Sunday, January 15, 2012
I checked the rev and Norra Ängalag before going home for lunch but all was quiet here too although the latter site did have five meadow pipits and two rock pipits feeding on the seaweed.
In the afternoon we checked out Eskilstorpsstrand, spent most of the time looking through the large number of gulls here off Stensåns mynning. No sign of any white-wingers though. The flat calm seas allowed a leisurely perusal of a flock of at least 195 scaup and the oystercatcher was still present. Last stop of the day was Klarningen where I finally added rough-legged buzzard to the year-list and we also watched the hen harrier (female) eating a mouse. The sub-zero temperatures last night have put a decent skim of ice on the water and only 38 mallard toughed it out on the main lake.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
What I did not realise was that the other gallery was watching a point-blank red phalarope feeding off the little beach just to the west of the harbour. I realised when I got home though thanks to phone calls from Mikael Olofsson and then the tension ratcheted up a notch with the arrival of a second Iceland gull at Kattvik. We all dashed out but we missed the second younger Iceland gull quite easily... The phalarope was behaving nicely though just offshore, nice to get under the belt so soon in the year.
Friday, January 13, 2012
After picking up Number 1 from school, we all headed for a short session at Klarningen before continuing on with our taxi duties. First bird was superb and big 2K female peregrine sitting on a fence post. Klarningen had a big flock of geese (120 Canada and 85 greylag) that did not tolerate our arrival. Mallard have built to 54 and the duck flock included ten tufted duck and four wigeon today. A female hen harrier quartered the grassland and a flock of 41 starling swept by. It was time to go.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Spent half an hour at Ripagården too, stuff was passing much closer here (predictably I suppose) but just one kittiwake in the session soon sent me scuttling for home and some much-needed revision ahead of next week's trip to Tanzania.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The count proper though was rather quiet, low numbers of most species and no surprises. Highlights were few and far between but I did see two gannets and a red-necked grebe. Very few passerines encountered, with just five rock pipits and four meadow pipits of note.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
In the afternoon we checked out the storm damage at Grytskären. This is perhaps the most low-lying stretch of coast in BK and the coastal pasture was strewn with sand and rocks. Looks good for shorelark! A single redshank flew amongst the islands offshore - a scarce winter bird lately. Also here a single slavonian grebe and my first grey heron of the year. Walking north onto Ranarpsstrand produced a flock of 40 meadow pipits but little else of note.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Next stop was Hemmeslövsstrand where an oystercatcher was tripping along the beach and 17 waxwing bombed past south. The last stop of a day was a quick look around Båstad harbour where the easy highlight was a kingfisher flushed from under the walkways. It took me 12 months to see one last year but predictably was much easier this year.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Thursday, January 5, 2012
The dead sperm whale at Hunstanton drew large crowds over the holiday period and was one of the highlights of the trip.
Just back from two weeks in the UK, mostly visiting family but also some great birding moments thrown in.
Duty called on the 24th of December necessitating a trip to Norwich cathedral to hear my nephew sing in the choir. Just before kick-off we had excellent views of one of the pair of peregrines which now nest on a platform at the site. It flew repeatedly low overhead. Superb! I used to day-dream about seeing this species around the cathedral whilst trapped indoors at a nearby school.
News after Christmas of a returning adult lesser white-fronted goose with a small flock of bean geese in the Yare Valley quickened the pulse. A chance to add to my meagre UK list! Nipped over on the last day of the year and had excellent views of the goose after a long wait. Also here an excellent supporting cast including bittern (1), taiga bean goose (85), white-fronted goose (180), peregrine (2), buzzard (3+), black-tailed godwit (2), ruff (a few), Cetti's warbler (2), water pipit (1) and bearded tit (1). Buckenham looked great as usual and was full of birds - huge flocks of golden plover and good numbers of wigeon evident.
A vert short session on the afternoon of the first day of the year netted a Coue's arctic redpoll at Titchwell and a confiding water rail that went down better with the kids. Nearby we enjoyed excellent smelly views of the dead sperm whale at Hunstanton, with 15 snow buntings over whilst we gawped with a huge crowd. A barn owl on the way home was welcome.
My last day in the field was another afternoon session after the long-staying western sandpiper at Cley. Sadly we failed to find the bird on the reserve, amidst a blizzard of dubious claims by other birders. Finally at dusk came the news that the bird was at Arnold's Marsh... Too late for me to drag the team up there so I had to let this Norfolk tick go. The only consolation was getting pushed off the boardwalk and flushing a jack snipe which flew silently behind the gallery and dropped in again without being noticed by anyone else. Another barn owl on the way home, one of the birds I miss the most in Sweden.