Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gadwall influx

It rained most of the day, so I caught up with some jobs that needed doing. The garden produced a flock of ten waxwing mid-morning. Nipped out for an hour in the afternoon and headed towards Ranarpsstrand, picking up a jay en route in Segelstorpsstrand.

Ranarpsstrand was a slow burn but an hour eventually produced some quite good stuff, the highlights being four pairs of gadwall and a Slavonian grebe. Also here pintail (male), white wagtail (1), wheatear (male) and linnet (pair).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wheatear!

It definitely feels like spring now!

Spent the morning in the field today. Started late at Brandsvig, a quick stop here secured my first little grebe of the month, as well as at least ten teal and eleven snipe. Next I drove back into BK and checked out Vasaltheden/Glimminge. Tramped about in the wet bits at Vasaltheden searching for jack snipe but skunked out, flushing 11 snipe in the process. The airspace above the heath produced flyby barnacle geese (6), sparrowhawk (1) and waxwing (10). The air was full of the songs of meadow pipit, reed bunting and yellowhammer. Just before walking into Glimminge I noticed a wheatear perched near the bunker, a confiding bird and a welcome year-tick.

Glimminge was rather quieter just before lunch. The easy highlight was my first BK redshank of the year. I stared at it amazed, it looked so good. The red legs burnt holes in my colour-starved retinas! Also on the beach here single rock pipit and white wagtail.

Later in the village I tracked down a singing male siskin and nearly had my head knocked off by a hunting sparrowhawk whilst mucking out the car.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bitter cold

A fierce westerly and overcast conditions sent the temperature plummeting today. I tried sea-watching at Yttre Kattvik for an hour in the morning and there were a few birds moving. The best of it included red-throated diver (5), great crested grebe (3), red-necked grebe (1), peregrine (1), guillemot (2) and razorbill (1).

A quick look at Klarningen produced the first oystercatchers of the year on site, otherwise wildfowl figures remained stable and there were no surprises. It was bitterly cold here in the strong wind and I did not last long. Driving home over the top produced over 20 mistle thrushes around Älemossen, a pair of cranes dancing at Ehrenstorp and 12 speedy waxwings in Sinarpsdalen. The wind goes south tomorrow so I may be able to unblock wheatear and chiffchaff for the year.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Stone me! Blatant twitch pays off

Mmmm, yes, well. A skittish bird that never stopped feeding but at least I saw it. My second in BK and a great kommun year-tick.

A beautiful sunny day today, but I was busy elsewhere. Finished early though luckily and had a chance to nip down to Grytskären, bag the female stonechat and drive home in time for tea. Great one Mats!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Payback

I left the patch to twitch a stonechat yesterday. Later that evening I found that I had dipped one in BK at Grytskären. Today I tried to make amends but dipped, although the bird is apparently still present. No time to go tomorrow so I will have to sweat it out and try again on Tuesday. Bugger!

Whilst searching Lervik, Grytskären and Ranarpsstrand for the stonechat I did get some good birds including my first twite (4) of the year, the male pintail, four barnacle geese north and a crane flying south. But managed to miss a wheatear too so not the most successful outing.

A last minute session in the evening at Klarningen chasing a reported ruff was equally unsuccessful. It was just one of those days.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Twitching with kids

Magic birds grey wagtails, even when they are playing hard to get.

With Mrs B stuck in a meeting all morning, the kids and I went twitching to nearby Lagaoset. It's a beautiful spot and the kids always enjoy it here. The male stonechat behaved too, surrendering as soon as we had walked the short distance to the back of the dunes. The only other notable bird in our lightning visit was a/some crossbill heard in the pines.

On the way home we checked Klarningen of course, but it remains quiet, there were more snipe about though and the curlew total has hit five. Over on Eskilstorpsdammar were two grey heron. Woo-hoo! Did finally meet Jan Skidell though which was good.

In the afternoon the entire team accompanied me up Sinarpsdalen. It seemed 'quiet' on the way up, just one grey wagtail. But once I had waved off the team and headed back to pick up the car the place came alive with birds. Funny that! Kicked through a mixed flock of thrushes that refused to contain a redwing, but resulted in a flushed woodcock (my first of the year). Another grey wagtail flew overhead, and a line of cherry trees yielded a hawfinch. High in a birch a great grey shrike peered about and down in the valley bog (and the biggest surprise of all) I heard my first water rail of the year.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hopping waxwing

Any flying lepidopteran is worth a look at this time of year. This orange underwing (Archiearis parthenias) gave Perstorps enefälad a touch of spring this afternoon.

