Thursday, June 30, 2011

caudalis twitch

As part of my effort to see as many of the dragonfly omissions on my Swedish list this year I had planned a trip to see Nehalennia and coming back through Halland and coshing off Leucorrhinia caudalis. But bad weather has so far delayed the big day. Today I decided to make the most of a sunny afternoon and at least get the whiteface out of the way. So after swim-school me and the kids drove the 90-odd kilometres to our nearest known caudalis site, a small lake near Falkenberg. It turned out to be a popular swimming spot, so the kids got a bit agitated during the 45 minutes it took to track down a single male caudalis - a chunky fat little fella sitting on a lilypad that was a welcome lifer. The kids enjoyed yet more swimming before it was time to head home.

Stopped off for half an hour at Klarningen but the site was being disturbed by machinery and we only managed 7 wood sandpipers before calling it a day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chasing dragons

Yesterday I was at a tree nursery and literally bumped into my first Orthetrum coerulescens in Sweden. It was perched on a plant nicely but I had no camera... I think I will find this species in BK in time and now is the time to look.

Today me and the kids spent the afternoon in the field. We checked Bränneslätt out first. Lovely sunny day so stuff was on the wing. Two Anax imperator dominated the pond. At the back one or two Aeshna juncea/subarctica kept a low profile - a year-tick either way... Nice start, but no sign of any Somatochlora arctica (which has yet to be recorded at this site).

Our next stop was Älemossen where arctica does occur and we did see at least one. It would have been nice to catch it for confirmation but we had to settle for flight views. Not much else here although Pyrrhosoma were still flying here, they seem to have become scarce lately.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Night-birding

Well I did manage to stay up till it got sort-of-dark and headed back to the Smedje in Lahom kommun. I arrived just before 2300 and I could hear the river warbler chuffing away as I drove past the bridge to park. An incredibly powerful song. Also here a quail in song.

Driving back into BK I stopped for a while at Klarningen, just grasshopper warblers here with one on site and another across the river at Eskilstorpsdammar. Drove home slowly listening at a few spots but just scored a nightjar at Ehrenstorp for my troubles.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Singing Blyth's reed

Sun at last. Busy with swim-school in the morning, although we did manage to divert by the pond at Mäsinge strand for a quick look on the way home. Still plenty of Orthetrum cancellatum here and just one Libellula quadrimaculata. The only new Odo here was Lestes sponsa, so no surprises.

After lunch we headed out to check out the recently-found Blyth's reed warbler at Dömestorp. Just a kilometre or so outside BK... Luckily a birder was on it on arrival so we did not have to search it out, it was singing splendidly in between bouts of feeding and showing well in a small oak tree. Great bird, just got to find one in BK now. There has been a huge quail influx this year and with plenty of observers in the field at night, things are turning up. Our next stop was a nearby bridge over the Smedje, a small river, where river warbler had also been found! No sign of it singing in the heat of the day though, but dragonflies came to the rescue. Number 1 pointing out a superb male Onychogomphus forcipatus, perched at our feet! An ice-cream moment for the team. Also here Cordulia aenea and Libellula depressa.

Onychogomphus forcipatus - only my second in Sweden.

Last stop of the afternoon was a quick look at Klarningen. A few waders in front of the tower; green sandpiper (2), greenshank (1), wood sandpiper (4) and redshank (1). A night session beckons. Can he stay awake?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New dragonfly in BK

Instead of risking weather and heavy traffic and going for Nehalennia today I elected to stay at home with Team B. The weather was variable with plenty of cloud but we had a good day looking at invertebrates at a variety of sites up on the hill.

First up was a quick look at the Sphagnum bog at Bränneslätt. I was hoping for an early Somatochlora arctica but the weather was not really warm enough to be sure that they are not flying. We did not see one! Plenty of Leucorrhinia dubia on the wing and some females egg-laying. Also more cranberry fritillaries here, which were so cold you could pick them up, which enchanted Numbers 1 and 2.

