Sunday, July 15, 2012

night-birding with the family

There was a big common toad (Bufo bufo) waiting for us on the front step when we got back from our first family night-birding session.

Made the most of some afternoon sun yesterday and checked out Petersberg for dragonflies (just Enallagma on the wing). Then tried Klarningen. Still waders here with the best of it being a single whimbrel that lifted off the wetland and went south calling. Also four curlew, at least eight greenshank and the usual 20-ish wood sandpipers.

We were saving our energy for the big event though, a night drive around BK looking for nightjar and the two common owls that have been eluding me successfully so far this year. The kids were very keen and we arrived early at Killeröd, getting eaten by midges as we looked through a bewildering selection of micro-moths. As dusk fell we heard at least two male nightjars and Number 1 and I headed uphill to listen to them more closely. Here we had a very close encounter with a long-eared owl that tried to land on my head and Number 1 spotted the nightjar whizzing past at close range. Returning to the car we did not have to wait long for another very good view of a nightjar, courtesy this time of Mrs B (her first in Sweden!).

The kids did not last long on the drive-round, quickly falling asleep under a pile of sleeping bags. It was eerily quiet, a few roe deer calling and a quick glimpse and a couple of calls from a 1K tawny owl. But mission accomplished - all three potential year-ticks in the bag.

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