Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Mrs B!

Spent the day celebrating Mrs B's birthday, but she engineered a half hour at Klarningen for me in the mid-afternoon. Managed a stellar count of 37 wood sandpipers; also little ringed plover (3), ruff (5) and greenshank (1).

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dawn patrol

My first dawn start of the spring, saw me out in the field at 0430. In the half-light of dawn at Petersberg I had my first cuckoo of the year. Next stop was just off-patch at Dömestorp where an hour in the woods produced five singing wood warblers and a firecrest - both year ticks. Nice to hear wrens here too, they are rather scarce this spring.

Klarningen next, water levels are dropping here again, hopefully intentionally to attract waders and not an indication of a partially disabled field drainage system. Certainly favours the wood sandpipers, a good total of at least 25 and perhaps 30 here today, also golden plover (7), ruff (2) and snipe (1). Wildfowl were scarce but varied with wigeon (2), gadwall (1), teal (9) and shoveler (4). The big news though was the pair of coot on the pond at the back, they have finally hopped the river and made it onto my site list!

On the way home I walked Frestensfälla and Älemossen, loads of tree pipits everywhere and after a bit of searching I finally tracked down a singing whinchat - my first of the year and very overdue. A wood warbler singing at Atteköp was a BK year-tick.

In the afternoon the kids and I had a quick look at Sandön - common tern (11), Arctic tern (6) and greenshank (1) and then went ot Hasslarp. Hasslarp was packed with year-ticks - sedge warbler (1), grasshopper warbler (1) and sand martin (2 - every year this is the last hirundine to fall!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Adder action

Adders are so wonderfully variable, many of the individuals we see here are pure black, a sharp contrast with this beautifully marked beast.

Checked Greviebackar for ring ouzels in the morning, no sign just one calling green woodpecker. Had an hour in Torekov at lunchtime and saw the waxwing again. Flytermossen had four marsh harriers again, squeezed into a tiny reedbed, a singing reed warbler and an adder. The rev produced a flyby little ringed plover, two common terns and yellow wagtail (1).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Never-ending high

Another blue-sky day with the temperature in the 20s. Managed half an hour at Dagshög this morning after ring ouzel and succeeded. I found an old female, a pretty good-looking and reasonably well-behaved bird which bounced about feeding well. No sign of the hoopoe though in a quick look. A while later a waxwing flew over at Torekov, my latest BK bird by three days. A visit to the tip later produced a single crane flying past.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Swedish tick in BK!

This morning (another sun-drenched affair) we took our annual outing to Hallands Väderö, we had been on the island for all of 15 minutes when the phone rang, it was Martin Åkesson telling me that there was a hoopoe at Burensvik (back on the mainland and a much-wanted BK tick for me)...

En route to Torekov and the ferry to Hallands Väderö with Team Benstead I had a single house martin at Västra Karup, my first of the year. The mirror-calm sea allowed views across to Vinga Skär from the mainland before we got on the boat. Many auks loafing off the end of the island or standing about on shore, including guillemot (20), razorbill (20) and black guillemot (25). From the boat we had a close view of Vrenen which had a massive 70 black guillemot around it.

After an SMS from Martin Åkesson almost as soon as we got on the island, telling us of a hoopoe at Burensvik, we only had time for a walk up to the lighthouse and back along the Tångakärret trail before taking penultimate boat off the island. Hallands Väderö is a magical place, no doubt, and of course there must have been some mega lurking somewhere but we did not find it. Instead we enjoyed the clamour of the gulls, the spring bird-song, the 12 grass snakes sunning themselves along the edge of one of the pools and the glorious views and weather. There were few surprises but it was nice to see rock pipit (they vanish from the mainland in mid-April) and a woodcock flew past us near the lighthouse. I tried not to fret but it was great when the ferry hove into view and we could get back to have a crack at the hoopoe (after buying ice-creams...).

Håkan Johansson had kindly been keeping me updated on the hoopoe's movements and whilst flighty it sounded nailed down to a particular area. I arrived just as the gallery was starting to break up and everyone was drifting off back to their cars. They pointed me in the right direction and I snuck up on the bird. Fantastic and we all enjoyed the next hour and a half searching it out and watching it feed. A ring ouzel was calling occasionally from the juniper but I never saw it.

