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.

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