Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Birding - 11/08/09

Young red-backed shrikes were noted at both locations birded today - always a pleasure to see these little guys. I get the impression that they arrived back in slightly fewer numbers on the patch this year, so hopefully they have had a good season.

A tiny fragment of heathland remains in BK, part of the Älemossen bog complex. The area is drying out fast. Sadly black grouse is on the verge of extinction locally, this used to be a lekking location.

An elephant hawk-moth caterpillar was a good find for the kids.

More rain and more birding. Took the family out to eat blueberries at Älemossen in the morning and to see what was moving. At this time of year, when passerine migration is changing up a gear and everything is trickling south it can be fun to see what you can find in the upland areas away from the coast. First bird up this morning was a fantastic wryneck flushed into a hedge by Number 2 and me, it gave reasonable views after a bit of work. This can be a hard bird to find on the patch but August is the month to find one. Other notables included crane (3 adults), red-backed shrike (2 family parties), tree pipit (10), spotted flycatcher (3), jay (1) and (do not laugh) my first long-tailed tits of the year (!!). Not sure what happened to the latter - was last winter really that harsh? Just need to find a bullfinch for the year on the patch now!

After lunch took Numbers 1 & 2 out for a walk at Ripagården. A big gull flock just inland had an adult lesser black-backed gull. The beach held nine common sandpipers and a Temminck's stint. A whooper swan was floating just off Hovs Hallar. Did a bit of a seawatch whilst the kids amused themselves with the sole of a shoe, other tideline debris and a quantity of sheep dung. I know, I know, I spoil them, but they are my little angels... Not much went past south, except six common scoter, a little tern and a bar-tailed godwit. If the forecast winds arrive tomorrow morning it may be worth a dawn sea-watch...

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