Monday, April 30, 2012

wryneck

Our walk into Eskilstorpsdammar was livened up by a nice fall of whinchat, my first common whitethroat of the year and a nice view of a wryneck. Bonus!

Finally some sun! Ate breakfast admiring the garden's latest arrival - a new-in and very feisty pied flycatcher. Also the first garden lesser whitethroat of the year too.

Took the kids for a walk out to Eskilstorpsdammar in the afternoon, hoping for some early dragonfly action. No joy on the Odo-front but we did well for birds. The blackthorn hedges en route to the pools produced a flock of ten-plus whinchat and a singing male whitethroat. Walking the pools we were pleased to find a superb wryneck, a pair of garganey and a singing grasshopper warbler. Not a bad return for the effort of walking into the place.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

BK blackwit

My first (and hopefully not last) BK tick of the spring, a superb black-tailed godwit found by Thomas Wallin at Klarningen today. My last four BK ticks have been found by other people...

After a morning in the garden we decided to head out for a picnic, we had nearly arrived at Glimminge plantering when the phone went... Wallin had found a black-tailed godwit at Klarningen! A BK tick! So we turned round and headed over there. The bird was not showing on arrival but soon turned up and bloody good it was too! Black-tailed godwit are great birds and I see so few these days that I really appreciate them. Also here the usual suspects including at least 15 wood sandpipers, a greenshank and a spotted redshank. The lone white-fronted goose was also showing today.

After lunch we headed out to Eskilstorpsstrand, the NE wind was cutting up the sea and making scoter viewing difficult but we were rewarded with a nice flyby - a hobby batting north in a light stream of barn swallows.

Reports of a cuckoo had us going over the top on the way home and taking in Lya ljunghed. No sign of the cuckoo but we did get two whinchat.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Med miss

Went out early this morning half-hoping that yesterday's Med gull would still be around at Påarps Mal. No sign of course but you have to try. A widespread arrival of lesser whitethroat, willow warbler and redstart has obviously taken place in the last few days. New-in too was my first little tern of the year. Other notables included five shoveler, a male gadwall and my first eider ducklings of the year.

Moving on to Torekov rev produced another little tern, a whimbrel and another male gadwall. A short walk around Gröthögarna had a great start in the Norra Ängalag carpark with a nice male pied flycatcher. Also a pair of gadwall here too.The rest of the walk was rather quiet for notable stuff but it was great to hear all the newly arrived migrants singing away. Three whimbrel flew past close at one point and that was my lot for the morning.

In the evening, whilst the rest of the team went to a swim-party, I was marooned at Klarningen for three-and-a-half hours... Which allowed me to examine the place thoroughly! Not much moving through sadly. I combed through the large flock of hirundines. Counted the waders, which included 11 wood sandpipers and two spotted redshank. Wildfowl numbers are really dropping away, the pintail have left and just four wigeon and 35 teal remain. Still at least seven shoveler and the male garganey present though and you have to wonder if these guys are hanging around to breed. A partially leucistic red-necked grebe provided a bit of weirdness. The sole year-tick of the evening session was two slightly overdue yellow wagtails, one flava and one thunbergi.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

merlin

Had a couple of hours at Klarningen today en route to my accountant. The "chu-it" call of a spotted redshank greeted me as I got out of the car and there it was a fine summer-plumaged bird. Other waders included a single ruff and single wood sandpiper. A kestrel (or two) appeared overhead and a female merlin charged north nearly taking my head off in the tower. A flock of nearly 50 hirundines included the first sand martin (2) of the year for me and was a fine sight.

Teal numbers are dropping, just 48 counted this morning and no sign of the elusive garganey (although he appeared later for others). Shoveler numbers have climbed to ten and the three pintail remain on site.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

24042012

Had an hour in the field today after work. Nipped down to Ranarpsstrand for a look-see. A few duck loafing about, low numbers but high diversity including gadwall (3), shoveler (4) and a solitary female scaup resting on the rocks and looking a bit peaky. My first scaup at this site. Four resident redshank and a single greenshank made up the wader contingent. Quiet. I checked the big field for dotterel, it is still bare, we just need some dotterel to start moving for that BK first...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday morning

Nipped out for three hours before breakfast this morning. Drove over the top picking up three cranes but no ouzels. Klarningen was reasonably busy with things dropping in occasionally and whizzing off north, you really need to spend all day here...

Wildfowl at Klarningen included the three pintail and seven shoveler, but no sign of last night's garganey or the six Egyptian geese recently reported just over the border in Laholm's kommun. A few raptors on the go though with hen harrier and rough-legged buzzard through north. Waders provided the most value this morning with 20 golden plovers buzzing the tower on arrival, three superb male ruff strutting about, a whimbrel calling overhead somewhere, an elusive greenshank and a very brief wood sandpiper (the latter a year-tick). Equally quick was a flyby by a barn swallow and a house martin and high overhead I heard my first tree pipit of the year.

