Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Grasshopper!

Up again early and out the door to look at the Halland part of BK; the main aim being to check various sites for grasshopper warbler. Dawn at Eskilstorpstrand was clear and quiet, a few red-throated divers remained but they hardly bothered with attempting to migrate as the skies darkened and rain threatened soon after dawn. An osprey drifted north with an entourage of irate gulls.

Whooper swan at Petersberg, a pair seem to have taken up residence in the chain of wetlands in this bit of Halland. Sadly the Petersberg brown-field site is scheduled for housing so I will lose this excellent little wetland in due course. Shame!

Petersberg had a confiding whooper swan and the high pitched flight-call of a hawfinch alerted me to its progress overhead. Walked into Eskilstorps dammar next and right at the far end heard a faint and apparently distant snatch of grasshopper warbler song. Looking around I was surprised to find two birds just behind me in the short grass, they dived off into a clump showing streaky undertail coverts. Sub-song? Walking back two spotted flycatcher were out in a bare field, hawking from clumps of earth. As I left it started raining and it set in for the day. This did not stop me visiting Klarningen; not much there though unless you like copulating curlews.

Before I went home I tried for the penduline tit seen yesterday at Skottorp's wetland, typically I failed to appreciate where the bird was and left empty-handed.

Eskilstorpsdammar - water levels are dropping fast here too, but not as quickly as at Klarningen across the river. I think Klarningen is leaking, either through undisabled former drainage pipes or maybe they struck a lens of sand during the land-forming process. The good news is that the windpump is connected up, so it may be operational. The system at Eskilstorp is rainwater dependent (it takes drainage water from agricultural areas to the west), so in dry springs it can be very low.

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