Monday, November 4, 2013

new Brit birder on the block

I spent an enjoyable day birding with Paul Cook today. Paul has recently moved to Munka Ljungby and looks set to become a regular fixture of the NW Skåne birding scene. We met briefly in Israel in 1990 and have not seen each other since, so we spent a lot of time talking and did not exactly set the birding world alight as we poked around bits of BK during the morning and early afternoon!

Paul put in a request for a nutcracker first off so we headed up to walk the Killeröd loop trail. This short walk proved rather difficult after the recent storm, with many trees and even whole swathes of trees blocking the track at regular intervals. Progress was slow but a poorly seen jay prompted some tape playback and luckily a nutcracker was in earshot and flew in to check us out.

Next we hit the coast at Ripagården. Rather quiet here but a few gannet (14) and kittiwake (8) offshore and bullfinch and crossbill overhead.

Dropped in on Båstad next on our whistle-stop orientation tour and here we got the start of the light rain that dogged us for the rest of the day. The harbour area seemed pretty quiet but we found at least two Slavonian grebes offshore in a quick look.

Klarningen next, to get out of the rain and hopefully find a rough-legged buzzard (another request from Paul). We found one along the access track and counted three hen harriers from here too (one female and two 1K birds). At the tower we found Bengt and Svanberg in residence and they reported that things were quiet at Klarningen but that they had done well for skuas at Yttre Kattvik... Klarningen had good numbers of birds around but nothing really exciting. The snipe count (62) remains impressive and we estimated the golden plover flock in flight at 700 birds. Also here pintail (3), shoveler (9) and teal (200). Heading home we checked Lya ljunghed for great grey shrike unsuccessfully.

The wind is going west tomorrow, not a gale but strong enough to be exciting this autumn when westerlies have been incredibly scarce. I know where I'm going.

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