Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Quail!

Had a short but excellent session before breakfast at Klarningen this morning. I coasted to a halt on the access track and was immediately rewarded with a close, singing male quail (my first for the site). The bird eventually took exception to my presence and flew a short distance away from me, giving great flight views.

A walk around the edge of the site produced a singing grasshopper warbler (another Klarningen first). Migrant waders were obvious with spotted redshank (1), green sandpiper (1) and wood sandpiper (20). Fluffy lapwing and little ringed plover chicks were nice to see.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Garden tick!

Up at 0130 this morning to wave goodbye to my sister and her family. Surprised to hear at least two long-eared owl youngsters nearby - excellent garden tick!

At a more civilised hour, I took the kids for a quick look at Ranarpsstrand, just seven redshank and one greenshank.

Later in the day I checked out Farhult. Stacks of waders here with; oystercatcher (80), little ringed plover (1), curlew (29), spotted redshank (2), redshank (33), greenshank (45) and wood sandpiper (7). Waders are on the move in numbers. Also 8 shoveler and 16 teal. A quick stop at Sandön produced a singing grasshopper warbler and 35 avocet.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Patch tick - great egret!

Last day with my sister and her family, so in the afternoon we headed out for a walk out onto Gröthögarna. This proved to be an inspired choice. As we walked south a marsh harrier put all the herons off the wetland in the centre of the headland. My 'spidey-senses' were tingling so I checked carefully through the five grey herons for a possible purple. Nothing doing, then I looked up and saw a great egret slowly flying north! Excellent bird. Got nice views, did a victory boogie and then remembered I should be taking photographs...

It looked good going past but by the time the camera was out... Scarce in BK and a good NW Skåne bird. They should get commoner though and will certainly be easier to see in BK when Klarningen comes online.

Other birds here included dunlin (2) and snipe (1), as well as four massive mullet along the harbour wall at Norrebrohamn when we were having a swim...

Big mullet (Mugil cephalus) , there are several species in European waters but I struggled to identify this one on Google due to it sharing it's English name with a disastrous hair-style...



Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday birding

Spent the day outside but mostly doing family stuff. Did the Axeltorpsravinen walk in the morning, picking up a grey wagtail. Driving away had a nice 2K hobby hunting over Sinarpsdalen. Spent the afternoon grilling meat at Grytskaren and managed ten minutes at Ranarpsstrand, this quick look produced two greenshank, seven redshank, four curlews and seven fly-by barnacle geese.

Went home to watch the football and then went outside to take the England flag off the car. Three hawfinch in the garden (a family party?), lifted my spirits somewhat.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Another trip to Rönnen

En route to Helsingborg today we stopped briefly at Rönnen. The reason being that the Terek had been joined by a male green-winged teal. Forty-five minutes was plenty of time to get close views of the Terek and watch the teal a bit (another Swedish tick). Also here little gull (1) and gadwall (1).

Even closer views of the Terek today, allowing a record shot to be attempted.

The double-bill attracted a score of twitcher's and regulars. The two birds separated by about 200 metres. Sweet, I wonder what I have been missing in BK this week?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Beach art and penguins

Small flock of penguins at Tönnersa. A very unusual sighting, but this stretch of beach has produced tufted puffin in the past...

Kinetic flatfish installation at Tönnersa. But is it art?

Klarn-again

Had an hour at Klarningen this morning before the Midsummer festivities. Yesterday's wood sandpipers at Rönnen, prompted a visit and sure enough a flock of 13 woodies was present, along with two green sandpipers and six redshank.

Whinchats have bred successfully at Klarningen.

First Calopteryx splendens of the year at Klarningen.

Plenty of water on site at last. A few waders about.

Work on the tower continues.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A rare twitch

Still busy with family. Great blue-sky, sunny weather today. Spent time at Dömestorp (hawfinch heard) grilling sausages and then went up to Tönnersa (too busy to look at birds).