Not much time in the field today but drove over the hill through Älemossen, picking up a jay, a song thrush and then screeching to a halt to check out a flock of thrushes in the corner of a field. They had funny spiky crests! I enjoy it when waxwings move on from their winter diet and start doing the flycatching and the hopping about chasing stuff in short turf.

Checked Klarningen quickly before moving on to the rest of the day. Nothing new here, the teal flock numbered 163, otherwise mating ringed plovers were the only other excitement. Be nice to get a garganey on the site...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Two brief sessions in a busy day

Had a goshawk through the garden after breakfast, occasional but still exciting. Had a busy day with the team today but shoe-horned in some time in the field as usual. Stopped off at Hasslarps dammar for a picnic lunch and enjoyed pochard (9), red-necked grebe (2), red kite (1), a splendid adult peregrine and my first redshank of the year (!).

Later we swerved past Sandön and had 25 avocet hunkered down facing into a fierce westerly wind - another year-tick.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

plastic fantastic

Another sunny day so out I went. Kicked off at Stora Hultstrand to check through the eider flock. Still perhaps 500 birds present but no sign of a king eider in amongst them. It was worth the effort though as single red-necked and Slavonian grebes were present. The seaweed banks produced a white wagtail and behind the beach a meadow pipit was singing its heart out.

Could not resist a trip to Klarningen after its recent good form but things were quieter today with very few swans and geese, although 125 teal remained. A light buzzard passage was evident and two red kites and a rough-legged buzzard put in an appearance too. Otherwise quiet with just ten snipe, two stock doves and a meadow pipit being notable.

Drove over to Torekov to check the rev next. More white wagtails (2-3) and five rock pipits, some of the latter colouring up nicely. The rev itself produced at least ten purple sandpipers and a flock of 20 coot but was otherwise quiet.

Last stop of the day was a walking tour of Gröthögarna. This was unexceptional until I started looking at potential dragonfly habitat and flushed a dark duck from under a poolside juniper. WTF! It landed, showing briefly and then scrambled back under another juniper and away. A female mandarin! Perhaps the first in BK? Mandarin is not yet accepted on the Swedish official list, although how it's status differs from Egyptian goose (which is on the list) is unclear to me. Driving away from Norra Ängalag I bumped into a flock of 220 chaffinch, at least 200 of these were male making a splendid spectacle in the denuded stubble field they were feeding in. In amongst them were at least 25 redpoll and two linnets. Nice end to the session.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wren!

A bright sunny morning had me out in the field like a shot. Checked Ranarpsstrand first hoping for an early wheatear. No luck, still early days for them, with none reported anywhere in Sweden yet. The rocks here did produce a few notable species such as the still-present pintail (male), single dunlin and curlew and two rock pipits.

Next I headed uphill to recce more dragonfly sites for the summer, I checked a little corner of BK near Venedike that I am not very familiar with. I got splendidly confused here finding several good-looking bogs, streams and a nice little lake. A black woodpecker called nearby but I still need to work on my whistled imitation... A grey wagtail flew over the canopy at one point, presumably a local breeder (?) and my first for some time. Checked the lake at Hålehallstugan next, still iced up, but a pair of confiding black woodpeckers scampering about by the side of the road made the trip up worthwhile.

Last gasp was a quick walk around the Killeröd loop trail. The best bird was a superb wren in the car park, amazingly a year-tick and a great reunion. No flocks contacted on the quick walk round, just two song thrushes and two mistle thrushes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Merlin magic

Two tundra swans at Klarningen again this afternoon but no sign of the pink-footed goose.

The feeders in the garden produced two nice birds today in the form of a male redpoll and a brambling, the latter have been strangely scarce this month and this was my first. Driving back from Ängelholm I diverted to look at Brandsvig. This 'variably wet' wetland has had plenty of water this winter and levels are up. Conditions that had attracted a big flock of 95 whooper swans and two tundra swans. I checked the rocky stream above Margretetorp next picking up three dippers but no sign of any grey wagtails.

