Monday, October 31, 2011

Bloody kingfishers

A big flock of 300+ waxwing at Båstad was a great start to the day.

Hit Båstad at dawn today hoping for a kingfisher year-tick but the little bugger is proving incredibly difficult. It has been reported daily for about a week, but it must be hiding up under the wooden walkways or flying in occasionally from the Stensån because I cannot find it. Frustrating.

But a thorough going over of the harbour did produce some good birds; the surf scoter and little auk remain entertaining numerous visitors, also here a huge and noisy flock of 300+ waxwing, a black redstart, and late chiffchaff and blackcap.

Rough-legged buzzard at Klarningen. Klarningen is the only reliable site for this species in the winter in BK.

Klarningen was pretty quiet, the flock of teal (180) also contained a few wigeon (5) and shoveler (3). Two ringtail hen harriers hunted over the wetand and a rough-legged buzzard hovered out the back. On the way home I dropped into Petersberg for a quick look and was surprised to find 47 tufted duck in residence and the flock included a single female scaup (my first freshwater one in BK). Two little grebe here too. Six hawfinch passed over high, calling that high-pitched "tsrrii" flight-call that is often a giveaway to their presence overhead.

In the afternoon we all headed out to look at Farhult and Sandön. Farhult was quiet, no geese here just 9 Slavonian grebes and a lonely shelduck of note. Driving round to Sandön via Stureholm produced a single great grey shrike and again no geese. However when we got to Sandön we found plenty of geese. At least 1000 barnacles and 500 greylag but the only other species I could find were white-fronted geese (about 44).

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Black

Mmmm - waxy goodness. Waxwings are definitely starting to move now, this one was in a flock of 25-30 in Båstad this afternoon.

Morning birding around Gröthögarna for me this morning. Slightly foggy start but it burned off quickly leaving me scratching about for birds. A few goldcrest flocks provided some excitement. All the highlights came at Ripagården; black woodpecker (1) and black redstart (1), although Dalen had two wheatears again and Norra Ängalag a massive total of 12 collared doves!

In the afternoon we all went for a walk around the harbour at Båstad. The surf scoter seems to be making itself at home, together with a female scaup, just offshore. Really rather obliging. Likewise the little auk has made itself comfortable. New birds today though were at least 25 waxwing, another black redstart and a single chiffchaff.

A quick look at Klarningen on the way home failed ot produce anything noteworthy.

The little auk remains in Båstad harbour and together with the surf scoter has drawn crowds of depressed dippers heading home from Kullen and the no-show of the isabelline wheatear this morning.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hard work

As Mrs B will tell you I do love a bird with a sense of porpoise.

A mild, calm, perpetually grey day. I was out all day getting some walking in ahead of an upcoming panda thrash in China. I hope I will be fit enough, bamboo always grows on such steep slopes... and pandas only grow on bamboo!

Effectively covered the stretch of coast between Vejbystrand and Glimming plantering today. That's a lot of mileage and with minimal return today sadly. Highlights were the long-staying 1K great skua (still happily married to his porpoise corpse) at Stora Hultstrand, nine twite at the same location, two redshank, a wheatear and a Lapland bunting at Ranarpsstrand and a curlew at Segelstorpsstrand. At the turning point at Glimminge I bagged a chiffchaff. Still plenty of invertebrates about and a good show of late migrants, but nothing to compare with the isabelline wheatear on nearby Kullaberg.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jack!

Managed a bit of birding during the morning with a trip to Klarningen first. A walk of the stubble fields whilst I waited for the fog to burn off, produced just a handfull of skylark and four elusive twite. The sun did come out and I moved to the tower. Best bird here was a feeding jack snipe that bobbed off eventually into the grass and away. Otherwise 145 teal remain and just four wigeon. The area was being hunted by a hen harrier (1K) and two rough-legged buzzards.

Moving onto Malen, I was hoping for a kingfisher, they have been scarce this year in BK but recently birds have been reported from this location. I still need it for the year so will have to track them down. No luck today, but did see the 1K surf scoter again and also had the little auk (again).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Grey day

The news of a chestnut-eared bunting and a possible Siberian thrush in Uppland must have given every Swedish birder a boost yesterday, these easterlies are delivering but will it deliver in BK?