After tea and with excellent baby-sitters on hand, Mrs B and I slipped out of the house heading for Rönnen and the Terek sandpiper found yesterday. We quickly located the bird feeding in a shoreline pool on the west side. Nice views in good light. Terek's are great, and this was my first in Sweden. We watched the bird for about 15 minutes before it flew onto the rocky shoreline of the island to the north and was eventually lost to view. The nearby pool had a good selection of waders; green sandpiper (2), wood sandpiper (7), spotted redshank (2) and dunlin (1). A single 2K little gull was also present. Nice evening.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Walking Älemossen

We all walked across Älemossen to Frestensfälla with my sister's family today. Beautiful blue sky weather and plenty of things to look at. Birds were quiet, the highlights being a singing siskin and a smart displaying male honey buzzard. Invertebrate highlights included this pearl-bordered fritillary...


A 'blue' female common blue...

and this exciting black adder, probably the biggest individual I have ever seen...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Birding lately

With most of my family in town there has been little time for birding, but we have seen a few things in passing. A trip to Yttre Kattvik on the 17th produced just a pair of flyby goosander. Sandön on the 19th had bearded tit (heard) and a pair of osprey.

Spent some time at the place my family had rented in Råbocka (Ängelholm) and had hobby (1), black and lesser spotted woodpecker and calling young long-eared owls over the last few days. A walk yesterday down Sinarpsdalen produced at least three pairs of red-backed shrike.

Goodbye Nelly B

The family gathered from far and wide on Friday, to help us say our last goodbye to Nelly. We all gathered at Torekov to take the boat out into deeper water. The afternoon was sunny, with a brisk westerly, that made for a lumpy ride out into the lee of Hallands Väderö that the kids thought was very exciting. In this achingly beautiful spot we said a few words and then we lowered the biodegradeable urn over the side. As the urn sank, everyone dropped decorated and inscribed rocks over the side and we had a little cry before heading back to Torekov.

A good kind of monkey to have on your back


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Birding yesterday

A pre-breakfast session saw me checking out Klarningen. The rain and high winds over the weekend have bolstered water-levels here and there was a little more activity than there has been lately. A male ruff flew through, otherwise just the resident waders present. A pair of shoveler still present and at least three teal. Broods of goldeneye and shelduck were nice to see and a pair of cuckoos chased each other around. Marsh warblers were vocal with at least five males heard, mostly in vegetation along the river.

On the way home quickly checked out Petersberg. Calyopteryx virgo and Ischnura elegans were on the wing. Both pairs of red-necked grebes had single youngsters and redpoll and garden warbler were vocal.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another half hour!

Busy week for us, but squeezed in half an hour at Vejbystrand and Stora Hultstrand. A few singing birds including icterine and marsh warbler. Four avocet, a pair of redshank, five teal and a solitary red-necked grebe.

Meanwhile Terry has been busy watching Denmark's first Pacific swift...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Half an hour at Sandön

Had lunch with the team at Sandön after picking up Ma B. Just the four spotted redshanks of note.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Farewell Terry!

Terry bagged this shot of today's star bird, a singing male river warbler just outside Kalmar.

Kicked off our last morning session of the trip with another very early start at Ottenby. Terry hammered the woodland doing well for barred warbler and golden oriole. I checked out the KP area again but to no avail. Did pick up three long-tailed duck and at least four goosander, as well as the regular flock of seven black-tailed godwits and the usual waders. We cruised slowly north, Ottenby had not been over-kind to us and it stuck the knife in nicely with both bee-eater and white stork after we left today! Our drive north up to Beijershamn was interupted by stops for two or three rosefinches, a nice male Montagu’s harrier, a single grey partridge, golden plover (3) and redwing(1).

Biejershamn in a quick visit produced grey plover (2), dunlin (14), and an incredible 36 spotted redshank. Whilst here Mrs B rang in to tell us that there was a river warbler across the bridge in Kalmar. We asked a local birder for directions to the site and before we knew it we were enjoying bright sunshine, warmth, great views of a close and often obliging river warbler and also a cracking proper-red singing male rosefinch. It almost felt like a holiday… Drove on home seeing surprisingly little, although my spotter was rather tired. We just had time to visit Dömestorp before Terry’s train. The plan was to jam into the singing the red-breasted flycatcher and actually see it. It was not to be. I dropped an exhausted Terry off at Båstad and just had to hope he would not fall asleep and wake up in a siding somewhere in Copenhagen in the middle of the night. A great trip despite appalling weather.

