Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring has sprung!

The feeders had a single dunnock this morning at breakfast, a sure sign of spring hereabouts. We managed to get out of the house before nine for the first time in a long time this morning. We headed off-patch to Sandön, stopping briefly at Ljungbyholm en route for four fantastic, but skittish, white-fronted geese.

Sandön was very good, the sea-ice has broken up, open water is everywhere and more signs of spring were evident here too. A flock of 16 avocet was a most welcome sight, even if against a backdrop of gulls floating past on chunks of sea-ice. I found an Egyptian goose almost straight away - this scarce species seems to plague me here, my ability to find them only matched by my hatred for them. Still if you are micro-birding, they all count and so it went out on the pager system (via Mikael Olofsson, who was finding real birds down south). Other notables at Sandön included smew (pair), goosander (16), bearded tit (heard) and singing reed buntings.

Next stop was Farhult, good birding here too, the highlights here; pintail (1), pochard (pair), smew (pair), oystercatcher (79), avocet (1), dunlin (1) and white wagtail (1, and perhaps the fourth year-tick of the day).

On the way home picked up mistle thrush (1) at Södra Utmarken and stopped again on-patch at Ljungbyholm for whooper swan (16) and oystercatcher (8).

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