More secondary genitalia! This is the hamule of a Leucorrhinia dubia, much straighter than that on rubicunda which I pictured earlier.

Crossing the road we strolled down to the man-made pools and adjacent peat bogs. This area is rather good for Odonata and we had two year-ticks here in the form of both Somatochlora metallica and flavomaculata. Also here an Aeshna grandis.

One of two patrolling male Somatochlora metallica at Bjäred today. New for the year, but regular at this site. flavomaculata was flying here too today.

After lunch we checked out the small stream and large reedbed at Hulrugered. A neglected bit of the patch me thinks, and just as I was thinking it, Mrs B earned the team an ice-cream by spotting my first Swedish Cordulegaster boltonii. It perched nicely for photos.

A long-anticipated addition to my BK list and a Swedish tick to boot. Cordulegaster really is a monster Odo. Kudos to Mrs B.

Last stop of the day was a recce into the mire at the eastern end of Älemossen, difficult to get into but full of potential. Just one Libellula quadrimaculata flying when we were there but some good butterflies including purple-edged copper and idas blue.

Idas blue - another first for me in BK.

A rather tatty female purple-edged copper spotted at Älemossen this afternoon.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Watching the sea

Cranberry fritillary, a new butterfly for me in BK.

Got up reasonably early for a spot of seawatching. We still had a 8-9 m/s westerly but it obviously was not enough to produce the goods. The three hour session at Yttre Kattvik netted just one gannet, as well as two splendid summer-plumaged black-throated divers and a light passage of southward curlews (18) and one bar-tailed godwit (the latter a BK year-tick). I felt pretty safe leaving at 0930 and only missed a single sooty shearwater some hours later so no damage done.

Later on in the day we all headed out to walk the Killeröd loop track. This track always throws up a surprise or two and today the Odonates recorded were bizarre, the only wetlands on this track are sphagnum-filled mires with little or no open water so why did we find Enallagma cyathigerum, Aeshna grandis and Orthetrum cancellatum? One of the mires had a small colony of cranberry fritillaries, my first in BK. A calling willow tit was my first of the year.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Anyone for crickets?

Great green bush-cricket - female nymph. One of many in the valley mire at Sinarpsdalen today.

Another lazy start saw us in the field at midday for a look at the valley mire at Sinarpsdalen. Strong westerlies and a cool temperature put down all Odonata activity. Twenty minutes tramping about failed to turn up a single damselfly or dragonfly. But I did find my first BK raft spider (Dolomedes fimbriatus), a shy female close to a web-nest crammed full of young. There were also plenty of Great green bush-cricket nymphs (Tettigonia viridissima) in the wetland today.

A quick look at Klarningen after lunch revealed the site to be empty of waders and ducks but a quail was singing away and as we drove off a 2K hobby dashed about after swallows.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Minky 'magic'

The kids and I headed out in the afternoon for some birding, still windy and grey which makes dragonfly work a bit tedious. First stop was Ranarpsstrand. An hour here produced three tufted duck, two goosander and seven redshank. I spotted a female American mink carrying a youngster and the kids charged towards it, the minklet was sacrificed as the female headed for cover, allowing us great close-up views of the cute youngster as it mewed plaintively. Not sure what would have happened to it if I had been alone, my boot was twitching but such thoughts had to be abandoned with Number 1 and 2 cooing over it. We retreated back 15 metres and lay down and the female eventually retrieved the infant and carried it away. Nice encounter, just a shame that the introduced American mink population is high enough to make it sadly rather commonplace.

Mink youngster, dropped by the female when she came face-to-face with my offspring.

Mink female at Ranarpsstrand today.

Black-necked grebe at Hasslarps dammar today, birds have been reported on-and-off since spring, maybe the same skulky birds are responsible.

Last stop of the day was a look at Hasslarps dammar, I was hoping to catch up with a couple of black-necked grebes and we eventually tracked them down. Also here a variety of wildfowl with wigeon (male), gadwall (pair) and pochard (two males). Small numbers of waders too with little ringed plover (2), green sandpiper (6), spotted redshank (1), greenshank (1) and wood sandpiper (6). Marsh warbler and grasshopper warbler sung sporadically.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

more atlas work

The rosea form of Nymphaea alba was looking good today at Dagshög.