A spring (?) day on Öland

What a monster! I haven't got a new camera this is one of Terry's. This singing male barred warbler was one of the highlights of the trip - an exciting first for both of us, despite our long collective history of seeing this species in the UK in autumn. Perched by the road we successfully stalked it down to ridiculously close-range in the car. A great moment.

A rather trying day weather-wise again today with very little rain but a very strong south-westerly winds that had Terry and I pretty frazzled by the end of play. First up was a trip to nearby Norra Lunden (Ottenby), where at least we could get out of the wind. Here we quickly got onto a superb male collared flycatcher and followed it up with a singing red-breasted flycatcher, which gave a few snatches of song and then shut up. We never saw it. Also here woodcock (1), lots of spotted flycatcher and about 8 common crossbills.

Moving to Södra Lunden we went for a short walk and heard a rosefinch. Just as we were despairing of seeing barred warbler and discussing the fact that we had not even heard a call, one rattled away behind us. It popped up briefly, a female. I looked for the Kentish plover again but thorough searching revealed nothing in the KP line but plenty of other waders; grey plover (5), black-tailed godwit (7), turnstone (3), spotted redshank (2) and knot (14). Also here barnacle goose (1), little gull (2 2K) and a few alcids and common scoter going past. Terry elected to chase more barred warblers and have another crack at the red-breasted flycatcher but the weather was not kind.

A short stop at Seby produced more knot (7), dunlin (2) and a moulting adult curlew sandpiper (with one leg). Also one little gull here. Next was the excellent little wetland at Hulterstad where we had at least four black terns, as well as our first gadwall (6) and pochard (1). Möckelmossen was windy with just a few more black terns (3) and our first whinchat. Driving on we had a rapid hobby past at Resmo, one of two today.

Beijershamn was ridiculously windy (Terry slept) but looked good for a (hopefully) quieter look tomorrow. At least 25 spotted redshanks here were a highlight but also impressive numbers of Anas ducks; wigeon (30), teal (70), gadwall (25) and shoveler (25). Also dunlin (2).

Driving south Terry’s rest had done him good as he plucked first red kite and then three cranes from the skies. Back at Ottenby we dipped the KP again and then heard of a possible steppe eagle around Kastlösa and dragged ourselves round on a rather pleasant circuitous transect. First up was a surprise goshawk and the red kite again at Kastlösa. We had an epic encounter with a male barred warbler at Gösslunda that saw the bird about 3 metres away from the car at one point. At Triberga we heard another rosefinch and we lastly we took the Lindby loop for a nice male Montagu’s harrier.

Road trip

With 'Birding Copenhagen's' Terry Townshend soon to be transferred to far-off China, it was time for a farewell tour. We have not got together much over the last two years but when we do it is always enjoyable. This trip to Öland was no exception, although we had to battle some rain and a lot of windy weather...

On the way down to pick up Terry at Lund I stopped at Saxåns mynning. Here the ruddy shelduck performed briefly in the light rain just after dawn, obligingly flying in out of the mist to land in front of the bird-tower and then off again. Kosher? Who knows? Also here a pair of avocet, but not much else spotted in the grim conditions and short time available.

Picked up a bleary-eyed Terry and headed straight for Ravlunda firing-range, the military were using it in the afternoon, so we were under a slight time constraint but had a fantastic four hours. Ravlunda was amazing, superb habitat and the rain stayed away. Walking in from Road 161 to the small pond we had a close encounter with a super little singing male firecrest. Breaking out into grassland with scattered trees we could hear singing woodlarks, golden orioles (2+ heard, one seen eventually) and mistle thrush (1). A splendid male Montagu’s harrier hunted the heathy grassland areas around the range during our visit. Green woodpeckers were frequently encountered and out on the heath we heard the whinging 'song' of a wryneck. A single golden plover flew south. Searching for tawny pipit and barred warbler took up most of our time; splitting up to search more of the large potential area proved disastrous for Terry when I connected with a fly-through bee-eater. Heard calling initially, I spotted it circling briefly before trying (and failing) to get Terry’s attention by a number of increasingly desperate methods. The bird slipped away north and Terry dipped. The whole debacle 'harshing my buzz'! What a shame. On the walk back we finally scored a pair of tawny pipits but we had to abandon the barred warblers and hope that we levelled the score on Öland. A calling lesser spotted woodpecker by the car was the last of a hatful of year-ticks at this wonderful site.

