Sunday, July 18, 2010

What a drag!

Took the team for the annual blueberry/dragonfly walk today. I love this day, I potter about catching odonates and listening to the kids mucking about and scoffing berries.

Sympetrum vulgatum (female) - a big emergence of Sympetrum was underway at Bjäred våtmark, the first site on our itinerary.

First up was a rare visit to the man-made wetland near Bjäred. Number 1 and I did a circuit picking up a few good birds, including green sandpiper (2) and a pair of honey buzzards. But it was dragonflies we concentrated on, picking up Anax imperator (a recent colonist to southern Sweden), Libellula quadrimaculata, a patrolling male Somatochlora metallica, Lestes sponsa, Erythromma najas, Enallagma cyathigerum, Coenagrion puella and Ischnura elegans.

Driving past Ehrenstorp we spotted a pair of cranes feeding in the wet valley near the lake. A red kite cruised past.

The pools at Frestensfälla were our next destination. The weather was a bit unkind at this point and the sun hid behind clouds a lot. Nevertheless we managed a few more dragonfly species; Sympetrum danae, Leucorrhinia dubia and rubicunda, Coenagrion hastulatum and Pyrrhosoma nymphula.

Coenagrion hastulatum, showing the diagnostic S2 'arrow-head' mark.

An early Aeshna subarctica was a great find at Älemossen.

Our last stop was Älemossen which gave us three more species, bringing the total recorded during the day to 16, not bad considering the weather. I think 25 would be a good day total and I may try next year. The new species were a brief Aeshna grandis in the woods and then the small very dry Sphagnum pools provided one teneral Aeshna subarctica and an egg-laying Somatochlora arctica. A brilliant end to the day and the blueberry crumble was superb!

My second ever Somatochlora arctica was this egg-laying female, it flew with its anal claspers and S10 up in the air, you could see the eggs building up in a ball before they were slapped into the wet Sphagnum.

Caught this male Somatochlora arctica at Älemossen on 27/07/08, it was my first. The site was a lot wetter that year, huge volumes of water are being lost at the moment to the rail tunnel currently being drilled through Hallandåsen. The site is drying rapidly and will never be the same I fear.

Same individual, showing the fantastic 'earwig-style' male appendages.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

An hour at Glimminge

Dropped the team at the mega one-day flea market at Mäsinge this morning and had an hour at Glimminge. Serious rain pinned me in the car for a while, but when I got out there were a few waders about. Best of the lot was a single Temminck's stint; also here wood sandpiper (10), green sandpiper (4) and common sandpiper (2). The numbers of Sandwich terns build quickly at this time of year and there were 30 here this morning, at least 6 of them ringed.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Half an hour at Gröthögarna

After a busy day round the house, we all went for a BBQ at Ripagården in the evening. Managed to sneak in half an hour looking for waders. Pretty quiet at Ripagården with just single little ringed plover and common sandpiper. Walking up to the bay near Dalen produced a few more birds though with curlew sandpiper (2) the stars of the show; as well as dunlin (32), wood sandpiper (1) and common sandpiper (4).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Klarningen with the kids

Sympetrum danae - my first at Klarningen. Also on the wing today on site were Aeshna grandis, Orthetrum cancellatum and amazingly Somatochlora flavomaculata.

Took the kids for a wet walk around Klarningen this morning. The rain stayed away but overnight rain had made the long vegetation rather damp. We soldiered on and the usual circuit produced teal (7) and a single grey partridge, as well as quite a few waders; dunlin (2), ruff (1), snipe (2), two fluffy redshank chicks, green sandpiper (3) and at least 24 wood sandpipers (most crowded onto one small pond with the rest of the waders). Dragonflies were excellent too despite the overcast weather; on the wing were brown hawker, black darter and a brief Somatochlora flavomaculata, the undoubted highlight of the session.

Work continues on the bird-tower...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Traipsing around Torekov

Took the kids out after breakfast for a walk down to Påarps Mal, south of Torekov. This tucked-away little spot always offers a few good birds. Today the highlights were a family party of rock pipits (from Hallands Väderö perhaps?) and a flyby guillemot. A few waders hanging about too with; ringed plover (18), lapwing (35), dunlin (6), greenshank (1), green sandpiper (12), wood sandpiper (1) and common sandpiper (2).

