Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Back in time for BK MEGA

Despite very cold temperatures overnight, this eastern black redstart made it onto my BK list this morning. This race has an excellent chance of being split I reckon. Last autumn produced a bumper crop of this subspecies, with seven here in Sweden (if you include this individual) and the UK had it's first record too.

Tanzania was great but it caused not a little alarm when I realised just before I got home that BK was hosting a huge bird - Sweden's seventh eastern (phoenicuroides) black redstart! I need not have worried though as this morning it was behaving impeccably at Rålehamn to a small but appreciative audience. I checked out Torekov afterwards hoping for purple sandpipers, but came away empty-handed. Just white-tailed eagle (1) over on Hallands Väderö, two oystercatchers, a flyby black guillemot and a 2K shag.

Kattvik was devoid of gulls and I could not find the over-wintering chiffchaff. Last stop was Båstad where I watched with a certain amount of horror as an adult white-tailed eagle dispatched a male eider over 15 long minutes. The eagle kept harrying the eider, hooking a talon into it's head or neck whenever it could, until the blood loss and continual diving ensured an unpleasant drowning... At least 44 whooper swans sheltering here and the sea is starting to freeze already!

This white-tailed eagle killed a male eider at Båstad this morning. Killing the bird over 15 minutes and then waiting patiently for the corpse to drift into the shore.

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