Friday, August 23, 2013

off again

Ahead of my departure to Malaysia on a dragonfly tour Mrs B and I took some time out and walked around on the coast. The weather has become very pleasant again and the wind is from the east, sometimes it is hard to leave BK behind...

We checked out Vasaltheden and were rewarded with a 1K cuckoo and some equally immature red-backed shrikes (3). A thin veneer of grounded yellow wagtails was obvious and overhead we were treated to more of the same, plus a few tree pipit and common crossbill. Glimminge had a few waders but nothing too exciting, again high-flying crossbills intruded on our conversation. Hopefully their will still be time to catch up with two-barred crossbill when I return. Am I going to miss something big though this time?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

beyond the pale - two male pallid harriers!

Got out for an hour at Klarningen this morning but things were very quiet. 300 teal remain on site but there was little else around. Buzzards may have been moving and feeding kestrel (1) and marsh harrier (1) possibly indicated some movement. Always hard to tell. Likewise a quick look at Ehrenstorp, hoping for a wryneck, produced a single adult honey buzzard that made it's way imperceptibly south whilst keeping a good lookout for something to eat. Also a single immature red-backed shrike at the latter site.

The big excitement came in the afternoon on the way home from doing the weekly shopping in the supermarket. On our way home we headed for the coast to eat our dinner by the sea. I was astonished when an adult male pallid harrier almost came through the windscreen. We were just about to go under the railway and the road dipped and we lost the bird. By the time I got on it's trail we were well behind and we never saw the bird again. Bloody hell.

Grytskären was a nice place to eat and there were plenty of wheatear about but it was when we drove home that we encountered another male pallid harrier. This time a 2k bird, it was wildly hunting small birds on the new plough along the access track and was successful. It took it's prize to a nearby field and settled down to eat. At this point I could finally deploy the only optics I had with me, my 'scope! What a great bird, it fed unconcerned whilst I drank in the finer points of it's plumage before heading off east and into BK. Not seen this plumage so early in autumn before so it was educational. No photos though, I should know better than to leave my gear at home in the autumn...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

pine marten!

Willow tit

Had a good walk this morning around the long loop from Killeröd which kicked off with a brief view of a pine marten on the track. My fourth daylight encounter in six years.

This time of year is always busy in the woods hereabouts, with plenty of young birds on the wing and big flocks of insectivores cramming in food ahead of their migration to the tropics. I too am heading to the tropics soon but I was trying to get fitter not fatter as I wandered around the circuit!

Birding had a great 'Scandinavian' feel to it this morning with great looks at flyby goshawk (1) and nutcracker (2). Cranes bugled and black woodpeckers gave their insane flight calls. A huge flock of flycatchers and chats must have contained at least 20 spotted flycatchers...

During the walk I had hoped to find a two-barred crossbill as we are in the midst of a huge crossbill/two-bar irruption at the moment, but despite the near constant presence of calling crossbills I could not find their scarcer cousin. The common:two bar ratio so far through Falsterbo this autumn is 15463:77 though so perhaps I should not feel too bad...



Monday, August 19, 2013

little stint

With the kids back at school I took the opportunity to visit Klarningen this morning. Leif K and his wife were already on site and reported a hunting white-tailed eagle which sadly failed to reappear during my 80 minute watch. Plenty going on though with water-levels up nicely, teal (300) have responded nicely, but the only other notable ducks I could find were single garganey and shoveler. Waders are also present in good numbers but accurate counts are difficult as usual but included at least eight ruff, eight wood sandpipers, six greenshank and one dunlin. A calling black woodpecker was notable, individuals of this species often disperse in August and wander widely. Eventually Mats turned up and told me he had just found a little stint at Torekov and so off I went.

Arriving at Torekov rev I was soon looking through a nice selection of autumn waders and eventually found a very elusive little stint. Also present were grey plover (2), redshank (9), bar-tailed godwit (4), dunlin (8), curlew sandpiper (1), knot (4), ruff (1) and turnstone (4). Nice.