Klarningen was great, producing two year-ticks. It seemed quiet at the start but things kept popping up. Two tundra swans flew in, just after I arrived, along with 35 whooper swans. Duck numbers were well up with 160 teal stealing the show, but also 125 mallard, nine wigeon and eight shelduck. Whilst watching a hunting kestrel, the unmistakeable shape of a charging male merlin disappeared off into Laholm kommun. I prayed for it to return and ten minutes later it buzzed the tower. Smashing little bird, hopefully it will stay around and fatten up for a while on Klarningen's skylarks before heading north to breed. Being sure of covering this large site for waders during a short visit is never guaranteed and it took me some time to notice the green sandpiper in the back corner, my earliest by four days and maybe the first in NW Skåne this year? It did not hang around long before heading off. On the way home I dropped in to check Petersberg, still icy here but the first song thrush of the year was welcome indeed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

We're going to need a bigger bird-tower

With the team still very much under the weather we had an easy morning, but dragged ourselves out for a drive to check some prospective dragonfly sites for the summer. We found a possible Epitheca site and also managed a superb great grey shrike, off-patch at Ekered.

On the way home we had an hour at Klarningen and this proved to be an inspired choice. Within minutes of arrival I was being shown a splendid pink-footed goose associating closely with a tight flock of six white-fronts. I used to see pink-feet in their thousands every winter but I appreciate them far more now that I see one or two a year. Nice bird.

Klarningen had not stopped giving though; other highlights included a flock of 21 migrating tundra swans heading east, two barnacle geese, a lone dunlin, two snipe and the first curlew of the year at Klarningen. The hour long vigil gave me three BK year-ticks, this site is going to go 'nova this spring I reckon.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dunnocks!

Having spent the last week looking after poorly children, it was inevitable that I would finally succumb... But we had the first dunnock of the year in the garden during the morning. This is always the first sign of spring for us, they usually winter in small numbers on the coast (though not this winter) but when they move up the hill then it is just a few (well, 6) weeks until the pied flycatchers and redstarts are back and real spring is here.

Having heard the news of a south-bound king eider further north I checked the eider flock at Stora hultsstrand briefly in the afternoon. No joy, just a rock pipit at Vejbystrand.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Overnight snow

Will it never end? Last night we had 40mm of snow and spring was abruptly cancelled. I got out for a couple of hours after the school run and checked Stora Hult, Grytskären and Ranarpsstrand but it was cold and horrible. Stora Hult early on produced my first linnet of the year, calling as it flew north up the beach. A huge eider flock is starting to gather in this area with 550 off Stora Hult and more off Vejbystrand. Should be worth checking for king's over the next week or so. Other highlights included BK year-ticks; curlew (1) and pintail (1), both at Ranarpsstrand.

With Mrs B struck down with a bug and slightly feverish the rest of the team got out of the house to leave her in peace in the afternoon. We headed over the hill again, picking up a pair of cranes and two mistle thrushes at Ehrenstorp and more mistle thrushes on a walk into Älemossen to look at prospective dragonfly sites for the summer. Last stop of the day was Klarningen where the two tundra swans appear to have been joined by two 2K birds, or is it a new family? Big influx of common gulls (275), black-headed gulls (55) and lesser numbers of equally newly arrived teal (32) and shelduck (3). The whooper swan flock has reduced to 25.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cold easterlies and vanishing avocets

We had this monster visitor to the feeder this morning, my first hawfinch this month.

Over breakfast this morning we scored a superb hawfinch at the feeders. I love seeing these monsters in the the garden.

The kids finally got tired of me after being stuck at home ill for a week and requested a transfer to their grandparents. This allowed me to slip out to work the area between Sandön and Mjöhult. I was hoping to catch up with the recently arrived avocets reported this week and also have a go at the unseasonal (early) bar-tailed godwit. Neither could I find, perhaps the easterly blow and chilly conditions have sent them south again?

Sandön did produce calling bearded tit and reed bunting. The sandflats were fully exposed but few waders were present apart from a handful of curlew and oystercatcher and 17 ringed plovers. Rönnen was even cooler in the wind and apart from a hunting white-tailed eagle had little to recommend it. At Farhult I felt that I would surely track down the errant avocet but it really was not to be. Here though a pair of pintail and a single dunlin were some consolation. Both redpoll and bullfinch called from the trees.

Driving home through Lönhult and Stureholm I found 55 whooper swans and connected with the golden eagle again. A great end to the session.