I headed out for a three hour walk around the Gröthögarna circuit and it was very quiet. Thrushes were much in evidence though, fieldfares overhead and a slight fall of robins and blackbirds apparent. Otherwise vis mig was poor. Two wheatears on the weed at Dalen were nice late birds. I encountered the occasional small group of tits and goldcrests in the junipers but camping with them failed to produce any glory. The plantation at Ripagården was deathly quiet. The big surprise of the morning was a water rail, flushed from the base of a stone wall at Dalen, where it was attempting to hide. A definite new-in migrant then!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Disturbed

All the wildfowl on the rev flushed up this afternoon to greet this young white-tailed eagle.

Been busy the last few days but got out for three hours this afternoon and headed for Torekov. The easterly winds are driving the sea as low as I have ever seen it and there was plenty of habitat to comb through at the rev. I gave it a good go but could not find the recently reported purple sandpiper, but did get a single grey plover and a redshank. The latter my first in BK for six weeks, they seem to be scarce everywhere in Sweden at the moment. Two small flocks of brent geese went south during my watch, totalling 15 birds, it is turning into a good autumn for this species. Also three gannets milling about. I left after a sub-adult white-tailed eagle repeatedly buzzed the rev driving everything away. I think it had its eyes on a dead eider near my position, so I walked off to check the rather quiet woodland inland and left it to it.

Last stop of the day was Påarps Mal where the shoreline produced another redshank and the rocky offshore outcrops at least two shags. Then all the birds were put up again, this time by a hovercraft...

All the wildfowl around Påarps Mal flushed up again, expecting the eagle I was equally surprised by one of the Swedish Army's transport hovercraft heading south.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

221!

My BK year-list hit 221 today, my best ever total and still a few birds to play for. Kicked off at first light with a circuit of Gröthögarna and Ripagården. Nice sunny day with first easterly winds here for some time, and forecast to go on through the week! Could be interesting.

Plenty of in-off finch action on the headland this morning with high flocks coming in from the west and just carrying on east overhead. At least thirty crossbill in amongst the commoner species and a low Lapland bunting called a few times overhead but did not appear to drop in. Bullfinches have started to appear in small numbers with at least eight during the walk. Gannets milled about offshore.

Ripagården produced the best birds in some ways with two grey wagtails, a great grey shrike and my first waxwings of the autumn (25 streaking south).

Picking up the team we all walked to the sea down Sinarpsdalen. I was hoping to make contact with the 1K golden eagle I saw sneaking along Hallandåsen and probably into BK two days ago. Just before lunch I got text telling me there was one offshore on Hallands Väderö. Well at least we knew which direction it would come from if it came our way! We had lunch at a suitable vantage point and blow me if the bird did not turn up flying in from the west just as we were packing up; a nice clean 1K bird and my first in BK since December 2007! It was also 221 for the year! Following close behind it was a rough-legged buzzard.

This young golden eagle was a most welcome addition to the BK year-list. In my first year here I saw two birds and since then nothing, so long overdue for a re-appearance.

Båstad harbour continues to host a little auk.

Walking on into Båstad we enjoyed another quick look at the surf scoter and took in the harbour little auk before taking the bus home. Great day in the field.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

More twitching!

Since saying earlier this week that I could pretty much take or leave twitching, I have mostly been taking it! This morning I had breakfast with the team and then the phone went. Martin Ekenberg had flushed a Lapland bunting from the fields south of Klarningen. I have been trying to find a Lapland bunting here all autumn so off I went. It was in the weedy stubble field that really attracts birds and I found it pretty quickly, along with a handful of linnet, reed bunting and skylark. I flushed it, it showed nicely in flight, called a few times and then was suddenly jumped by a great grey shrike. Wild evasive tactics on the part of the bunting worked eventually but my heart was in my mouth for a few seconds. Needless to say the the bird did not land anywhere close after that. A quick look over the wetland from the south produced the lingering 1K peregrine and it was joined in the air briefly by a hen harrier. Nice 45 minutes.

In the afternoon we all went down to Båstad to look again at the juvenile surf scoter. There it floated, hardly changed position since yesterday, ten gannets fed behind it out in the bay. A walk up to Hemmeslövsstrand produced little of note, although we found a surprising number of 1K black-headed gull wings and a few dead auks.