A single male Brachytron was new for the square today at Dagshög.

Another sluggardly start saw us all heading to Dagshög for a BBQ and dragonfly session. This proved to be an inspired choice as all the nasty looking squalls missed us over the next three hours. A light breeze form the sea did little to suppress Odonata activitity and we had a good look around the various wetlands at this under-watched location. Few surprises but Coenagrion pulchellum, Brachytron pratense and Orthetrum cancellatum were all new for the square.

We left ahead of potential rain and went north to a sunny Torekov to have a look at Flymossen. It was getting late by now and we found no libellulids on the wing here, just Enallagma and Ischnura elegans, as well as my first meadow browns of the year.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Grey

Both Lestes sponsa (pictured here) and Lestes dryas were sitting around in the gloomy weather this morning at Gröthögarna.

Stuck under a low pressure system at the moment which looks like it is here to stay. Makes dragonfly atlas work rather tedious, just damsels flying and the birding has gone quiet too. Managed to crawl out of bed for an 0830 (!) look at Torekov rev this morning. Fairly quiet although a single whimbrel resting at the tip was nice. A greenshank sped south calling mournfully, these failed breeders are a downer! The rev was very quiet, I think all the breeding birds have left already or failed.

Next up was a walk around Gröthögarna, which was very quiet, just two noisy pairs of redshank and a collared dove. The sedgy wetland did produce a single Lestes dryas and a small number of Lestes sponsa. It looks like Lestes dryas is going to turn up in suitable habitat throughout BK with some searching.

Later I picked up the team and we went for a wet picnic in the tower at Klarningen. A few waders present including ruff (2), spotted redshank (3) and wood sandpiper (1). It kept raining though and in the end we headed home.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A quick look

Nipped out with the kids this afternoon to check the sphagnum pool at Bränneslätt. An Aeshna grandis was my first of the year, otherwise just Leucorrhinia dubia and rubicunda, Libellula quadrimaculata and Coenagrion hastulatum.

Afterwards we checked Klarningen, the two spotted redshanks remain, also two ruff today, a wood sandpiper and five green sandpipers. Missed a red-necked phalarope here two days ago. My mobile phone was broken and the text message never got to me...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

More atlas work

The well-hooked hamule of the secondary genitalia on male Leucorrhinia rubicunda is the most reliable feature.

We all headed out for a circular walk in the Venedike area this morning, taking in a number of dragonfly sites in the process. First up were the Venedike dammar. Plenty of pulchellum here but nothing out of the ordinary. Bengt-Olsmossen was heaving with over 250 Libellula quadrimaculata, as well as smaller numbers of both Leucorrhinia dubia and rubicunda. Tramping through the woods to the sedge mire near Simonstorp we went outside BK for a while. Here we had a nice soaring honey buzzard and found a single male Calopteryx virgo in the outflow stream.

After lunch I nipped out for a quick look at the nearby Vysterborg pools. Plenty of marsh warblers in the nettles and rank vegetation around the pools here. The far pool also produced some good dragonflies with my first Lestes sponsa of the year, as well as Anax imperator and Brachytron pratense.

This honey blur was just yards from the BK boundary today, on the wrong side...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

More dragging

Another sunny day so I went out searching for Odonata, inspired by yesterday's effortless score. Today though was different, I worked hard for little gain. Spent most of the day in Halland too so it did not count towards the Atlas! The morning was spent walking into Eskilstorpsdammar and searching through the many ponds on this impressive man-made site. I had thought I might have missed some species last time but this visit produced many of the same species and only added Orthetrum cancellatum and Calopteryx splendens into the mix. No surprises then. Bird-wise things were quiet, just a single singing male grasshopper warbler.

Leucorrhinia rubicunda near Baramossa (Halland).