Last bird of the session was the 2K golden eagle at Stureholm, a nice way to end the day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Larking about with the kids

Numbers 1 & 2 are still off school with a bug, the antibiotics are being pumped in and they seem to be responding. Today we ventured out to Klarningen where I built them a huge nest in the bird-tower. En route we headed over the hill picking up several flocks of fieldfares, six mistle thrushes and best of all we caught up with Ekenberg's flock of 12 (yes, twelve!) woodlark at Ehrenstorp. An amazing record and always great to see.

Whooper swan numbers are still building at Klarningen, with 70 on site and another 14 on nearby Eskilstorps dammar.

Klarningen over three hours was almost as good, the goose flock produced two taiga bean geese, the whooper swan flock had built to 70 and still included the two tundra swans. A solitary crane dropped in unnoticed and commenced feeding along the back - at last! Another year-tick popped up in the shape of a single snipe. No sign of any ringed plovers today, were they just passing through? Raptors featured too with rough-legged buzzard (1) and my first kestrel this month, the latter almost certainly migrating. A stiff easterly blew throughout the day and seems to have reduced the flow of migrants in the last few days.

The tundra swans gave us a flyby too this morning.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wild swans everywhere

Spent a sunny afternoon in the field today after being relieved of child-care duty by Mrs B. First stop was the swan flock at Öllöv, it now numbers 29 whoopers but nothing else spotted in the field today. One of the features of early spring 2011 here in southern sweden seems to be the number of whooper swans on the ground. We get lots passing through normally, but this year they are stopping off, presumably waiting for the rest of Sweden to defrost.

Driving through Slättaröd I stopped to admire a flock of 25 golden plover, my first of the year. Påarps mal did not produce any shags, they seem to have moved on somewhere. But I got another year-tick in the shape of a pair of gadwall. Moving north I checked out the sewage works and town, picking up an adult white-tailed eagle over Hallands Väderö. Torekov rev produced a flock of seven purple sandpipers and an impressive gathering of 13 goosander.

Spent the last hour of my time mooching about on Gröthögarna but without much impact, 17 teal at Norra Ängalag was a sign that migration continues on. I had hoped to get a flock of cranes over in the easterly winds but having seen the first crane in NW Skåne last year it seems I will now be the last birder to see one this spring. The session ended as it started with the checking of another flock of whooper swans (37), this time at Ängalag.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wheel-barrow birding

Stuck at home looking after two poorly young-uns and the car was being serviced to add to our predicament. We did get out to the doctor's in the morning and I trundled them home wrapped up warm in a wheel-barrow and went home the back way looking for birds whilst we were out. This produced good views of the resident green woodpecker, at least four marsh tits, two bullfinches and best of all a flight of four goldfinches migrating overhead. BK year-tick!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tundra and taiga!

Another day with an appalling morning, but a calm and pleasant afternoon. A rain-laden southerly wind greeted me at 0730 at Glimminge plantering. I walked north to Dagshög, counting the numerous shelduck, oystercatchers, lapwings and starlings. Wigeon numbers are still low but are starting to build at last with at least 50 on the walk. Ringed plovers were scattered along the shore - five in total. Highlights were few but I especially enjoyed the flock of 15 (probably fabalis) bean geese that headed east over my head at Rammsjöstrand. Meadow pipits have gone from being non-existent to holding territories in just two days. Nature is wonderful.

Walking back south it was apparent that a few reed buntings had dropped out along the coast and I found a rather subdued jay in the woods at Glimminge plantering, leftover from last autumns invasion no doubt. Driving home I stopped to check the whooper swan (22) flock at Öllöv and was pleased to find six taiga bean geese resting in the field as well.

In the afternoon we all went out and fed the ducks at Båstad, offshore in the calm conditions were scaup (30) and long-tailed duck (4). Three coot were in the mouth of the harbour and there were a scattering of oystercatcher and shelduck as you would expect. As we drove out the first migrating sparrowhawk of the year appear over town. News of two tundra swans yesterday at Klarningen, sent us off there next and we basked in the weak sun up the tower and scoped about. A big flock of 38 whooper swans did indeed contain the two tundras (thanks Jan!). I had the right idea yesterday, I just went at the wrong time of day. Also here four reed buntings.