The winds are going east for the first time in ages, it looks good for a BK yellow-browed warbler, but where to look?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Surf's up

Another morning birding with the ever-patient Number 2 today. We checked out Kattvik quickly to see if seabirds were moving, they were despite an obviously diminishing westerly. In 45 minutes here we clocked up 18 gannets, three fulmar (including my first blue in Sweden) and a single great skua. Leaving the black redstart to his favourite bank of weed we headed down the track to Yttre Kattvik, hoping for more. Well here it started to quieten down but not before we had scored 34 more gannets and a 1K pomarine skua. Kittiwakes were in very small numbers throughout with just three recorded all morning. My first snow bunting of the autumn flew west just offshore and overhead three crossbills went west too, they sounded different and were probably parrots but I am wary these days about separating them on call.

With time pressing on we headed for an hour at Klarningen. Fairly quiet here, though plenty of wildfowl remain, teal (178), wigeon (35) and shoveler (17). A rough-legged buzzard has taken up residence and the access track had 73 golden plover.

Well, I thought that was the end of my birding for the day until Håkan J rang me in Ängelholm with the news of a surf scoter at Båstad at 1530 and so I dashed to the car. On the way I picked up a 1K golden eagle just 750 metres outside the border to BK whilst crossing Hallandåsen... One for tomorrow, I still need it for the year. Arriving at Båstad I was put on the right track by Peder and Klaas and we quickly got our first views of the bird before moving much closer. This was undoubtedly the same 1K female photographed migrating south off Halland two days ago. I think the observer did not realise what he had until he looked at his images that night! For it to have run out of steam in the classic storm shelter location at Båstad was magic. The views were fantastic, a light swell and the bird no more than 100 metres away. This is my first juvenile in the WP so really exciting stuff and a BK tick to boot (perhaps the second record, the last one a flyby male in 2002). Surf scoter brings my BK year-list to a record equalling 220, can I get more?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Seawatching for owls

The great skua parade continues. Fifteen great skuas past today. I should have got some great shots of birds coming along the beach but I duffed it up!

Off to to the sea at Ripagården for me today for a six-hour seawatching session that was full of birds and exciting moments, but failed to deliver anything heavy-weight sadly. Winds are on the light side and SW but veered west during the day. Huge numbers of gannets on the move today, I logged 222! In amongst these seabirds I teased out three fulmars (all late in the session), a massive 15 great skuas, one little gull and three little auks. The other big movers today were kittiwakes (52). Eider were moving too with 99 past and I also had two long-tailed ducks heading south.

Raptor migration provided a little entertainment too with hen harrier (1), goshawk (1), sparrowhawk (4), merlin (1) and last but not least my third BK short-eared owl and my first in-off. Fantastic stuff.

Winds continue to blow but from the NW in the morning, so I know where I will be!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

interrupit mare vigilo

With the wind blowing strong from the SW again this morning it was back to seawatching. Mrs B was in for root canal work at the dentist though, so I dodged about a bit between taxi and husbandly duties grabbing three short session and some decent birds.

First stop with Mrs B was a half hour session at Kattvik. This totally persuaded me that seabirds were moving with gannet (20) and kittiwake (2) past. But it was better for late waders with the common sandpiper still in residence and a greenshank over south calling. The black redstart was still hopping about on the bank of seaweed here too.

Delivering Mrs B to her doom I spent the next hour-and-a-half sitting at Båstad, enjoying the best seawatching of the day. Plenty of gannets here too with 67 logged west, just one kittiwake though. A superb close flock of 100+ scaup swept past - the Laholmsbuktens wintering flock doing a flyby. Not one but three sooty shearwaters appeared, one flying close by for a season's best view. Other highlights included; Slavonian grebe (1), great skua (3), little gull (1K) and little auk (1). Then it was time to pick up a barely human Mrs B and go get some lunch.

In the afternoon I managed two-and-a-half hours at Ripagården, where it was more of the same really with Slavonian grebe (1), gannet (49), nine great skuas (huge) and two more little auks. Not a bad session but no year-ticks for me.

Late on Number 2 and I headed up the hill off-patch at Tockarp for some walking, bumping into yet another great grey shrike.

More seawatching tomorrow...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gröthögarna circuit

Great grey shrikes are a daily occurrence at the moment. This one was patrolling the shoreline at Dalen today.

Had a three hour walk around Gröthögarna and Ripagården this morning. A light southerly breeze kept me company. Visible migrants were finchy and thrushy today with two goldfinch, five twite and one redpoll competing in the sky with a good number of redwing and a few fieldfare. One mistle thrush was amongst the many thrushes gorging on berries on the headland. A 1k peregrine tabbing south may well have been migrating too. One of the best birds of the walk was yet another great grey shrike, it will be a record month for this species for me no doubt.