Nipped home to pick up the team and a big picnic and we headed out. A quick stop at Ehrenstorp produced nothing unusual and then we stopped for lunch at Perstorp enefälad. More false heath fritillaries here and today purple-edged coppers were also on the wing. Driving on we checked a small pond near Baramossa which had more purple-edged coppers and the day's only Leucorrhinia rubicunda. Last stop of the day was another look at the lake at Pennebo. I was hoping to discover Epitheca here, but none were flying today. Are they there? We did see plenty of Calopteryx virgo in the outflow stream and also had a single Brachytron, both species not noted last visit.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Damsel day

The weather was a bit ropey this morning and we were tied up with Number 1's last day of school and the inevitable sing-song. I got out of the church bit and looked at some sites around Grevie but only damsels were flying and nothing exciting or new for the square. I checked the stream at Greviebackar for Ischnura pumilio but no luck (no Odonata of any kind in fact).

In the afternoon though we all headed out and checked out the sedgy wetland in Rammsjöstrand. I have always admired this bit of habitat and have tipped it for greatness, hence my occasional visits even though it falls outside my survey squares. Today I was very pleased to discover about 20 Lestes dryas scattered over the site. It's typical that I should find dryas on the patch in the same week I drove 100's of kilometres to see some. A great, if somewhat predictable, find and the first for BK.

Business end of a female dryas, the ovipositor extends beyond the end of S10 in this species.

Male Lestes dryas at Rammsjöstrand, the first colony to be found in BK.

We just had time to look at the two small pools west of Rammsjöstrand, just one damsel flying here. Amazingly it was a male Ischnura pumilio, only my second in BK. Great day for damsels.

My first male Ischnura pumilio in Sweden. Hopefully this species will turn up in one or more of my Atlas squares this year.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

No time for birding

Not much time for birding lately. Yesterday I got in an hour and a half of birding at Hovs Hallar before breakfast. The highlights being a single singing male common rosefinch and three red-throated divers south.

Today I had half an hour at Klarningen in the pouring rain, autumn wader passage has started already. Two spotted redshanks were BK year-ticks and the site was also hosting at least ten green sandpipers.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

and that brings up the 50 for England...

Time for a dragonfly 'clean-up' today, with a 360 km route down into the south-east corner of Skåne to cosh off four species. Just outside Munka Ljungby I had a feeding white stork, which remained the bird of the day. The weather report was favourable, although my first site of the morning (the Ronneå at Billinge) was hit by a sharp downpour just as I arrived. Plenty of Calopteryx splendens and Platycnemis dodging the rain but no sign of any flying Libellula fulva, my target species. I worked the nearby trees hoping to find hooked-up adults but with no luck, then I walked the river-bank hoping for an emerging individual and found a fresh female. It climbed onto my finger and slowly spread it's wings before heading off on it's maiden flight.

My first Swedish Libellula fulva, it has been sometime since I last saw this species.

Next site was The water treatment ponds at Vomb. I had to be disciplined here because the area is monster for birds. Leaving the car a goshawk crossed the track, with an entourage of angry crows. Walking south through the ponds I was searching for just one species, Aeshna isoceles (the Norfolk hawker), another omission on my Swedish dragonfly list. Species diversity improved the further south I went and after about a kilometre I came to a U-shaped pool, here I had my first Anax imperator of the year and then shortly after that my first Swedish isoceles patrolling a tiny territory in the corner. These dragonflies really glow, a vision of ginger and green. No sign of any water-soldier (Stratiotes aloides) though, a plant this species is normally associated with. A Gomphus vulgatissimus here looked out of place. Walking back a red kite successfully scopped up my first coot chick of the year.

Thrashing on I headed for a small wetland near Fågeltofta that produces huge numbers of Lestes dryas. The hardest thing about seeing this species was negotiating the barbed wire fence! Once down in the basin, the Juncus was heaving with dryas. Things were going well.

The business end of a male dryas.

Nice to get a Lestes on the year-list - species number 49 on my Swedish list.