On the way home checked out the whooper swan flock at Eskilstorp (35). Another productive day.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Kick off!

Klarningen may still by 97% iced up but recently arrived migrant birds are queuing up for territories. If the water levels stay up this year, we could be in for a storming spring at this new wetland site.

The changeable spring weather continued today with a fierce SW wind and plenty of rain in the morning and then a calm sunny afternoon. The southerlies dumped some early migrants on us, which were bizarre to see in the icy landscapes they found themselves in.

Spent two hours at Klarningen in the morning. Four snow buntings greeted me as I trundled up the access track, this inland site is a reliable one for this species. Arriving at the tower it was apparent that lapwing (7) and ringed plovers (5, BK year-tick) had taken up residence and were displaying. It was freezing here, wet and windy and hard work. I stuck it out though and was rewarded with various wildfowl flying by, including eight splendid white-fronted geese (another BK year-tick). My main target this morning was a tundra swan, but whilst many in the region scored this morning, I will have to wait a little longer. Lapwings and starlings slipped by on migration, often in mixed flocks.

On the way back home, I checked out the swan flock at Eskilstorp (just 19 whoopers) and spent 20 minutes at Eskilstorpsstrand notching up just a couple of shelduck and 7 oystercatchers.

Back in the village over an extended lunch break I finally heard a green woodpecker for the year before heading off for an hour at Ranarpsstrand. The weather had changed completely by mid-afternoon and we were greeted by calm sunny weather. The recent high water has seen off the bulk of the coastal ice and there were plenty of birds here for a change. A female smew was welcome, they are never as common as I would like, although we are seeing a few this spring. The seaweed banks were seething with invertebrate life and picking through the detritus were two ringed plovers, at least two white wagtails (year-tick), a rock pipit and the first meadow pipits (2) of the year. It was magic and emotional. On the way home we stopped to enjoy a flock of 47 waxwing that were taking a break in a roadside tree near Ranarp. A great day.

A flock of 47 fly-catching waxwing at Ranarp was a great way to end an exciting day in the field.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Snow, rain, hail, sun and repeat

A mixed day weather-wise, classic spring stuff. A strong SW wind throughout made the whole thing a bit unpleasant. But I did spend most of the day outside which was nice. In the morning I checked out Yttre Kattvik, winds were supposed to shift westerly but it never happened... A few things were moving though including red-throated diver (2), crested grebe (7) and guillemot (2).

Next stop was Ripagården were I was swiftly engulfed in snow and spent most of my time sheltering behind a bunker. Not much noted in these conditions unsurprisingly and I left with four coot and a collection of recent arrivals (shelduck, oystercatcher and starling).

In the afternoon, Mrs B and I headed out to look for geese around Lönhult, we found just one substantial flock of greylags (250+), but could only find two white-fronted geese. The light and distance were poor though and frustratingly a neck-collared bird evaded a protracted reading attempt. A check of Farhult for geese revealed that the sea had risen, driven by the gale force southerlies. Few birds about, especially waders, as a result.

Rönnen was better with a reasonable flock of eider building, which included two smart-looking long-tailed ducks. Will this be the location for the annual spring king eider this year? Other notables here included smew (3), white-tailed eagle (1) and ringed plover (4).

Last stop of the afternoon was Sandön where we found a huge total of six smew, as well as three scaup. Again high water levels meant few birds close in, but 75 oystercatchers were roosting on the Själrönnen offshore rocks.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Quick look

Lots of snow and rain of late, so for the last two days I have been buried in the office burrowing into a pile of chores that should have been done long ago. But I did manage to get out for an hour today at Torekov.

A fierce SW wind was blowing and it was armed liberally with sleet and rain which made viewing difficult and unpleasant. The highlights were the first lesser black-backed gull of the year and at least seven purple sandpipers. I was hoping for some leftover gadwall and pintail from yesterday but they had obviously moved on, leaving just three teal and six wigeon. Recent arrivals included shelduck (30), oystercatcher (27) and lapwing (2).

On the way home stopped for four whooper swans at Norra Ängalag (hoping for a tundra...). Roll on spring.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ringo!