The kids had a swim at the rev next, whilst I scanned in vain for anything unusual out on the rocks, but the site was very disturbed as usual at this time of year. Had to be content with dunlin (30) and common sandpiper (5).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Red Tuesday

Took the team for a rainy walk around Önnarp in the morning. Did the usual loop and had a good time. The kids munched on blueberries and I walked on a bit to hear what was about. I did good in a limited way with a few scarce patch species; heard my first nutcracker of the year and had a couple of willow tits. The undoubted highlight though was a good view of a perched adult female honey buzzard, interrupted whilst feeding. Checked out the lake at Hålehallstugan, lots of young birds on the water and a spotted flycatcher hunting round the edge.

In the afternoon, Mrs B and I headed for Sandön. The rain overnight and during the day had knocked a few waders down. I was chuffed with five curlew sandpipers but many more were to come later. Also here dunlin (80) and bar-tailed godwit (1).

As the rain had eased off I decided to check Rönnen quickly. The shoreline west of the island was heaving with calidrids. At least 450 dunlin, a massive 52 curlew sandpipers and seven knot. 52 curlew sands all in summer plumage and whizzing about like maniacs!! Despite the huge number of calidrids there were no stints or broad-bills. I was I suspect robbed... Also here little ringed plover (2), ruff (2), snipe (2), greenshank (2), wood sandpiper (10) and common sandpiper (15).

On the way home stopped at Sandön again quickly for grey plover (1) and golden plover (1). A successful day.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Even hotter!

Dense banks of rotting seaweed in small secluded bays are my hunting grounds now that waders have started moving south. This one had three fantastic summer-plumaged adult curlew sandpipers this morning.

Nipped out pre-breakfast to avoid the heat of the coming day and to have another crack at Gröthögarna. Checked Hovs Hallar first though, hoping for a rosefinch (reported last week), nothing doing though did get a reasonable view of an icterine warbler. This species is widespread and vocal here but I see very few each year somehow.

Gröthögarna was the place though with a singing quail audible from the car park on arrival, calling from the field just inland, my first in Skåne! The harbour beach had a few waders; little ringed plovers (3), dunlin (4) and common sandpiper (8). Walking up towards the headland the first bay had my hoped-for curlew sandpipers (3 splendid adults), as well as dunlin (10), greenshank (1), wood sandpiper (1) and common sandpiper (4).

Drove home for breakfast and then took the team to the beach for a swim. I wandered along the beach to Stora Hult, a few waders here with more little ringed plovers (3), dunlin (7), greenshank (1), green sandpiper (1), wood sandpiper (1) and common sandpiper (2). The first 1K Sandwich terns of the year are on the wing. Managed a short spell at Ranarpsstrand too before I picked up the team. The highlight here was a close fly-by 2K hobby, winging south down the coastline. Also here wigeon (4) and goosander (7).

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hot!

After a morning sweating in the garden we all headed down to Ripagården for a swim and a BBQ. I just had time to check out the rotting seaweed on the beach here and found a few good waders. The star was a single Temminck's stint, my first on the patch this year; also dunlin (3), curlew (1), greenshank (1) and two common sandpipers. There must be a curlew sandpiper around somewhere, it's that time of year again.

Night-moosing

Nipped out after tea for an evening session at Klarningen and then a bit of night-birding around Älemossen. Klarningen was relaxing, a few waders about including snipe (2), redshank (single chick, at last proof of breeding), greenshank (2), green sandpiper (16) and wood sandpiper (8). Following up from the recent sighting of a male red-backed shrike on the site, I found a pair today...

Älemossen produced the usual nocturnal fare, woodcock (3), tawny owl (3), long-eared owl (young heard) and nightjar (2 males heard). Two tawny owl chicks were good value, but I left my torch at home so had to use the camera flash to see them! Stopped also at Ehrenstorp on the way home and had more calling long-eared owl chicks, tawny owl and another nightjar. The easy highlight of the whole session though was a splendid male moose, noisily moving about and easy to see in the last light of day just before midnight.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Birding - 7/7/10

Dragged myself out for a look at Torekov this morning before breakfast. Flytermossen was buzzing with a spotted flycatcher greeting me on arrival. The wetland had calling young marsh harriers in the reedbed (about to fledge I suspect), as well as one calling water rail. The rev was quiet and almost covered with water with just a couple of dunlin to recommend it. The woods behind had two singing wood warblers, they must be going for a second brood.

