Friday, March 30, 2012

winds northerly

Quite cold this morning when Number 2 and I headed out for a morning in the field. We stopped first to look at the 'big field' at Ljungbyholm, nothing doing here, just a reed bunting in residence and no sign of any golden plovers.

Likewise Ranarpsstrand was rather quiet, two curlews being the best of it. Intriguingly small packets of eider were heading north here, where are they gathering this year? There must be a king somewhere in BK.

Our last stop of the morning was a mooch about Vasaltheden. Snipe active here and the best birding of the day too with plenty of linnets, a great grey shrike and a rough-legged buzzard.

In the afternoon, I took Mrs B for a walk in the sun off-patch at Farhult. Water level up here but enough edge for 20 avocet, my first of the year.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

reedbeds

Common frogs at two sites today busy spawning.

Headed out for a day in the field today, the aim being to check the coastal reedbeds for water rail and bearded tit. No joy on either sadly but saw a few things of note. First stop was Klarningen where the two white-fronted geese were still lingering, the barnacle flock had climbed to 14 though. Two redshank looked at home here. A peregrine shot through, nearly grabbing a curlew and a green woodpecker was singing from the riverside trees.

Petersberg was the first reedbed site but was quiet, just reed buntings and a single chiffchaff singing. Four goldfinches here were my first spring birds. A quick look at Kattvik produced a single grey wagtail and not a lot of movement on the sea. The second reedbed was at Ripagården, again just reed buntings in residence but good numbers of spawning common frogs. At least 7 lesser black-backed gulls in the area though, my first of the year.

Checked Torekov rev next for the biggest gathering of white wagtails of the day (14) but otherwise quiet with just a single redshank of note. The reedbed at Flytermossen was quiet (another grey wagtail over) but more common frogs spawning here too. Dropped in quickly at Glimminge on the way home, picking up three linnets on the road down - my second year-tick of the day.

It's that time of year when it is warming up but still so early in the spring, I just want the migrants to come back!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The sun shines!

The garden produced a dunnock at last over breakfast. Spent an hour at Klarningen this morning which was reasonably busy; white-fronted goose (2), barnacle goose (6), wigeon (38), gadwall (female), teal (100), a female marsh harrier (my first of the year) and a redshank (1) being the highlights.

Drove back over the top, picking up a pair of cranes at Ehrenstorp and the garden in teh afternoon produced a singing chiffchaff and a green woodpecker.

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On Sunday I did get in the field briefly. The sun shone down on our house but as soon as we started to drop down towards Båstad the fog enveloped us again. This made the 50 minutes spent at Klarningen rather tedious again. Wildfowl present included five barnacle geese and nine white-fronteds. Walking back down the track produced a single twite, my first of the year.

In the afternoon I struggled (still not 100% fit) and tried for an early wheatear at Grytskären and Ranarpsstrand. The idea was sound but my short session drew a blank. Wallin scored later on in the afternoon. Disgusted with myself I stayed at home and rested up.

Friday, March 23, 2012

infernal fog

It seems more than a bit unfair that as I get better and am able to spend more time birding that the fog has dropped onto Bjäre and seems disinclined to leave. Number 2 had a go this morning in very poor visibility. First stop was Petersberg where we listened intently for water rail (no joy) but bumped into three song thrushes, my first migrant individuals of the year.

Klarningen was equally murky, we gave it an hour but never saw further than 100 metres. Two white wagtails buzzed the tower on their way north and that was us done for the day.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Seven year-ticks!

Grey day, fog really got in the way today but probably caused this great grey shrike to pitch into Torekov rev.

After what seems like a very long time I finally got to spend a day in the field today. Things kicked off well with a grey partridge on the school-run, this species has been scarce after the last few harsh winters and this was my first of the year.

Klarningen was fogged in but cleared just enough over the hour-and-a-half for me to see what was about. Plenty here with a pair of smew and the first green sandpiper of the year being the highlights. Also here white-fronted goose (14), barnacle goose (2), gadwall (pair), the first oystercatcher pair on site and at least four snipe.

