Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Four-fingered salute!

Birds all over BK this morning with this wryneck at Ripagården showing well in the same bush as my first BK red-backed shrike for 2012.

I always like to bird on my birthday and today produced a great session in conditions conducive to grounding migrants. Started off with an hour at Klarningen before breakfast and the school-run. All was quiet here with the a pair of cranes, two male garganey floating about, eight wood sandpipers and a ruff. The place was nearly empty of duck, with just nine teal and two mallard remaining. I was contentedly taking in this tranquil scene when my composure was abruptly shattered by the arrival of a skinny-looking harrier! Scope on and I could hardly believe my eyes - a 2K male pallid harrier was giving me the birthday flyby! It went through on a mission, just circling once on it's way north-east. Amazingly this was the first of three pallid harriers to be seen migrating through NW Skåne today. It looks like last autumn's birds are heading back by the same route they went out. Will this species become a regular feature? A great start to the day whatever.

After my birthday breakfast and some light taxi-driving I headed over to have a look at Gröthögarna. The walk was dogged by occasional light showers but the birding was good, so I was not complaining. The highlights of nearly four hours here included three spotted redshank, five wood sandpipers, as well as my first thrush nightingale and spotted flycatcher of the year. The biggest surprise came when I flushed a jack snipe from the edge of the pool in Dalen. This is a rare bird in May here and it even called that squelchy frog-like call that is seldom heard (I've only heard it from one other individual in BK). Otherwise Ripagården provided the best action with a fine wryneck, my first BK red-backed shrike of the year and a trickle of raptors that included four honey buzzards.

A mini-flurry of four honey buzzards hit the coast at Ripagården at midday. My first of the year.

Last stop of the day was Torekov rev. Heavy rain hit as I arrived but that did not stop me spotting three turnstones flying about from the car. A chat influx was evident too, the rev heaving with wheatears and a single whinchat. Somewhere to the south another thrush nightingale was singing. Nice end to a productive day.

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