Ripagården produced another 1K wheatear, a fresh-plumaged and strikingly rufous bird. A good look in the plantation produced just goldcrests and the usual suspects (including at least one crested tit). The walk back was enlivened by bumping into a female lesser spotted woodpecker, a real surprise.

Getting late for northern wheatear now and every one I glimpse raises my hopes of a rare wheatear. Desert wheatear in Halland today...

Lesser spotted woodpecker - a new bird for me on Gröthögarna.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Patch work

I do not need much inspiration to work my patch hard, but yesterday's events underlined the great pleasure of finding your own rarities. Rolf's well-deserved and splendid dowitcher here in NW Skåne was eclipsed by the news back home in Norfolk of Rob Martin's equally well-deserved and simply awesome rufous-tailed robin. Read Rob's account on the punkbirder website. Magic stuff.

That said, I put some time in today and nothing amazing materialised just some nice birds. Kicked off at Klarningen at first light. The pools held 11 whooper swans, which moved on fairly quickly once the sun got going. The greylag goose flock pulled down a single white-fronted goose during the hour I spent going through the wildfowl. Fifteen shoveler remain and the teal flock numbered 250 this morning. The great grey shrike remains and was chasing fieldfares today, it seems particularly pugnacious this one. I spent another hour tramping about in the stubble, hoping for something good but had to settle for linnets and skylarks, before heading for Eskilstorppstrand. Nice flattish sea here but nothing offshore and little overhead action either. Looking north into Skummeslövsstrand produced more in the way of seaduck including 17 scaup and one long-tailed duck.

In the afternoon we al went for a walk along the shore between Ranarpsstrand and Segelstorpsstrand. A peregrine was sitting out on Grytskären and the foreshore had a small number of twite, my first of the autumn. Offshore at least five Slavonian grebes, keeping company with a brace of red-neckeds. The sunny weather produced a red admiral sighting, going south. Best bird here though was my latest BK wheatear, a very rusty 1K individual that was not from round here. Segelstorpsstrand had another Slavonian grebe and the gardens produced two chiffchaffs.

On the way home we stopped briefly at Ljungbyholm for 350 golden plover and a great grey shrike.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Not much birding but a Swedish tick!

I have a very ambivalent attitude to twitching these days. I can pretty much take it or leave it, but today we had planned a trip to walk at Farhult in the afternoon, not knowing it was shortly to be hosting a MEGA. En route to pick up Mrs B from work we learnt of the long-billed dowitcher and drove round to the Jonstorp side of the bay to view it. UK readers might be surprised to discover that this was a first long-billed dowitcher for NW Skåne and only the 20th record for Sweden. Feeding alongside the 112 on the way were two nice white storks.

The dowitcher was close and behaved well, although it was a little sleepy. Great bird. Also here; Slavonian grebe (8), little grebe (1), pintail (10), gadwall (2), scaup (1), long-tailed duck (2) and at least 14 grey plovers.

A quick stop at Sandön on the way out against a tide of speeding birders produced a white-tailed eagle and two white-fronted geese.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Quiet morning

Had a poke around Kattvik this morning to see if anything was still stuck in the bay. A kittiwake drifted past when I got there but nothing else appeared. A late common sandpiper and a young grey wagtail were the notable species here. Sadly there were a few dead seabirds dumped alongside some damaged herring on the breakwater. Two guillemots, two razorbill and a lovely 1K red-throated diver.

Damaged herring and dead birds presumably discarded by fisherman at Kattvik after the storm, this haul included a 1K red-throated diver, two razorbill and two guillemots. I hate mono-fil netting!

Another shot of the diver.

After Kattvik I checked out Torekov rev (just 64 wigeon of note) and then walked the woods hoping hoping for a yellow-browed warbler. Just one flock located and all it contained were goldcrests and the usual suspects.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

to the sea again

Kittiwakes passage seemed to slow up today but I still logged 65 through Yttre Kattvik in two hours.

More seawatching for me this morning. I arrived fashionably late yet again at Yttre Kattvik to find no parking space in the carpark and the news that I had missed a Sabine's gull and the entire gallery had missed another great northern diver, reported at sites either side as it went west. That's seawatching! Settled down quickly and enjoyed a two-hour spell that produced; fulmar (6), sooty shearwater (1), gannet (38), knot (1), pomarine skua (1K), great skua (6), kittiwake (65) and one little auk. But still no Leach's petrels or red phalaropes, so when a significant contingent departed for Båstad mid-morning I went too and this paid off handsomely.