My first BK tick this year and what a beauty!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The mental weather continues

Out and about before breakfast again this sunny morning, this time walking the stretch of coast between Öllövsstrand and Mäsingestrand. Quieter than yesterday but the walk produced some good birds. My main aim was to finally find a whimbrel for the year and one duly obliged at Glimminge. Other notable birds included a flock of ten shoveler flying south, three common sandpipers, two little terns and best of all a male whitethroat, happily building a nest at Vasaltheden for a female that has yet to arrive. My earliest whitethroat by five days, this settled high is producing lots of early records and the trees are leafing up nicely. It will be a shock if the temperatures drop back to what you can normally expect at this time of year!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Big arrival

A nice fall greeted me this morning, pied flycatchers were the stars but also plenty of lesser whitethroats, tree pipits and redstarts.

Had a sunny early morning session at Gröthögarna this morning. Arriving at Norra Ängalag, the small block of tall trees here was buzzing with activity - a bucket-load of migrants had dropped in. At least three pied flycatchers flitted about, my first of the year. Plenty of blackcap in too and another year-tick in the shape of the first of many lesser whitethroats for the morning. Redstart and tree pipit were also about in small numbers. Walking on the coast produced shoveler (pair), dunlin (2), little tern (2, another year-tick) and common tern (4). Ripagården delivered a singing reed warbler and more common passerine migrants and a calling greenshank.

Took Team B offpatch for a BBQ at Påarp in the afternoon. Påarp was great as usual - I just wish I could move this reef a bit further south! The highlights were; oystercatcher (110), avocet (2 briefly), golden plover (8 dropped in), whimbrel (7), curlew (24), redshank (20) and little tern (4). A quick look at nearby Trönninge ängar revealed garganey (male), four little ringed plovers and wood sandpiper (3).

Last stop of the day was Klarningen. Duck numbers have dropped way down now, just 18 teal remain. Waders included ruff (5), curlew (3), greenshank (1) and wood sandpiper (3).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

More migrants

Nipped out with the kids this morning to have a look at Klarningen which had produced the goods for others yesterday in the shape of BK's first wood sandpiper and yellow wagtail of the year. Could we score? Well we did with waders, enjoying ruff (male), greenshank (2) and two very trim wood sandpipers. Otherwise this ideal migration weather has pushed most of the duck off the site as they head north, just 25 teal left this morning. Willow warblers in song here too today.

Next stop was Petersberg where we jammed an overflying yellow wagtail and had a single long-tailed tit. Just a short drive from here to the top end of Eskilstorpsstrand where we had two migrating tree pipits and a peregrine, amongst the raft of scoters. Driving home we cruised around Älemossen hoping for a ring ouzel, instead we settled for tree pipit (1), blackcap (2) and a singing goldcrest. It is time for the annual BK breeding firecrest hunt, will this year be different?

In the evening Mrs B and I dropped the kids off at the grandparents for a visit to the circus and headed out for a BBQ at Grytskären and a walk up to Ranarpsstrand. Pretty quiet here migrant-wise, but the breeding coastal birds created a lovely backdrop of sound. Highlights; two Sandwich terns and a pair of gadwall.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tree pipit

Got out early this morning for a look at Torekov. Things should be moving in these light southerlies and the first bird at the rev was a migrating tree pipit. Redstarts and willow warblers were singing, both these species have arrived in force now. Otherwise the only other birds of note were at least six purple sandpipers, a single redshank and a singing stock dove. Flytermossen had four marsh harriers, all trying to sort out who owned the reedbed, and a madly displaying pair of redpoll.

Checked out Påarps mal before home for; barnacle goose (pair), shoveler (3), golden plover (76), my first patch common sandpiper of the year and four redshank.

No car during the day so had to work in the garden, one hawfinch over was my reward.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A day out with the kids

Promised the kids a day out today so off we went to enjoy the sun during the Easter holidays. The garden over breakfast produced a year-tick - a nice feeding male blackcap, slightly overdue. I could also hear a redstart but we have yet to see one in the garden this year. Driving to Klarningen we stopped off at a Sinarpsdalen overlook and had the male black redstart at the farm and we could also hear common redstart here too.

Klarningen was fairly quiet; just the ruff (male), two barn swallows and a late twite (1) to get excited about in a quick look. Then we drove offpatch and had a walk around Hasslarps dammar. Plenty of birds here, as usual making Klarningen seem a bit ordinary. At least 7 displaying marsh harriers were up in the air on arrival. Duck had great variety with a splendid pair of garganey (year-tick) and a pair of pintail too. A reasonably thorough search for waders failed to produce the recent black-tailed godwit but did turn up my first common sandpiper of the year.

