Friday, June 12, 2009

Patch tick - short-eared owl

Nice landform, mimicking oxbow features long-since removed by intensive agriculture and its associated drainage practices. Starting to wet up nicely and the birds are coming. Get in!

On wet days like today a wall of cloud hangs over the Hallandåsen ridge (which runs east-west) and this will no doubt ensure plenty of south-bound waders drop out of migration into Klarningen. There were certainly plenty of birds around today

Squeezed in a rainy spell at Klarningen mid-morning, with the kids reading books in the back of the car. They lasted 25 minutes, which gave me enough time to have a quick scan about. It has rained for the last day and a half and the new wetland has been transformed into a good-looking, muddy wet field dotted with pools. The passage waders have flooded in too, with two spotted redshank (patch year-tick), at least 11 green sandpipers and a ringed plover. Who knows what a more thorough examination would reveal? Also here a gathering of at least 50 lapwing and a few sand martins.

Could not resist a return to Klarningen on my own in the afternoon... The rain was still falling but it could not dampen my enthusiasm. Just as I arrived all the lapwing went up and in amongst them my first BK short-eared owl (at last). It showed well in flight and then perched briefly for scope views. Superb.

The rest of the session was spent walking the boundary and trying to get a handle on the number of waders present. The totals were impressive with five spotted redshank (perhaps 7), 11 green sandpipers and one wood sandpiper. I love this place.

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