This time a move to Båstad was inspired and we were quickly watching a close red phalarope, followed by my first Sabine's gull of the day, this little 1K beauty.

The first hour at Båstad was incredible. Arriving we were straight on to a red phalarope just off the pier. A 1K Sabine's gull followed quickly and then the first of two Leach's petrels. Great stuff. Also here seven brent geese (west), a scaup west, three little gulls and a close little auk.

At least seven fulmar through today, including this scruffy individual at Båstad.

During the morning someone told me that a Sabine's gull had been reported on a ploughed field east of Båstad. With a sinking feeling I presumed that it was on the fields along the access track to Klarningen [and this did indeed turn out to be the case]. So when Båstad had produced the goods I nipped up to see if the Sabine's gull was still there. It had gone, but the site's first little gull (an adult) had taken it's place. A quick look at the wetland revealed nothing untoward.

Last stop of the day was a quick 40 minutes at Eskilstorpsstrand, this proved to be inspired as I shared the beach with a fantastic 1K Sabine's gull that shuttled up and down the beach.

More signs of the windy weather and it's impact on birds at Eskilstorpsstrand; this razorbill was looking peeky and apparently there was a dead little auk further along the beach.

Sabine's gull number 2 was cruising up and down Eskilstorpsstrand and was very good value.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rats!

Today's signature bird was undoubtedly the great skua, it was hard not to find at least one out in the bay at any point during the session.

Had a great sea-watching session today but I missed two good birds, one a BK tick, so it was a bitter-sweet experience. I spent five hours at Yttre Kattvik, arriving to find a quality team had already assembled and recorded a great northern diver. Not much I could do about that.

One of two Arctic terns sneaking past under the radar at Yttre Kattvik today.

Loads of birds going past, with the flavours of the day being great skua (12+,but uncountable really), kittiwake (241, BK year-tick...) and razorbill (49). Last week's favourite the gannet could only muster 38 individuals today. Other highlights included two Slavonian grebes, four fulmar, three sooty shearwaters (BK year-tick), a rough-legged buzzard in-off, two Arctic skuas, a little gull and five little auks (another BK year-tick). Without a doubt though the best bird was a really close adult Sabine's gull, sauntering past with a gang of kittiwakes. Adults are very scarce in Sweden and this one was very late. Terns were typically scarce with just one Sandwich and two Arctics past. Other non-seabird notables were a great grey shrike and a grey wagtail.

With just 1.5 hours remaining and with no sign of a Leach's petrel I decided to head to Båstad and try there. This was my downfall, had I stayed I would have been the proud owner of a second-hand Cory's shearwater... Gutting. But Båstad is good for close views of things and in the hour here I got great views of five great skuas, a frisky flyby little auk and also a tired-looking little auk which motored into the harbour and back out again. A single barn swallow enjoyed the late afternoon sun.

Seven little auk during the day were my first of the year. Always charming.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Two hours birding before the rain

Lots to do today but squeezed in two hours in the field before the afternoon rain. First stop was Brandsvig. Forty minutes here produced some good birds including hen harrier (2 1K birds), a peregrine (adult male) having a rest on a pile of soil and a great grey shrike. The latter are unusually abundant this autumn it seems.

Last stop was Klarningen back in BK. An hour here was not nearly as productive sadly. The shoveler flock has built to 15 though and today a single pintail was also present. The teal flock has climbed back up to 250, presumably birds are flying between the wetland sites along the valley. Waders included 13 golden plover, three ruff and two snipe.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

First frost

Out again for sunrise at Klarningen this morning. Just 1 degree and frost on the ground. No sign of yesterday's reported Lapland buntings sadly, despite a good hoof around the stubble fields south of the wetland. Plenty of skylark (50) and linnet (ditto) though. With a light easterly wind blowing there was little evidence of much migration going overhead but the hedgerows produced a few migrants including an impressive 48 goldcrests, two blackcaps and 12 song thrushes. Viewing the wetland from the tower produced my first Klarningen great grey shrike, madly chasing starlings. A hen harrier went through high and south, my first at the site this autumn I think.

After some taxi-driving I headed out to Segelstorpsstrand to look for yellow-browed warblers. There are not many YBW's around in Sweden at the moment so this was likely to be fruitless and indeed it was! Just four chiffchaff and a handful of goldcrests for my troubles.

