where we had passed it.

Information sign at the lookout shelter.
Tundra Bean Goose.  Shot from the car in fading light as we were leaving the reserve.  Sometimes it is difficult to ascertain if a rare bird is an escapee from a zoo or collector.  Usually these sources clip the spur behind the foot to prevent injury to other birds and people.  Here the spur is visible.
Nestucca Reserve fields where we scanned for a half hour without success before we decided to leave.
Another shot on our first try.
Three Black-tailed deer were resident at the reserve.

The next day when we returned, the sun was shining and the Bean Goose was in the same area-right beside the road-close to the entrance.
Seal Rocks beach is one of our favourite spots for birds.  This is south of Newport.
The last time I saw a Red-shouldered Hawk was November 2000 on Spences Island, close to Marysville Washington.  This one was about 5 miles south of Tillamook where I did a fast brake and u-turn.  By the way-don't buy cheese at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  It is cheaper in the supermarkets : > )
Otter Crest resort.  We stayed here about 35 years ago.
This blog is about the Bean Goose so here it is again.
Even if we didn't find the goose a trip to the Oregon Coast is always a delight (when the sun is shining).
A young spike horn Roosevelt Elk was in Ecola Park close to Cannon Beach.
One last shot of our target.
     The Tundra Bean Goose typically winters in Northern Europe and Asia.  This one is only the fifth sighting for North America (outside of Alaska).  I found out that a flock of Bean Geese is called a "pod".  How appropriate is that?  The goose gets its name from the bean fields it migrates to and frequents in Europe and Asia.  There was only one Bean Goose species up to 2007 when it was split into 2 species-the Taiga and the Tundra.

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  1. Very envious! That's awesome you went down there Len. Beautiful shots!

  2. Nice shots Len.Love the scenic shots of the coast.

    1. Thanks Chris. I see you are having a heat wave in Fort t John.