Libellula depressa were present at several of the sites looked at today.

Last stop was a blatant twitch but how could I ignore the presence of four Sympetrum fonscolombii at Simrishamn having got so close! This site is coastal and very compact and it did not take me long to find the fonscolombii, a huge rarity in Sweden. It was surprisingly difficult to count them though, but I think there were two patrolling males and then at one point a pair in tandem egg-laying. This female is the only one ever recorded in Sweden and was first seen yesterday.

Peripheral colonies of fonscolombii are prone to instability but this species may establish itself at Simrishamn. Exciting stuff and number 50 on the list too.

The pool at Simrishamn, shame it is 170 km from my house!

On the way home I stopped off again at the Ronneå at Billinge. This time it was warm and dry and the river was packed with Libellula fulva. A 200 metre walk upstream produced at least 30 males, four pairs in the wheel and one egg-laying female. Gomphus vulgatissimus were evident too with at least 15 patrolling males along this stretch. A great end to the day.

Female fulva.

Male fulva.

Another male Gomphus vulgatissimus photo, sorry but I like them.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Night shift

Went out last night for a drive around. Although winds had been light during the day a breezy easterly picked up at dusk and made the whole session a bit of a trial. Doing the Älemossen circuit produced six roding woodcock but I could not hear any nightjars in the windy conditions. Luckily I got my year-tick, a bird picked up against the clear sky feeding high over a plantation at Brödalt. I met Martin Ekenberg half way round but he was faring no better. Driving down to the coast I checked Petersberg (singing thrush nightingale) and then Klarningen (brief burst of quail) before prematurely calling it off at midnight.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Atlas work - more Odonata

Had a leisurely start today and headed out when things got warm to search Vasaltsheden for Ischnura pumilio, dropping the team at the beach. The mire here is very dry and much of it was accessible for a change, amazingly I could not find a single damselfly, just one Libellula depressa had a look around before buzzing off. The bushes in the mire had a singing icterine warbler, surely a recently arrived migrant.

Before picking up the team I checked Mäsinge pond again whilst I was in the neighbourhood. Things have really picked up here with several new species recorded: Erythromma najas, Brachytron pratense, and a pair of Libellula depressa.

After a quick lunch I dashed out again. The weather forecast for the rest of the week looks dicey so these sunny days have to be capitalised on. I checked out a few sites near home. Lönhult pond is an odd spot, by rights it should have a rather poor Odonate fauna. It lies in the middle of an agricultural area, is clearly highly eutrophic and has little submerged aquatic vegetation. I was stunned therefore to record 11 species of dragonfly at the site including both Coenagrion lunulatum and hastulatum. After walking the superb Vasaltsheden mire and recording just one species it seemed a little strange. At least 15 Libellula depressa here were entertaining. It was not just dragonflies either, I flushed two green sandpipers off the pool and the small area of scrub and trees included within the buffer surrounding the man-made wetland had singing marsh warbler and thrush nightingale.

The pond at Lönhult - it may not look like much but it is going to be an interesting place to watch.

One of two Coenagrion lunulatum spotted at Lönhult today, I thought this species would have narrower habitat tolerances but it looks like it is going to be widespread in BK.

Last site for the day was the valley mire part of Sinarpsdalen, plenty of red-backed shrikes in here plus one fly over hawfinch. The mire was chocker with Pyrrhosoma nymphula and Coenagrion puella (easily the best site for these two that I have found in BK so far). But the prize went to the five or so Calopteryx virgo along the little brook. This spot may well produce my first Cordulegaster in BK I reckon.

Stunner! virgo in all it's glory.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

rODOtrip

I rarely leave BK these days, it has almost developed into agrophobia, but this year I am determined to catch up with those dragonfly species that I have yet to see in Sweden that are reasonably close at hand. And that means getting in the car and going to see them!

