Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A purple patch with blue bits!

My most-wanted BK bird falls at last. Finding bluethroats is always good, but this one was special.

Singing his little heart out. After six months without a patch tick, yesterday's collared flycatcher notched up the 230 and this little beauty was 231. What next?

Hard to believe that a week ago I was worried about losing my mojo. What a three day period I have had! The ninth saw me finding a marsh sandpiper off-patch, yesterday I found a great reed warbler on-patch and Mr Ekenberg found a collared flycatcher nearby and today it continued in a similar vein...

I have been boring Mrs B rigid with my master plan for this May - simply put to find a bluethroat on the patch. Ripagården-Hovs Hallar has a good track record in May for this species, so I headed there this morning pre-breakfast (ignoring the build-up of red-throated divers down the road in Laholmsbukten - they recorded 3200!). I had hardly got started when I flushed a small passerine from the vegetation along the shoreline. My brain screamed "bluethroat" and it was! A fantastic male, that started singing as I watched it. Superb. This is a tough bird in spring on the west coast of Sweden; amazingly it is about as hard as finding your own on the east coast of the UK these days. Sent an SMS to Martin and he rang for news and got to me very fast. The bird sat up on a clump of Rosa rugosa and sang lustily. Walked the rest of my route around the site, picking up 250 migrating barnacle geese, a single wood sandpiper, a hobby in-off and a fine male red-backed shrike. And so to breakfast.

With an appointment in Helsingborg, Mrs B and I headed south off-patch for the day. Before the meeting we squeezed in quiet flying visits to Sandön (90 more barnacle geese on the move and a nice hepatic morph female cuckoo) and Farhult (four spotted redshank and my first bar-tailed godwit of the year).

Gregory Peck! Hasslarp has an excellent record of turning up pectoral sandpipers in May. After three roller-coaster days the family are forcing me to change my lucky underpants, so things should quieten down tomorrow.

After the meeting we just had time for half an hour at Hasslarp. An inspired choice as within ten minutes I was looking at NW Skåne's 13th pectoral sandpiper! Superb! I spend a lot of time looking for waders and to finally find two scarce species in one week is rather excellent! The supporting cast looked good too, at least three Temminck's stints and a few wood sandpipers. What a day.

Ortolan bunting is on the top of the most-wanted list now, a few records today from around Halland and Skåne suggest this one could fall too with luck.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant Phil!! Well done indeed, Sir. Get out as much as you can - you are on a roll...!