We headed for lunch and a chance of serin at Kivik but the rain came and hampered our efforts and in the end we elected to head for Öland. Only one bird of note on the journey - a single white stork near Viby.

As we approached Ottenby the mist and rain returned. Nevertheless after tea we headed out for a wet and gloomy session along the access road to the lighthouse. Here we searched hard for the Kentish plovers reported recently but failed. Some good birds though with whimbrel (2), bar-tailed godwit (2), black-tailed godwit (5), turnstone (1), ruff (1) and little gull (2 2K). A long day but rewarding.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More rain

More rain today but not much time for birding. En route to Helsingborg, Mrs B and I dropped in on Hasslarps dammar. Pretty quiet here just three green sandpipers, the vanguard of the southward wader migration that will kick off soon. Single teal and three shoveler were the best of the wildfowl and a red kite and a raven were having a conversation on one of the pylons.

On the way home we stopped at Sandön, despite plenty of mud, very few waders of any kind. Rather disappointing but at least 7 bearded tits were worth seeing. At least one carrying a metal ring (presumably the work of Don Ehrenberg).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wet one

The kids and I squeezed in a very wet half hour at Sandön this morning, just six gadwall and four spotted redshank of note.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My friendly flicker

Kicked off his morning with a two-hour session before breakfast at Ripagården. Things are on the move in different directions now; with waders heading south (single spotted redshank today) and a male rosefinch that slowly drifted north through the trees and bushes singing desultorily as it went. Nice. Otherwise a full set of warblers belting out their songs and plenty of young being fed by various species. A single common sandpiper reminded me that they might have bred at the site this year, must try and check before it is too late.

Picked up the team and headed for Yttre Kattvik. Pretty quiet here in flat calm conditions; just a single red-throated diver offshore and singing redpoll and cuckoo. Nest stop was a sausage-grilling session at Dömestorp. On arrival we could hear the red-breasted flycatcher from the car park and before long I was watching it. Not totally sure this is the same bird that I saw earlier at the other end of the wood, looked redder in the breast. As we approached the BBQ clearing an explosive "PIX!" revealed that we had flushed a pair of hawfinches, one of which perched up for good views. I still have not got used to seeing this exotic monster so regularly.

Whilst in the neighbourhood we quickly checked Klarningen and the kids had a play on the beach at Eskilstorpsstrand. Just the usual suspects at both. Three green sandpipers was the best of Klarningen and a total of ten goosander and a flock of fifty common scoter was the contribution from Klarningen.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Clear morning, rainy day

You don't see this everyday at Klarningen. Hatching oystercatchers, one out, one half-way and the other chipping. Superb. I hurried on my way and the adult soon came back to brood them.

With rain forecast for the best part of the day I dragged myself out for a pre-breakfast look at Klarningen whilst it was dry. Wader passage has definately reversed now and the failed breeders and successful local breeders are making their way back to Klarningen. A single spotted redshank and four green sandpipers joined the breeding waders this morning. I also had my first shoveler (pair) for the site. Four teal were on nearby Eskilstorpsdammar.

The rain came down at breakfast and it stayed wet all day. Got the team onto the beach at Ängelholm in the afternoon for a wet walk and we saw just one goosander.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pearly queen

With the kids at the grand-parents, Mrs B and I worked the Farhult/Rönnen/Sandön area. The whole stretch was rather quiet but produced some notable birds. Farhult had this small pearl-bordered fritillary...