After lunch we tried Sandön. Plenty of terns here with at least six Sandwich terns, two Arctics and nine commons. The latter two were year-ticks and a single greenshank added another to the annual total. Before home we just had time for a quick look at the new wetland at Stureholm. A great spot which produced three pairs of red-necked grebe, as well as the sought-after two spotted redshank.

Monday, April 18, 2011


BK has had good birds just to the north (Mediterranean gull and hoopoe) and south (black scoter) recently and it has made me somewhat despondent. I suppose spring has only just got underway though and I have found a pied wagtail...

This morning the kids and I headed over round Älemossen to Klarningen. Near Älemossen we heard our first willow warbler of the year. Klarningen was quiet with the usual suspects still around; mute swan (pair), wigeon (15), teal (50), shoveler (pair), oystercatcher (2 pairs), little ringed plover (1), ringed plover (4), ruff (male), curlew (3) and redshank (6). On the way home we stopped for a listen and parked right beside a female black woodpecker - superb views and bird of the day.

In the evening I nipped out for an hour at Ranarpsstrand. Nothing moving, but on the rocks and sea were six gadwall, curlew (2), redshank (4) and Sandwich tern (2).

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Nipped out in the morning before breakfast for a walk between Öllövsstrand and Glimminge. This was rather a quiet affair until I turned south to head home at Glimminge and a female hen harrier migrated past overhead - amazingly my first of the year. Before leaving the plantation I tracked down my first redstart of the year too - a singing male.

Back at home 13 redwing passed low over the house, reminding me that I must get out after ring ouzels soon.

In the afternoon we all went for a walk up past Bösketorp pools. Plenty happening here with six cranes stealing the show but also four green sandpipers, four little grebes and 13 tufted duck. An evening drive through of the Sinarpsdalen circuit produced a pair of curlew at Salomonhög

Saturday, April 16, 2011

LRPs are back at last

Managed another half hour session at Klarningen in a busy day celebrating Number 2's birthday (five already - they grow up so fast). The big news birdwise was the recent arrival of three very excited little ringed plovers, which dashed about chasing each other to-and-fro. Other notable birds; wigeon (25), shoveler (two pairs looking settled), green sandpiper (1), barn swallow (2) and a big drop-out of white wagtails (60+).

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mammal mayhem

I failed to mention earlier in the year that there was a lynx in Bjäre (I did not want to jinx the lynx...), it was seen by at least one birder just a couple of miles from my house. It may still be around. Now we have a wolf doing the rounds and it looks like it is coming through this way. Would be nice.

I had the mid-afternoon in the field walking between Ripagården and Hovs Hallar. It was very quiet, I was constantly accompanied by linnet, goldfinch and white wagtails which was nice but I was rather hoping for a ring ouzel.

Meanwhile offpatch at Norra Häljaröd a black scoter was found and showed well for a while... Will it behave at the weekend?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Half an hour

Had my second barn swallow of the year this morning just outside Förslöv on the school run. Managed half an hour at Klarningen in the afternoon. After quite a bit of sun during the day the ploughed fields and pools here were steaming primordially and visibility was awful. Best bird was a male gadwall, also wigeon (25), teal (45) and shoveler (4). Very quiet.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ten minutes

Had just ten minutes at Sinarpsdalen this morning which produced green sandpiper (heard), lesser spotted woodpecker (drumming heard) and four hawfinch. Not a bad haul. Later the garden had a flyby black woodpecker.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shrike attack

A grey dawn saw me watching a dinky little lesser spotted woodpecker drumming away madly at the Slottet nature reserve, near Förslöv. Drove over the top hoping for ring ouzels but no sign of any thrush flocks, might do better on the coast everyone else seems to be finding them at the moment. Did get a singing male hawfinch at Tvehöga though, before dropping down into Klarningen.

Klarningen was quieter; wigeon (2), teal (70), shoveler (4), marsh harrier (pair), moorhen (back in the pond by the tower), ruff (two males), curlew (5) and wood sandpiper (2). It started to rain as I left and this continued for the rest of the morning but did little to dampen my enthusiasm. Checked Petersberg next where the big surprise was five green sandpipers, there is no edge at this site so they must have been perching on reed stems. Also here water rail and green woodpecker called.

