Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Patch tick - great reed warbler!

Painted lady - new in on southerly winds that brought the patient birders of north-west Skåne the first stone-curlew for 53 years! [I did not go but after ten years without a stone-curlew I might be tempted]

An early start got me in the field before another DIY session on the house... Ripagården is always a good bet for migrants so I headed there as usual. Things looked quiet initially but when I got to the reedbed I quickly became aware that in amongst the reed warbler song was the testosterone-charged gruntings of a great reed warbler. A bird that may not have been recorded in the municipality before and was certainly a patch tick for me - result!

Spurred on I searched all the way to Hovs Hallar for other migrants but came up with nothing. A pair of red-backed shrikes have taken up residence though. Always great to see these birds.

Took the kids, Mrs B and the in-laws on a wild spoonbill chase in the afternoon to Trönninge ängar. The bird had flown and the other two potential year-ticks were nowhere to be seen either! Good birding on the beach nearby though with turnstone (1 - scarce this spring), 32 ringed plovers (migrants?) and great numbers of sea-duck offshore. Also here the first painted lady of the year. The best bird came as we drove away from the site and stopped to look at a migrating ringtail hen harrier (getting late for them here).

Nipped out in the evening for a quick look at Ranarpstrand and Glimminge, ignoring the news that a stone-curlew was 45 km away... Not much doing at either spot but as I drove home I stopped first for a long-eared owl being harrassed by a crow. Nice. Stopped again when a male merlin whipped in front of the car and wheeled about to give great views. It then headed for a female merlin that was carrying prey - do not ask me what was going on, I was astonished. Merlin do not breed on the patch so what were they up to? Do far northern breeders pair up en route? [Apparently merlin have a strong monogamous pair bond and have been recorded wintering together as pairs - these birds were presumably migrants stopping off en route north.] Great day.

1 comment:

  1. Nice one Phil! And good reward for a lot of effort... Weds looks like it might be good (rain coming through very early morning).. what will be next - Red-foot?