Friday, August 21, 2009

Birding - 21/08/09

A look at the weather chart convinced me that conditions were good for a fall this morning, but it sounds like it all happened slightly further south. I hit Ripagården at dawn with some optimism therefore, but it quickly became apparent that no large numbers of passerines had fallen out overnight. Migrants were about though; a deep, throaty "chuck" followed by a "whheep" alerted me to the presence of a thrush nightingale, a bird that tends to be hard to spot after the spring song-fest. A scattering of migrants included sedge warbler (1) and small numbers of lesser and common whitethroat and tree pipit. The reedbed was hosting a flock of 1500 starlings and the sea had whooper swan (1), wigeon (10, another species now on the move), gadwall (1) and an adult and juvenile razorbill. Waders were few and far between with just snipe (6) and common sandpiper (12). One of the highlights was three big fox cubs ('captured' in the video clip below) having fun by the sea - aaahh bless.

Back at home for breakfast, it was noticeable that the garden (which has been very quiet for weeks) was buzzing. A quick look found three (yes three) chaffinches, four robins, blackcap, lesser whitethroat and chiffchaff. Busy indeed.

After leaving all three kids at day-care for the first time, I took Mrs B out to take her mind off the fact that her babies were growing up. Through the intermittent bouts of uncontrollable sobbing we looked for birds. We both enjoyed a roadside marsh harrier en route to Glimminge. Glimminge was disappointing for waders, although Mrs B flushed a record count of snipe (21), also here redshank (5), wood sandpiper (2) and common sandpiper (2). Wigeon (4) and teal (12) floated offshore.

Working the woodland edge from Vasaltheden was pleasurable. A scattering of migrants included icterine warbler (2), garden warbler (2), spotted flycatcher (4), redstart (1) and tree pipit (10). A total of nine black guillemots in family parties floated offshore. A quick look at Öllövstrand revealed nothing unusual. Walking back through Vasaltheden we had a low female merlin along the shoreline.

Comfort food was required so we ate a packed lunch at Klarningen and had a quick look. Waders included curlew (4), lapwing (50), golden plover (1), greenshank (1), wood sandpiper (1), green sandpiper (1) and snipe (10). Four wigeon flew over scouting the site and a 1K cuckoo drifted along the peripheral line of trees. A few grounded tree pipits were flushed and the site looks good for autumn red-throats!

Driving back to pick up the kids we passed Ehrenstorp and found the family of cranes still in residence. Took the kids for a run-around at Torekov and had a superb osprey over the car at Västra Karup. Autumn has arrived and birds are on the move - yee hah!

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