After breakfast we got the team together for a walk in the woods around Killeröd and Önnarp. The weather deteriorated on us and much of the walk was in the rain. Aside from a light passage of buzzards and two grounded rough-legged buzzards it was rather quiet.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

SEO

My fourth BK short-eared owl turned up this morning on Gröthögarna and showed well. My best views for a long time.

Nipped out for a three-hour spell on Gröthögarna this morning. I was hoping for a few migrants, tree pipit and pied flycatcher would have been nice but it was not to be. Rather quiet instead, though I was greeted by at least four blackcap at the Norra Ängalag car park when I arrived. Otherwise it was cold and grey and few birds were singing. A short-eared owl put in an appearance though, always good value, a few green sandpipers were dotted about and there was a single common sandpiper at Dalen. On the way back I found my latest ever great grey shrike.

Meanwhile the big news here in Sweden today was the finding and subsequent mass twitch of the country's second black-shouldered kite. This bird was seen exiting Denmark on Wednesday. A great find by a committed patch-worker.

Not for me though, instead I managed 15 minutes at dusk at Klarningen on the way back from a swimming party. In the gloom I could make out the male garganey, the three pintail and at least nine shoveler. My first fluffy greylag goslings were strutting about too.

Also my latest great grey shrike this morning. It felt more like winter than spring early on...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Crane fly

This lone crane circled the field at Klarningen a few times but decided not to land in the end and continued on north.

Finally a day in the field. Kicked off at Klarningen which was rather quiet but enjoyed a reasonable amount of passing trade which made it all worthwhile. Wildfowl on the ground included three female pintail, eight shoveler (mostly male) and the elusive male garganey. Four coot have taken up residence, which I am slightly sad to say excites me greatly, it feels like a proper wetland now! Waders present included a single little ringed plover, two ruff and two greenshank. Many of these had moved on by the time I left though. Flybys included a single crane, an osprey and a 2K little gull.

Petersberg produced my first BK crested newt this morning. This site is slated for development if they ever finish the tunnel under Hallandsåsen, be interesting to read the Environmental impact assessment. Do not build on it - would be my advice. Unmanaged land and open water are at a premium in BK.

Next stop was Petersberg (the hunt for a BK water rail continues...). A singing male redpoll was an over-looked year-tick here but the main action came from the herps, with a fiesty grass snake and a great crested newt in the bag (the latter my first in Sweden). Also moor frog singing here. In 2012 I am targetting the herps of southern Sweden as well as birding and doing my dragonfly atlas work so it should be interesting (for me anyway!).

A quick look at Stensåns mynning revealed a number of scoter offshore but the easterly wind was cutting up the surface and made detailed examination of the birds difficult. If we get a calm day I will go back though, scoter numbers are good along this stretch and there must be something rare lurking in amongst them. From here I could see terns off Båstad so I checked it out. Two Sandwich terns were resting on offshore rocks and hawking over the sea were at least 13 common terns. Nice to have them back. A boat put up the duck offshore and revealed at least one Slavonian grebe panicking amongst the velvet scoter.

Had lunch up at Salmon Heights (Salomonhög), not a bad place for a house really, drumming snipe and displaying curlew overhead in the garden, very atmospheric. Nearby I had a pair of marsh harrier (breeders or migrating birds?). Last stop of the day was the tiny Lönhult dämm, this site rarely fails to surprise me and today it produced my first common sandpiper of the year.

16042012

Had time for a bit of birding in the morning of the 16th. Checked Greviebackar for ring ouzels, will I ever see one here I wonder? A pair of wheatears were in residence though and a barn swallow flew through.

Took the team to Dagshög next and we sheltered out of the biting northerly wind, fairly quiet here though in the hour we were here. Just a few barnacle geese shuttling back and forth and another feeding barn swallow.

Torekov rev in a quick look produced three purple sandpipers but little else of note. A rather scrappy effort!

On the way to Helsingborg to celebrate Number 2's birthday in the time-honoured fashion we diverted to Farhult chasing glaucous gull but in the short time available I could not pick it out. It must have moved on.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Springy

Plenty of singing going on this morning, not least from yellowhammers.

Chasing a three day-old report of firecrest at Segelstorpsstrand I headed out pretty close to dawn this morning. No sign of the 'crest but curlews were moving (111 north) and filled the air with their wild, abandoned song. Also a few barnacles through north too (44). Thrashed the bushes and conifers hoping for the crest but the best stuff was offshore with one summer-plumaged Slavonian grebe and 14 great crested grebes and four red-necked grebes. Had a quick look at Ranarpsstrand before home, fairly quiet here but a pair of shoveler and gadwall were nice. A big flock of resting oystercatcher (74) was present here though, the first of the second migratory wave of this species destined for northern Scandinavia no doubt. Offshore around Grytskären there was a female scaup and on one of the smaller rocks five purple sandpipers.