In the afternoon took the team out to look for blueberries at Frestensfälla, but we were too early, looks like 2010 is still two weeks behind last year, despite all the hot weather lately. Great spot this though. Heard at least two honey buzzards and siskin were buzzing about. The dragonfly pond had Leucorrhinia dubia, Coenagrion hastulatum, Pyrrhosoma nymphula and Lestes sponsa in a quick look. Nearby at Älemossen we stopped briefly for a group of 15 swifts and a pair of red-backed shrikes.

The business end of a Lestes sponsa, lower appendages long and straight.

Had our first BBQ at Klarningen at tea-time. Work continues on the tower, it might well be ready for the autumn at this speed. The vegetation is now so high that you can see little open water from the carpark now. Although we had no time to check the site thoroughly we had a flyover yellow wagtail and at least 20 swifts here too.

The tower at Klarningen is starting to take shape. Will it be tall enough? Will I have to buy a x60 eye-piece? Will there be BBQ facilities?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day out with the kids

Took the kids out for a morning's birding at Sandön and Rönnen, well they played boisterously around me and I did the birding. 'We' had hoped to re-connect with the green-winged teal and/or the Terek but it was not to be. Neither were seen yesterday but they may still be about.

Sandön was mostly underwater and it was overcast, cool and breezy. Not much doing but the regular osprey was hunting, the kids found an oystercatcher nest and migrant waders were represented by three dunlin and a common sandpiper.

We spent nearly three hours at Rönnen and there were more birds here. A gathering of 43 avocet was impressive. A lone summer-plumaged adult little gull looked rather smart out on the mud. Fifteen teal were intently examined, they are slipping quietly into eclipse, so the clock is ticking for finding the green-winged again... Three shoveler looked equally unpleasant. Migrant waders stole the show for me as usual though (despite the absence of the Terek); dunlin (25), ruff (2), whimbrel (1), spotted redshank (3), greenshank (1), green sandpiper (1), wood sandpiper (9) and common sandpiper (2).

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sluggish

Weather too hot and nothing is moving much at the moment. But birds are snoozing all along the coast. Took the kids out for a run at Glimminge after lunch. Birds loafing on the rocks included wigeon (1), whimbrel (1), greenshank (1) and wood sandpiper (1).

After tea, Mrs B kicked me out for a couple of hours at Torekov. Påarps Mal had more waders with over 20 ringed plover, golden plover (2), whimbrel (1), curlew (1), redshank (10) and green sandpiper (1). The highlight though was broods of both barnacle goose and teal. A quick look at the sewage works on the way home produced dunlin (2) and common sandpiper (2).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday morning

Managed to drag myself out of bed for an hour at Klarningen this morning. A few waders about but things slowing up a bit; greenshank (2), green sandpiper (4) and wood sandpiper (5).

Later on took the team to Gröthögarna, a quick walk at Norra Ängalag produced more green sandpiper (2) and single wood and common sandpipers. A brown hawker (Aeshna grandis) was the first for the year. An icterine warbler was still singing away and then we went for a BBQ and a swim.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

First of the month

The kids and I checked out Ranarpsstrand briefly this morning. Notable birds included two male wigeon, avocet (2), dunlin (2), redshank (7), greenshank (2) and green sandpiper (1).

In the evening I nipped out to look at Klarningen and Petersberg. Klarningen failed to offer up anymore quail action but did produce the grasshopper warbler again and a few waders; two pairs of little ringed plover, three fluffy ringed plovers, greenshank (1), green sandpiper (3) and wood sandpiper (13). Best bird though was a male red-backed shrike hunting off the fenceline along the river. Odonata were still active in the sun and I saw my first Lestes sponsa and Enallagma of the year. Several large skippers may have been my first in Sweden...

A big surprise at Petersberg was four newly-hatched little ringed plovers.

Dropped in briefly at Petersberg, running into a family group of little ringed plovers and hearing another grasshopper warbler. Both species undetected during earlier visits to the site this spring. Also here two calling water rails and a single green sandpiper.