Another blue sky day had me shelving work at home in favour of more walking and birding. Got to get out whilst it is nice at this time of year, especially after the winter we have had. We headed over to Farhult again. En route there were lapwings and stock doves on offer, things are really moving now. Farhult was packed with whooper swan (45), shelduck (50), wigeon (15), goldeneye (110), smew (3), oystercatcher (32), lapwing (5) and curlew (12). The highlight for me though was three dainty white-fronted geese that flew in to loaf about on the ice. Other good birds included ringed plover (1, year-tick) and reed bunting (1).

A quick look at Sandön on the way back produced more big numbers of shelduck (76) and oystercatcher (24), and four more smew.

In the afternoon the entire team headed out for a circular walk from Mäsinge strand to Rammsjöstrand. Yellowhammers were singing and buzzards were definitely heading north this afternoon. Walking the shoreline produced more shelduck (50), teal (7), oystercatcher (3) and a dozen starlings. The tap is on and stuff is on the move.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pygmy!

Had the luxury of an hour with Mrs B before she started work this morning. We headed for the Killeröd loop walk that we do every now and again and it proved to be a good idea. We heard a calling male pygmy owl about 200 metres up the trail and Mrs B rather annoyingly saw it briefly in flight! Also here goldcrest (2), long-tailed tit (8), coal tit (1), redpoll (8) and a single common crossbill (my first of the year). Greylag and Canada geese moved north in small numbers here and at other sites throughout the rest of the day.

Later I checked out Ranarpstrand, picking up a single lapwing at Ranarp en route. The coast here had a good collection of shelduck (18), wigeon (4) and a grey heron. Out on Grytskären three oystercatchers poked about.

Next I endeavoured to find the water pipit at Vasaltheden. I saw this bird in October at nearby Glimminge plantering but then it went missing only to be re-located nearby by Mats Ljungren recently. I finally found it at the southern end of the Vasaltheden shoreline. Superb bird and nearby a rock pipit too - both these species have been really hard to find this winter whilst meadow pipits have simply vanished. It will be emotional to see a mipit when they finally return. Also here more shelduck (4), wigeon (6) and another oystercatcher.

After tea I nipped out to listen for owls at Killeröd and heard a singing tawny owl and probably in the distance the pygmy owl again. A great day.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Moose hunting

Took the team up to Älemossen for an hour and got really close to a moose but did not see it as we tracked it through the snow. Just one great tit in the hour we spent there! Ended our tour at Hemmeslövsstrand where the offshore seaduck included tufted duck (10), scaup (40) and velvet scoter (6).

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spring is on the horizon

Took the team for a walk along the stretch of coast between Påarps Mal and Torekov rev today. Sunny day but with a vicious NW wind that had us mostly sheltering in the surprisingly warm lees of various Cold War era bunkers. The wind brought some nice seabirds with razorbill (1 - somehow a year-tick), and my first fulmar (1) and little gull (2K) of the year too. Plenty of skylarks on the move and perhaps a few buzzards sneaking past north as well. No sign of any purple sandpipers at the rev but 15 shelduck feeding along the edge of the slushy ice offshore can only be a sign of spring surely!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Goldie!

Spent the afternoon looking quickly at the sites between Lönhult and Sandön, en route picking up two rough-legged buzzards. First stop was a quick look at Farhult to check if the gyr falcon was sitting around. No luck but three curlew looked out of place in a break in the sea-ice. Next stop was another favourite of the gyr (Lönhult), I worked the fields and eventually spotted a dead thing being picked apart by gulls and crows. Sitting nearby was a very fat young white-tailed eagle. Widening the search I found a tree with two more eagles, one of which was a splendid 2K golden eagle. I have done really badly finding this bird during the winter so this was a great moment. Just round the next bend a big gang of greylags got me working but nothing else apart from a few Canadas. As the sun broke through the low cloud skylarks soared into song. Nice - perhaps spring may come after all... Hard to beat.

A quick look at Rönnen produced another white-tailed eagle and four lapwing flying by. Last stop was Sandön, which had more curlew (10) and two smew at very long range. Only three weeks till the cranes start moving, hope it warms up for them.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Struck down

Been out of action lately with a suspected amoebic infestation and still not 100%... Managed to get out birding for the first time in over two weeks and checked out Glimminge plantering. It is still very cold here and lots of ice on the sea, so nothing amazing to report.

After lunch tried Klarningen, iced up and deadly quiet, and Eskilstorpstrand. The highlight at the latter location was my first coot for the site but a big flock of 35 whooper swans in nearby Eskilstorp was nice.