Mrs B kicked me out the door bright and early this morning and told me not to come back until I had seen a new dragonfly. I drove SW towards Dagstorpsjön, stopping en route at the beautiful stretch of the Ronneå at Herrevads Kloster. It was still early but the Odos were awake, the meadows by the river were teeming with Calopteryx splendens, Coenagrion pulchellum and Platycnemis pennipes. A careful search of the river eventually produced two patrolling male Gomphus vulgatissimus. Three year-ticks in that little haul - a great start.

Platycnemis pennipes were flying in good numbers on the Ronneå today, it appears to be absent from the lower reaches of the Stensån in BK. These were my first in Skåne!

I love gomphids, this is one of two male Gomphus vulgatissimus watched patrolling the Ronneå this morning.

Calopteryx species are so exotic, this splendens was one of over 200 along a short stretch of the Ronneå this morning.

Driving on I reached Dagstorpsjön by mid-morning and started searching along the mostly treed shoreline. Arriving at small bay I was overjoyed to find a male Epitheca bimaculata patrolling along the shoreline. By jumping from tussock to tussock out into the lake margin I was able to get quite close but no chance of a photo sadly. I just had to enjoy it through the bins. I got most of the features, you could even tell the gender but I could not get the 'twinspots' in the hind wing. A big dragonfly and a welcome lifer.

Drove back north, this time heading for Lärkeröd gravel pits. Patric Carlsson put this site on the map a couple of years ago by finding a small colony of Leucorrhinia albifrons and I was finally going to see them. On arrival I bumped into Thomas Wallin and we were straight onto a Leucorrhina albifrons. Well the colony is not small anymore! We must have seen over a 100, mostly teneral individuals. A big emergence was underway. Patric turned up later on and showed us round the site. On the shores of Rossjön we found two gordian worms. I recorded 14 Odo species during two hours here and missed a few species that were flying. It is a great little site and always produces a few good birds too. A single woodlark greeted me on the access track, a pair of hobbies were obviously in residence and a nutcracker did a fly by. Loaded up with gen on the dragonfly sites of the area I headed to a nearby pond to look for Leucorrhinia pectoralis. There was one good male present which escaped a photo and also the animal pictured below, which I think is one too but it is presumably sub-adult. dubia and rubicunda were also flying here!

A male Leucorrhinia albifrons, only my second record of this species, so pretty exciting stuff.

The Lärkeröd colony of Leucorrhinia albifrons is evidently well-established, now we just need some westerly dispersal into BK.

Part of Patric's guided tour at Lärkeröd included a look at nearby Rossjön, here I spotted a gordian worm. We were stumped by it at the time but the internet soon solved the riddle of it's identity and bizarre lifestyle. Gordian worms (or hair worms) are nematamorphs, a phylum of freshwater invertebrates. They live most of their lives as 20-30cm long, ribbon-thin animals, in freshwater, where they mate and produce eggs. Once eggs develop into larvae, larval gordian worms must infect an aquatic insect larvae, which metamorphosizes and carries the gordiid onto shore. Once onshore, the gordiid encysted inside the aquatic insect must be eaten by a cricket or grasshopper, in which the gordian worm feeds and matures. Gordian worms only feed while inside their cricket or grasshopper host. For the gordian to complete its lifecycle, the infected cricket must then die and fall into water. Blimey!


Female Brachytron pratense egg-laying at Lärkeröd today.

I saw one good 'yellow-spotted' male pectoralis at the pond near Rossjön today and this beast. I think the robustness, black pterostigma and the shape and colour of the S7 spot make the id sound.

My last gasp was to blast back towards BK, stopping at Benmöllan for dipper and grey wagtail and at Perstorps enefälad for false heath fritillary. Last stop of the day was at Klarningen where half an hour produced nothing unsual. A great day out.

Back on patch, Perstorps enefälad produced at least two false heath fritillaries.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Flaming June - a BK tick!

It has been a quiet spring really so far, I have worked pretty hard and have found just pied wagtail and great snipe. I am not complaining but against last spring's haul this seems much quieter. Since we returned from Gotland I have yet to struggle out of bed for a dawn session. Today all that changed for the better with a great self-found patch tick and a much-needed reminder that things are still on the move and there is still work to be done.