The team dropped me off at Klarningen just before lunch and I had a pleasant 4 hours here. Wildfowl included a single white-fronted goose, the usual five pintail, male garganey and four 'new-in' shoveler. A peregrine (2K female) shot through chasing a lapwing but failed to kill. A crane drifted over south. Waders had picked up again with at least five ringed plovers, a ruff (year-tick), nine green sandpipers and a single spotted redshank. Six swallows graced the airspace over the wetland. On the way home we drove over the top and took in Lya ljunghed, flushing a great grey shrike from the roadside as we went. Nice one and probably the last of the season?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Missed!

Number 2 and I headed out to Klarningen this morning, fewer birds in evidence today but we still came away with three year-ticks. Wildfowl present included the five pintail and male garganey from yesterday but nothing new in. A light passage of raptors was evident again overhead, including a high marsh harrier and my first osprey of the year. Waders failed to impress today, with just four redshank and a green sandpiper leftover from yesterday, that is until I heard the distinctive "chu-it" call of a spotted redshank and watched it heading north low over the site and off into Laholm. Nice one. Thinking it might have dropped in on the newly re-modelled Skummeslövs dammar we squelched over there and peeped over the river into Laholm kommun. No sign of it but we were rewarded with another year-tick in the shape of a rather neat little ringed plover.

We checked out Eskilstorpsstrand, plenty of scoter here and worthy of more attention soon. Single scaup, long-tailed duck and great crested grebe looked good on the flat calm sea. Driving home we bumped into a nice male hen harrier coming through Sinarpsdalen on his way north.

In the afternoon the kids and I had time for a quick look at Hasslarps dammar (three pochard) and a long drive looking for a reported black kite. This bird crossed form Denmark earlier in the week and unknown to me had probably flown south through BK whilst Number 2 and I had lunch. Around the same time a black stork probably did the same but heading north! Doh!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Woohoo! Five year-ticks and a touch of spring

Common toads appeared at Ilasjön this morning and nearby at Dalen moor frogs were in song.

Had a day in the field today and it was packed with birds. More than a touch of spring in the air today with light winds and sun for most of it. Kicked off by walking the Gröthögarna and Ripagården circuit hoping for another ring ouzel but had to make do with a single wheatear and my first white-fronted goose for the site - a noisy singleton that headed north. Song thrush and chiffchaff were present in small numbers throughout. Redshank have obviously moved in since I was last here too.

After lunch I headed over to Klarningen anticipating an influx of birds here and this was indeed the case. Wildfowl included at least 181 teal and 24 wigeon, as well as a single shoveler, five pintail and best of all a superb male garganey. A pair of red-necked grebes slept at the back of the main pool - an exciting addition to the birds I have recorded at this fledgling wetland. A light passage of buzzards and sparrowhawks was evident overhead and these were occasionally joined in the air by over-wintering hen harrier (ringtail) and rough-legged buzzard (1).

Searching the edges produced three greenshank, a green sandpiper, eight curlew and at least five redshank and hawking over the pools were five little gulls! I was pretty pleased with this haul and as I enjoyed the range of birds present, four swallows swooped by, the icing on the cake of a great day in the field.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

moorhen!

BK's first moorhen's (2) of the year were spotted as I drove past Lindab in the village this afternoon. Not superbly exciting but a year-tick all the same!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

rouzel!

Walked between Dagshög and the sewage works at Torekov with team B today. Still a chilly wind from the north but plenty of sun to take the edge off it all thankfully. Dagshög produced a bit of vismig with marsh harrier and hen harrier in-off and through north and even a crossbill overhead. A few goldcrests evident in the juniper here too and even one in the garden when we got home. They are very obvious this spring.

The best thing to come out of the juniper scrub though was a male ring ouzel at Påarps Mal. It called a staccato burst of three rapid 'chacks' and launched into the air as I whirled to get my bins on it. Nice flight view and as it headed north I prayed for it to drop back in but it just kept on going. Perhaps the first bird in NW Skåne this year?

After lunch we had time to check the area around the sewage works and I finally added wheatear (male) and golden plover (100) to the year-list.

05042012

Last week managed a quick look at Klarningen, like elsewhere in northern Europe we are experiencing a bit of a cold snap at the moment and this has slowed migration down.

As we drove from Ängelholm to Klarningen we overtook a thermalling flock of 70+ common cranes which looked fantastic in the sun. We expected them to come over Klarningen whilst we were sitting there but they must have drifted east. Klarningen was brutally cold in the wind and quiet and a rough-legged buzzard (the only bird of note) going through did not make it feel any warmer.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

brief respite

Been off the grid a lot lately, with very little birding being done. We are knee-deep in a huge house spring-clean and associated DIY package at the moment. Turfing out 5 years worth of detritus...

But this morning I did get the chance to do a couple of hours birding. Fifteen minutes at Båstad produced one Slavonian grebe (my first since the big freeze) and 15 long-tailed ducks looked rather smart. Klarningen next, three cranes present on arrival did not last long and were the best of it sadly. Counting the wildfowl failed to produce anything exciting, just 88 teal, no wigeon and a single redshank.