Walked the stretch of coast between Hemmeslövsstrand and the top of Eskilstorpsstrand for my final bit of birding and it was excellent. A huge total of 53 Slavonian grebes were counted, along with two red-necked grebes and 12 great cresteds. Hemmeslövsstrand also produced at least two jays and on the return leg I followed up some mobbing calls to find a nest-hunting great grey shrike in the middle of a pile of brash. It popped out and sat for photos before heading north into Eskilstorpsstrand and away. Nice end to a productive session.

We always get a little pulse of great grey shrikes in mid April, but this was my first on the Halland coast part of BK.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Speed birding

Not much time for birding today. Stopped off at Sinarpsdalen for five minutes hoping for a drumming lesser spotted woodpecker. Again no luck. Behind me a starling gave reasonable mimicry of that white noise/radio static bit of black redstart song. Where did he learn that from? Yes, the male black redstart! Which blasted around the corner of a barn chasing a moth. I guess they are here to stay then.

In the afternoon I took the team for a very quick look at the sea at Segelstorpsstrand. Number 1 was running hot though so we went home after just 15 minutes, this virus never ends! I did have time for four great crested grebes, a Slavonian grebe and five smart goldfinches.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Party time

I found this just offpatch at Skummeslövsstrand this morning. I saw a single harbour porpoise off Yttre Kattvik on the 7th, perhaps it was this one?

Beautiful blue sky day, with light NW winds at dawn. Nipped out before breakfast for a quick look at Gröthögarna. A scattering of barnacle geese (6 in total) flew over. My first displaying snipe of the year appeared in the sky overhead and a green sandpiper called as it migrated north. The sea was very calm and I therefore decided to cut my walk short and head for Eskilstorpsstrand to go through any scoter that might be present. This was not a bad idea, the flat sea revealed a huge gathering of 1150 velvet scoter and just 50 common scoter. I scanned back and forth through the available birds for an hour before heading for home but there were no surprises, just eight Slavonian grebes and two red-throated divers. Hopefully we will get a few more calm days before these scoter depart and get another look through.

In the afternoon the house filled with small party guests and I slipped out to recce a few dragonfly sites for the summer. I was hoping that the sun might have warmed things up for a chance of Sympecma but I think it was too cold and with no kommun records yet I will be lucky to find this species anyway. But it could be here! Hålehallstugan had three pairs of red-necked grebes, including one pair excitedly mating. Otherwise just two tufted duck and six coot. Next I looked at the pools at Bjäred and the adjacent mire. Best birds here were little grebe (1), crane (2) and a light passage of siskin (58 north). Then it was time to head home to help clear up the debris of a successful party.

Ring ouzels dropped out everywhere along the west coast today, be nice to score one on the patch soon.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bearded tit!

An early morning session around Torekov produced some good birds. First stop was Påarps mal where wildfowl featured; barnacle goose (2) and shoveler (4) being the best of it. Also here four redshank, which have finally arrived in force throughout BK. The sewage works had a flock of 28 barnacle geese heading over to Hallands Väderö and two more redshank. Motoring on to the rev came next, the windy weather has brought water levels up and very little of this rocky promontary was visible. No sign of any purple sandpipers and very little of interest here. A walk around Flytermossen was more productive though producing three bearded tits (my first at the site and my first BK birds for nearly two years) and a female marsh harrier.

Later on went for a short walk at Knösen with the team, picking up a singing black woodpecker and a single marsh tit. Klarningen was next, highlights here included shelduck (12), wigeon (15), shoveler (7), marsh harrier (male), ruff (1), green sandpiper (1), redshank (6) and lesser black-backed gull (5). On the way home we stopped for Mrs B to get crane for the year, the pair at Ehrenstorp picking around on their recently drained marsh. Be interesting to see if they breed successfully this year...

Friday, April 8, 2011

In which the Circus finally comes to town and the wind keeps blowing

Number 2 and I headed out to do a little more sea-watching this morning. En route we picked up a migrating male marsh harrier at Troentorp, ending a personal four-month harrier drought that was beginning to get me down. It remains to be seen if I can actually see a hen harrier this spring. Nils Kjellén was already on site and reported 320 common scoter and a reasonable 'passage' of red-throated diver. I packed Number 2 into the car with her toys and she passed drawings and comments out through the window at regular intervals.