A very early start saw me getting back from the UK Bird Fair in time for lunch and an afternoon out with the team. We headed for Ripagården for some bird, swimming and crabbing. But the weather had other ideas and it pi**ed down with rain. We managed two crabs, a quick swim and a few waders (two bar-tailed godwit, one knot and one wood sandpiper) before we headed home drenched.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

calidrids at last!

Dodged rain showers most of the day but wound up with five BK year-ticks for my troubles. The weather of the last few days suggested that waders might be on the ground in BK and the obvious place to look after my quick recce last week was Stora Hultstrand. Sure enough the rotting weed here had a nice gathering of waders including; bar-tailed godwit (1), curlew sandpiper (2), sanderling (2) and turnstone (4). All BK year-ticks. Also here grey plover (1), knot (13), redshank (9) and wood sandpiper (1).

After lunch I managed an hour at Klarningen. The harvested pea-field here was partially flooded and rammed with birds. Best of the lot were my first BK pintail of the year but also in attendance were ruff (11), snipe (12+), curlew (7), wood sandpiper (2), spotted redshank (4) and greenshank (10+).

cherry-picking - 13082013

Took the kids for a walk this afternoon whilst the car was being serviced. We looked for dragonflies on the ponds at Lindab and Vysterborg but the weather remained wet and windy and we spent more time picking and eating fruit and sheltering from the regular showers. We recorded four species of odonates and Vysterborg had four tufted duck ducklings and that was as exciting as it got!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

New BK odonate! Number 42!

Aeshna grandis female ovipositing at Bränneslätt today

Mrs B dragged me out the door and into the sun this morning and we went up to check out Bränneslätt. This little mire is the best dragonfly location in BK and did not disappoint today. Despite going feet-first into a boggy hole and getting two welly-fulls of water things went well. Aeshna subarctica was on the wing, as well as Lestes sponsa, Somatochlora metallica and Aeshna juncea. I was just about to leave when to my astonishment I noticed a single male Erythromma viridulum perched on a floating weed mat. A BK first and in a slightly unusual location. Now I have to search more likely ponds in BK for this species...

Erythromma viridulum, rapidly colonising NW Skåne as the planet warms up and a predictable addition to the odofauna of BK.

A female Somatochlora metallica posed nicely for me at Bränneslätt

Number 2 found me this nice male Stictoleptura rubra at Bränneslätt, one of the commoner longhorns in BK.

Afterwards we had a picnic at Klarningen but nasty shower soon sent us homewards. Before we went though we managed a brief encounter with the osprey and noted a few waders; greenshank (1), spotted redshank (1) and ruff (1).

Friday, August 9, 2013

what no calidrids!

Had a good look around a few likely wader haunts in BK today and drew a blank for any calidrids. I checked out the coast between Torekov and Ripagården and Vejbystrand to Ranarpsstrand without any really notable birds coming my way.  A few species are obviously building in number though as we slide into autumn, including golden plover (80+ during the day) and Sandwich tern (15+). The only indication of any passerine migration was 8 crossbills south at Ripagården.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

back home at last

Spent yesterday recovering from an epic family road tour, a three week camping trip that took in dragonfly sites in Denmark, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium and Holland! More about that later...

Today though I dragged myself off the sofa in the late afternoon for a look at Klarningen. Things were happening here and luckily there is still a little bit of water left. Pleasingly the first bird here was an osprey that spooked everything when it flew in to feed on a freshly caught silvery sea trout. A BK year-tick rather embarrassingly, especially as this bird has over-summered in all likelihood.

Waders were tricky to spot but an hour here produced a few; green sandpiper (1), wood sandpiper (2), greenshank (2), spotted redshank (1) and ruff (1) on the pools. Just before I left a near-adult white-tailed eagle made a brief appearance.