Farhult also had a couple of red-necked grebes and a single spotted redshank. Rönnen produced my first knot (2) of the year, but Sandön was very quiet, with just a handful of shoveler and an osprey.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rosy morning

Decided to find out if last year's immature male rosefinch had returned to Öllövsstrand this year and guess what. It had. This year sporting a bit of red and still desperately wolf-whistling for a female. Marsh warblers, icterine warblers and thrush nightingales in full song. Walked up to Glimminge, plenty of breeding activity, but the only other bird of note was a spotted redshank at Vasaltheden that came high and vocal from the east and landed on the seashore.

After breakfast took the team for a swim in the sea at Segelstorp, two more spotted redshank south were the highlight here.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Not much birding

Not much time for birding today, trying to catch up on all the jobs around the house and garden both seriously neglected during May. Did get to Vejbystrand briefly with Mrs B; still at least four avocet and newly-hatched lapwing chicks too. Otherwise a coot in the village was exciting...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Club-tail

A day out with the kids to give Mrs B a break turned into an invertebrate session. We started at Klarningen where we booted out the first patch Odonates of the year - my first club-tailed dragonfly in Sweden and a nice beautiful demoiselle too. The only bird highlight was a lonely-looking golden plover.

Club-tailed dragonfly (Gomphus vulgatissimus) - a nice, if predictable tick at Klarningen this morning.

Beautiful demoiselle Calyopteryx virgo, Klarningen

After a quiet spell on the beach we headed round Älemossen (red-backed shrikes and whinchats) to the dragonfly pools at Frestensfälla. Here we had yet more species of Odonata; both Leucorrhinia rubicunda and dubia, Libelulla quadrimaculata, northern damselfly and large red damselfly.

Another patch first for me at Frestensfälla was this map butterfly.

Northern damselfly Coenagrion hastulatum at Frestensfälla today.

Large red damselfly Pyrrhosoma nympula at Frestensfälla today.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Broad-bill

Easing back a bit on the early morning starts it seems, as I slept through the alarm again... With Number 1 having a try-out at school (she made the team), we had a chance to take Number 2 out for a walk. We headed for Påarps Mal, hoping for a fly-by sooty tern (a possible yesterday on nearby Hallands Väderö) and were suitably rewarded with a superb but skulky broad-billed sandpiper (I dread to think how many of these I have walked past) and also a flock of 21 brent geese north. The broad-billed was only my third on patch, they are not easy in BK.

Walking on to Dagshög we picked up a couple of black-throated divers, one an adult and the other an immature (it is too early for fledged 1K birds presumably so it must have been 2K).

Nipped back to Torekov reningsverk for a reported great reed warbler but could only scare up a marsh warbler in the small reedbed here. A pair of grey partridge too. Good day.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Night bird part 2

Midnight saw me standing by the river at Klarningen straining my ears to catch anything on the other side at Eskilstorpsdammar. Nothing doing, just two thrush nightingales and a handful of marsh warblers. Petersberg, Norra Ängalag and Flytermossen were all the same. Although Torekov produced a tawny owl - my first at the site.

Night birders come...Night birders dip away (usual apologies to Japan)

Bow to the power of the bull

Mrs B sent me out for the annual night birding session, where I try and catch up with nightjar. Had time for a couple of hours at Klarningen before dusk even looked like it was approaching. Day-length is increasing rapidly at this time of the year (nearly 25 minutes a week).

Klarningen was quiet with the usual resident waders (including a pair of ringed plovers), but disturbingly the first green sandpipers (2) of autumn I suspect. Birders never really get a summer, just the hectic spring passage followed almost immediately by a slow drift south as failed-breeders make their slow way ahead of the autumn crowd. Also here a wheatear (are they breeding?), a single yellow wagtail and several new-in marsh warblers.

Petersberg during a prolonged sunset produced the resident pair of red-necked grebes and three amorous or argumentative cuckoos. Nearby as dusk fell a male goshawk was pursued by a hoody.

Älemossen after dark was decidely chilly but a few snatches of nightjar song were heard. Overhead an equally invisible woodcock was roding. Snipe were drumming and a tawny owl called form nearby trees. As midnight approached I headed for Klarningen.