We started our day at lunch time today, picnicking at Gröthögarna and then wandering around looking for dragonflies in the many small wetlands dotted throughout this impressive area. Sadly nothing unusual, although a Cordulia aenea was my first on a coastal site in BK. The kids put up with this tramping about well and by way of thanks we drove over to Eskilstorpsstrand so they could have a crack at some sea and sand. As usual I dorked along with all my birding gear as they raced along through the shallow water and scampered about on the sand. Out to sea things were hard to get onto in the choppy conditions offshore (a light westerly) but a smallscale movement of mainly male eider seemed to be happening.

Turning back the rest of the team headed back down the beach whilst I elected to take the path just behind the low dunes. Halfway back to the car I was stopped in my tracks by a burst of birdsong. Surely that was a greenish warbler, a bird I had hoped to see on Gotland but my hopes had been scuppered by their late arrival. I had forlornly listened to recordings every evening for a week on Gotland and now the homework had paid off. Just to be sure I played the song quietly on my dictaphone - I was not attempting playback I hasten to add, just confirming the song. My dictaphone has tiny speakers and I raised the unit to my ears to hear the recording. The greenish had no problem hearing it though and streaked in, singing lustily and unseen above me and then flying over my head to perch briefly in view low down before heading back the way it had came and back up into the low canopy. A brief impression of a Phyllosc with a good super and it was gone. It stopped singing and hoping it would perk up I put the news out.

I have always 'fancied' this stretch of coast for migrant passerines but, apart from this year's great grey shrike, I have put in a lot of time for no reward. I was just smiling and reflecting on this when I heard a singing male common rosefinch. Bloody hell! Two good birds in 15 minutes, just amazing. Unlike the greenish this bird behaved, a 2K male that sang low and in the open and occasionally flew down to a small stream and drank. When and from what direction had these two birds arrived? Looking at the Greenish warbler records from across Sweden it seems they have arrived late this year and today a number did turn up in unlikely places. Nice one!

BK gets common rosefinches every spring in small numbers, but they are almost always 'practising' 2K males, like this one found at Eskilstorpsstrand this afternoon. I have yet to see a female or any evidence of successful breeding.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bits and bobs

Had a short amount of time in the field today as we said goodbye to Ma B who was heading back to the UK. Half an hour at Klarningen produced shelduck chicks, two little ringed plovers, three wood sandpipers and two yellow wagtails. The quail failed to sing for us. Nearby Skottorp, just across the motorway and off-patch, produced a Caspian and a black tern...

Driving home we stopped for the black redstarts in Sinarpsdalen and actually saw the male! Then it was time to wash the car, mow the lawn and catch up all the jobs we have not been doing over the last fortnight.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Vejbystrand to Glimminge

Had time for a quick check of the garden this morning. Somewhere up the hill a thrush nightingale was singing and the pied flycatcher is still singing strongly but no sign of a female yet. All three tree sparrow nests have noisy young that will fledge in the next week I guess.

Took the chance to walk between Vejbystrand and Glimminge after breakfast. It was a rather quiet affair but did produce some good birds. Chief amongst them being two BK year-ticks - marsh warbler at Ljungbyholm and Lervik and a nice male red-backed shrike at Vasaltheden.

Saw my first wall browns of the year during the walk today.

Pearl-bordered fritillary at Vasaltheden.

A brisk NW wind made the long walk a bit of a chore but the other birdy highlights just about made up for it (!); shelduck with fluffy young, avocet (1, Vejbystrand), a few singing icterine warblers and thrush nightingales and at least two broods of young wheatears on the wing. Time speeds on, young birds are appearing, ducks are going into eclipse and autumn migration is just round the corner already! My walk ended with a well-timed pick-up at the pond in the Mäsinge part of Glimminge, where I had my first Orthetrum cancellatum of the year, as well as Ischnura elegans and Enallagma cyathigerum.