A quick look at Eskilstorpsstrand produced quite a few seaduck, including a good build-up of eider (350) and seven scaup. It is time to look for king eider again, no luck today though.

After lunch I checked out Torekov rev but the fog was awful. Out on the rev (when it could be seen) were at least 11 purple sandpipers but they were impossible to count properly. Birds kept on coming with my first white wagtail of the year swiftly followed by my first (two) grey wagtails. Five rock pipits here included at least one nice summer-plumage bird and the bushes were playing host to a great grey shrike (my first on the rev). On the way home I checked out Påarps Mal but the fog dropped like a hammer and there was little to see apart from a pair of barnacle geese that looked like they might stay and breed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

He's back

Not been feeling too well lately, but things are slowly looking up. Since my last blog I have had very few opportunities to get in the field but recorded my first mistle thrushes of the year on the 8th (two in the garden), heard my first green woodpecker of the year on the 10th (garden again), and coot were back on the pools at Lindab on the 16th. On the 18th we got out of the house briefly for a walk between Vejbystrand and Stora Hult. This produced the first ringed plover (1) of the year and later that night we had a crane calling just over the house lost in the fog.

Today I had a quick look at Klarningen in the morning, still plenty of water and good numbers of birds including three BK year-ticks for me. Wildfowl provided most of the interest with 27 white-fronted geese, four barnacles, a male shoveler (first for BK this year) and a pair of gadwall. Also 26 wigeon and just over 80 teal present too. Driving away I picked up a pair of ringed plovers in the fields and from the E6 and just inside BK a pair of curlew.

On the way home later stopped briefly to admire a pair of cranes, the fields here also held at least six mistle thrushes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

jay

Recovery is always surprisingly slow after 'real' flu and so it has been this time. But things are getting better and I managed a circuit through the woods around Killeröd looking for two-barred crossbills. No joy though, just five common crossbills and a jay heard. The latter a year-tick.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

ice-free Klarningen

Had a quick look at Klarningen this afternoon. No ice and plenty of water, could this be the spring we have been waiting patiently for? We will have to see what the water levels do I guess. A total of 21 lapwing was good, many displaying over the access track fields. Skylarks in song too.

But it was the duck numbers that were striking, already 18 teal, one wigeon and a handful of mallard on site. Six whooper swans were having a breather here as well. On the way home we stopped off briefly at Eskilstorpsstrand, ice still present here just offshore but seaduck beyond, including 100 velvet scoter

Saturday, March 3, 2012

lapwing

Staggered out for a BBQ at lunchtime. En route to Grytskären we stopped at Ljungbyholm for a flock of 15 lapwing and singing skylarks. My first lapwing of the year. The coast produced the usual new arrivals; shelduck (13), lapwing (1) and oystercatcher (1).

Friday, March 2, 2012

that flu by

Had yet another look at the 'eastern' black redstart at Rålehamn this morning, it looks in good health and was as confiding as usual, allowing a close approach.

Got out for the first time after eleven days laid up with 'real' flu, the whole team went down with it so it got pretty messy. Mrs B also contracted pneumonia and so the road to full recovery is looking long. The only bird noted whilst poorly was a garden tick stock dove blazing north on 23/2. But nice weather tempted us out for the first time today for some low-energy sitting in the sun and looking at birds.

Skylarks have successfully returned in numbers in my absence and both shelduck (13) and oystercatcher (14) made showy additions to the avifauna at Torekov rev. These three species are the earliest returnees every year. We tried but failed to find a ringed plover during the morning, another early bird. The rev also had a superb 2K peregrine sitting on it and fifteen bean geese migrated north overhead.

Moving on we checked out Rålehamn and found the eastern black redstart to be as obliging as usual. Driving round to Ripagården produced a great grey shrike at Norra Ängalag but Ripagården was quiet, although we were really running out of steam by this stage. Spring has begun though and hopefully we will soon be back in the thick of it.