Rediscovery
  Bean Goose

 
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Rediscovery of the Bean Goose
(Anser fabalis )

~ Bikram Grewal

 

 
© Sujan Chatterjee
Bean Goose by Sujan Chatterjee


Bean Goose Anser fabalis

A 'Grey Goose’ of which five species are recognized and which fall into two groups: those breeding in the Tundra and those breeding in the forested Taiga region in the south. However there are overlaps between the races.

Historically, the Bean goose was included in the Indian list based on a specimen shot in Bikaner in December 1948. On re-examination, Humayun Abdulali declared it to be a juvenile White-fronted Goose. An earlier bird was mentioned by Stuart Baker (in Fauna of British India: Birds) from Surma Valley, Assam, but Dr C. B. Ticehurst doubted its veracity as it was based on hearsay and no specimen existed. Dr Abdulali therefore recommended that it be removed from the Indian list.

Subsequently, Tim and Carol Inskipp reported it from Nepal in 1991 and Craig Robson in 1993.

However, in February 2003, it was convincingly photographed in India (by a team of birdwatchers, consisting of Mike Prince, Bill Harvey, Sujan Chatterjee and Bikram Grewal) in Harike, Punjab, on the banks of the Beas River, where a single specimen was seen in a gathering of Greylag Geese. It was thought to be of the middendorffi race.

Date and time of sighting: Single observation on 12 February 2003

Number of birds sighted: One.

Observation: "This bird was picked out from the Greylags by its slighter appearance, especially the thinner neck and smaller, less steep, head and bill. The plumage was browner, the neck and upperparts relatively dark, and the bill black with an orange band near the tip. The legs were also orange. Luckily the geese were approachable and we were able to take some good photos" - Bill Harvey in Orientalbirding Yahoo Group (February 14, 2003)

Observed by: Mike Prince, Bill Harvey, Sujan Chatterjee and Bikram Grewal.

Current status: This species was seen again, in April 2007, by Craig Robson and others in the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, Assam, India.

 

 

   
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