The wind was strong but had backed westerly again and the scoters were passing a little further out. Things slowed down a lot for my two hour stint, I logged just 89 common scoter but 31 red-throated divers was a reasonable effort until these too started to pass less frequently. The main difference from yesterday was the absence of gannets and the replacement of great crested grebes (1) with red-necked grebes (9). Two sandwich terns flew past and a small flock of 13 barnacle geese went west. Today's other year-tick was a brace of black-throated divers flying west in glorious plumage. Nils pointed out a migrating osprey that whilst ostensibly flying south did a nice easterly vector past our position, driven by the strong westerly wind. After two hours we had to leave and run some errands and then had time for 15 minutes at Klarningen, where there was nothing new to report.

In the afternoon I was down south so I checked out Farhult, water levels were very high and the only stuff picked up was flying by, the highlight being 7 bar-tailed godwit. Rönnen next were at least there was sone shelter and many more birds around Lilla Viken, including a flock of 50 avocet and seven gadwall. Three Sandwich terns roosted with the gulls and then I staggered back against a wind that was increasingly strong. Sandön was barely worth the effort, not an inch of mud or sand exposed and the spray flying, just two goosander! Meanwhile back in BK a northern fulmar and more gannets had been spotted...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April blow

Thass gon helluva windy! A hefty breeze from the west greeted us all this morning. After various domestic duties and a trip to Ängelholm (65 eider heading east), it was time to settle into Yttre Kattvik for a 3.5 hour sea-watching session. I was pretty quickly joined by Nils Kjellén, we were both hoping for some rare scoter action. This is the week for black and surf scoter in this neck of the woods as birds start to move from their regular wintering areas in Denmark and travel south and round into the Baltic. Sure enough plenty of common scoter were on the move and I logged 770 in the end (my best day total in BK, but half of what was seen during shorter sessions just a little north of me, birds may be dropping into the bay?). No sign of any 'rares' though and just one velvet during the session. Very few eider migrating today, most as I wrote earlier favour the overland route from Laholmsbukten. Other notable species; long-tailed duck (4), red-throated diver (15), great crested grebe (8), gannet (at least 8 - year-tick!), guillemot (1), razorbill (2) and black guillemot (4).

It is going to be windy tomorrow too so hopefully some good birds will come our way.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One swallow...

Appalling weather today, strong winds from the south-west, mist and occasional drizzle. I spent a miserable hour at Ranarpsstrand in the morning, which produced very little, apart from a single redshank and a lesser black-backed gull. On the way home though I stopped off at Lindab for a moorhen (1) year-tick. Nice!

In the afternoon the kids and I had a quick look at Klarningen. We were greeted with a splendid flock of 32 cranes and a single barn swallow - another year-tick and my earliest by a whole week! That was the best of it really, though a flock of 19 eider scudding past were fun. Wigeon numbers have built to 14, teal are stable and three shoveler remain. Waders: oystercatcher (3), curlew (1), redshank (5) and ringed plover (4). More windy weather from the west on the way for the next two days...

Monday, April 4, 2011

chasing the king

Stuck at home today with poorly kids, this winter virus has been troubling us all for nearly a month and we are fed up! Nipped out to get some fresh air after Mrs B got home. A king eider had been travelling south down the Halland coast and may have gone to ground (well, water) in Laholmsbukten. At this time of year eider that gather in Laholmsbukten tend to head east overland rather than travel south and around into the Baltic the long way. There was a chance the king would wait in the bay, so I decided to check Eskilstorpsstrand. En route a chiffchaff was singing in Petersberg.

Eskilstorpsstrand had a good number of seaduck offshore but all the eider where further north. Amongst the 250 common scoter were 100 wigeon, 75 velvet scoter, two scaup, two long-tailed duck and five Slavonian grebe.

I decided to check Klarningen before going home, picking up a single lesser black-backed gull along the access track. Plenty of birds have moved north from here, the teal flock was down to about 60 and there was no sign of the site's first garganey yet. Two shoveler and two wigeon remained. The ruff flock has built to six and there was a similiar number of redshank and still just one green sandpiper.

Will have to try for the king eider again tomorrow if possible.

2010 review online

Just managed to complete my review of last year, which is here. Better late than never?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Natty red

I was told about a singing black redstart in Sinarpsdalen last spring but never connected. I was not too surprised therefore, but still delighted, to find a pair of them on site today.