After lunch we all took a walk between Båstad and Hemmeslövsstrand along the beach and back through the woods and gardens. Båstad produced a couple of grey wagtails and a chilly looking Arctic tern and at Malen there were four barn swallows briefly. We said goodbye to the latter and wished them luck.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Flooding out

Cranes decided to head south today when the winds went northerly and the big rush saw me logging over 700 south from various locations in BK, including the garden.

Kicked off at Eskilstorpsstrand hoping for left-over seabirds in the dying NW wind. It faded fast and veered more northerly. I had to be content with three great skuas mugging gulls offshore and ignore the reports of Leach's petrel and sooty shearwater from points south of me in BK. Picked the wrong place! Ten scaup offshore here were my first of the autumn and I also recorded a single sanderling (my first October bird in Sweden). After an hour and a half I headed for Klarningen.

At Klarningen it quickly became apparent that birds were moving in big numbers. The first flock of cranes was 130 strong and the total in two hours was 554, many right overhead and trumpeting away. Greylag (172), buzzard (60) and woodpigeon (1060) were also obviously on the go. On the wetland were whooper swan (4), wigeon (89), teal (150), shoveler (14, a site record), lapwing (250), dunlin (1) and ruff (3). A single adult female marsh harrier was my latest in BK and the 1K female peregrine seen last time here was still ineptly chasing waders about.

The 1K female peregrine is still terrorising prey at Klarningen but I have yet to see it kill anything.

Over lunch the garden produced a flock of 55 cranes south as well as two goldfinch feeding in the rowan out the back with a couple of blackcaps. We all went out in the afternoon for a walk in the woods around Killeröd and Önnarp. More migration spotted in the clearings with a flock of 64 crane south and a steady string of buzzards weaving across the sky. Best birds though were four two-barred crossbills and two great grey shrikes.

Two great grey shrikes livened up a family walk around Killeröd and Önnarp this afternoon.

Shambolic sea-watching


Got out sea-watching on Thursday morning only to be driven back indoors by a morning of torrential rain. That evening I was stuck at home when the sooties started flowing past... Yesterday I managed to spend plenty of time in the field with the kids but still left empty-handed, no sooty shearwaters or Leach's petrels for me. Three hours at Yttre Kattvik did produce a huge count of 175 gannets, two Arctic skuas and five great skuas. Raptors were moving too with merlin (6) and hen harrier (male) in-off.

After lunch we headed out again to check out the action off Ripagården. Here we had a single red-necked grebe (scarce at the moment), 25 gannets south, a great skua and a couple of 1K little gull. A 1K skua heading south was good for pomarine but I had a nightmare day with skuas. One of those days where you get very confused - hopefully a prelude to greater enlightenment.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Middling seawatch

Reasonable westerlies commenced yesterday so it was a no-brainer that sea-watching might be productive today. Unfortunately the car was in for it's left-hand drive light installation, so I had to take the bus down to Båstad and watch from there.

It was a rather slow six-hour session punctuated by occasional bursts of excitement. I had to wait three hours before the session was totally vindicated by the arrival of a fully-spooned adult pomarine skua, with another, indeterminate age, individual in tow. BK year-tick! During the watch a steady trickle of merlin flew south (at least 8) and also a 1K hen harrier. I love in-off raptors. Gannets were frequently about with 36 logged heading west. I had to wait another two hours for a couple of great skuas to do a flyby and then head back north into the bay to mug large gulls. Hard work but worth it. I missed great northern diver and sooty shearwater though, reported by others nearby...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

No thrillers in the mist

Spent the three misty hours after dawn tramping the Gröthögarna circuit hoping for a yellow-browed warbler (just two BK records...). Some evidence of a fall of chiffchaffs and goldcrests and still a few blackcap feeding in the elders but nothing too exciting until I flushed a jack snipe at close range, which flew low and quietly until swallowed by the mist. Ripagården produced a ringed plover calling out in the mist somewhere, only my second October BK bird bizarrely, also one or perhaps two grey wagtails along the shoreline.

In the afternoon we all checked out Klarningen. A tractor was on site baling silage but the huge mass of birds just moved around on site luckily. Wildfowl numbers remain high with wigeon (30), teal (300), pintail (2) and little grebe (1). Raptors were good, many attracted by the machinery including a record nine red kites. Another record count was the flock of 47 ruff on site. Two swallows hunted close to the tower and as I left a superb 1K peregrine started hassling the teal.