Sunday, September 13, 2009

Unlucky 13 - birding Falsterbo

Star of the raptor parade today for us at Falsterbo was this rough-legged buzzard. Others made do with a 1K pallid harrier. Oh the shame!

Went down to Falsterbo last night to stay with Terry (Birding Copenhagen) and three of his mates from East Anglia. They had evicted the Seven Dwarves and were living in a tiny cottage in the woods. Luckily there was just enough floor space for me. During the evening they gripped me rigid with tales of their second day at Falsterbo - short-toed eagle, black kite.... We hoped for more of the same on their third day.

Common buzzard - gentle trickle of birds through during the middle part of the day.

Rain overnight and a breezy northerly did not bode well however and we had a 'mare of a day. We somehow managed to miss all the good birds - Falsterbo has quite a complex geography and it is easy to be in the wrong place, unless you opt to sit at the end all day. We started at the end (Nabben) in the early morning. A few honey buzzards drifted south. The lagoon here was crammed with waders and we spent some time trying to find a broad-billed sandpiper in the throng of dunlin. No joy, but our searching turned up at least two little stint and a curlew sandpiper (the latter my first 1K bird of the year). A white-tailed eagle terrorised the local cormorants for a while and sparrowhawk were regular overhead. Several squalls came through whilst we waited here and we got wet! Passerine highlight came in the form of a single grey wagtail, although a few meadow and tree pipit were heard overhead. We elected for breakfast and a move to the heath to await raptors.

Red kites never failed to entertain, 30-odd birds passed us today.

Typically as we settled into our comfy chairs and waited for the raptor parade, the phone went. Martin Åkesson had found a Lapland bunting back in BK... The movement of raptors today was rather poor, although it included a splendid rough-legged buzzard, two hen harriers, another or the same white-tailed eagle and perhaps thirty red kite. A crane flew silently overhead but a white stork gave us the slip out to the west. A few crossbill and siskin were apparent. Out on the lagoon, four avocet will probably be my last of the year. With more rain in the offing I decided to head back to BK for a crack at the bunting. Tramping back over the heath produced a nice marsh gentian which somehow eluded me photographically.

An hour and a half later I was strolling through sunny fields in a light breeze back on the patch (Eskilstorp) - a phenomenal change in weather. Queen-of-Spain fritillaries were booted from underfoot and despite walking the field for an hour I could not find the bunting. Too bad, but I got home in time for a fish-and-chip supper.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Phil, great to see you at the weekend - thanks for making the trip. The boys all thought you were a great addition to the crew, especially with your knowledge of all things Swedish.. They're all keen to return so hopefully same again next year, although maybe we'll evict the 3 bears instead of the 7 dwarves next time! Don may have seen a Pallid but he has slept out in the open and eaten worms for breakfast - worth it? Discuss.... T