The Sinarpsdalen walk starts close to our house, so I left the car in the drive and walked down into the valley this morning. Over the house a low flock of 40 whooper swans split to avoid the TV aerial! Chiffchaffs have arrived in numbers this weekend, with 8 singing males recorded this morning on the walk. Hawfinches were in 'song' too, which looked and sounded painful. No sign of my target lesser spotted woodpecker but on the walk back up the road I bumped into singing male black redstart which lead me eventually to a female. Black redstarts used to breed in the factory in the village until they renewed the roof. It is tempting to think that the pair may have relocated here? Otherwise there may be more pairs lurking in the farmyards on the high ground? Yesterday I could not find a wheatear on the coast but today they were on territory, song-flighting. More evidence of the huge movement of birds that has taken place this weekend.

Number 2 had a doctor's appointment in the afternoon and the team gave me half an hour at nearby Klarningen before we went home. Plenty of new birds in here. Not only my much-wanted gadwall (2 at last!) but also shoveler (4), dunlin (1), ruff (4), green sandpiper (1), redshank (2), white wagtail (3) and chiffchaff (1).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

No place like home

The mist and gloom at Torekov rev just after dawn lifted enough to produced this pied wagtail, a scarce bird around here. In Sweden you search through white wagtails in the slim hope of one of these little beauties, they are much harder to find here than white wagtails are in the UK!

Great day for birding, with lots of birds on the move and I managed to get out and enjoy some of it. Started early at Torekov rev in the mist again. Visibility was rather poor and light levels remained low for some time but the birds slowly gave themselves up. I quickly got onto a pied wagtail but I chased it almost to Torekov to get a decent looks at it, a description and a photo. A nice bird to find. Back on track, the deathly quiet and seemingly deserted rev finally coughed up at least 14 purple sandpipers, three green sandpipers and a redshank - astonishing. Over in the mist and unseen a grey plover called - an early record. Light levels brightened slightly stimulating a chiffchaff into song - my first of the year. Not a bad start.

Back at home I tried to get the team keen but they were racked with another cold and in the end I headed out for Ripagården and Hov Hallar alone. Ripagården was bursting with song, chiffchaffs, dunnocks, song thrushes and wrens have arrived. The sea produced a brace of gadwall and overhead the calls of green sandpiper were almost continous, with four along the shore and at least seven migrating north overhead.

Common frogs were spawning in a frenzy at Ripagården today as the temperature hit a massive 15 degrees C.

Hovs hallar was worth the walk, a steady vismig was apparent here. By the time I got up there it was midday and over the next two hours there was a steady trickle of raptors - rough-legged buzzard (1), buzzard (5) and sparrowhawk (23). Small flocks of chaffinch were moving north regularly, along with starlings, jackdaws, meadow pipits and white wagtails. Best bird though was my first Sandwich tern of the year, powering north in a determined fashion.

Spent the rest of the day in the back garden. Four waxwings dropped by briefly to fly-catch from the silver birches and my first osprey of the year circled over the garden before carrying on north down Sinarpsdalen. A great end to the day.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Misty morning

Woke up to find the garden shrouded in mist, at least 12 siskins in amongst the chaffinch and one bramblin gtoo. Things had dropped out in the night. Drove over the top to Klarningen, picking up small numbers of redwing in amongst the other thrushes. Also here the occasional brambling in large flocks of chaffinch. Spring migration seems to involve lengthy stop-overs with us this year for a number of species. Yesterday there were a staggering 7,200 cranes at one site in southern Skåne!

Klarningen was bitterly cold again in a bracing westerly. Little new to report although a green sandpiper was good to see, numbers of everything else remained stable. After yesterday's glut of gadwall at Ranarpsstrand I had hoped some might be present here but no joy. A quick look at Eskilstorpsstrand was quiet, although eider are starting to get antsy and flying around the bay. Many eventually fly overland to the Baltic coast and I guess north from there.

Petersberg had defrosted and produced two fabulous pairs of red-necked grebes. They still seem an exotic breeding species to me, even after four years. I was surprised to flush a snipe from under a birch tree here. A grey wagtail flew downriver as I left. Sad to think the whole site is scheduled to be bull-dozed soon.

In the afternoon the team headed for Farhult, picking up two cranes at Ängeltofta and a rough-legged buzzard at Södra Utmarken. Farhult was very windy but I finally managed to catch up with the bar-tailed godwit that has been haunting the area since last month. Redshank are finally arriving in numbers (nine here) and we also had dunlin (2) and avocet (14). The reeds were thrashing about but occasionally I could hear bearded tits, they must have been on the ground!

Last stop was Sandön where we had two gadwall, 14 avocet, a redshank and some annoying fishermen.