Thursday, February 28, 2013

gyr again!

An adult white-tailed eagle gave a fly by on it's way north.

The gyr gave a fly by on it's way south and then I caught up with it again whilst chasing a water pipit on Vasaltheden. It flew up from the beach with a bird's wing clasped in it's talons!

Had two hours in the field before knuckling down to more African invertebrate identification. It may be cold and snowy at the moment but the lying snow is good for one thing, spotting grey partridge, and I finally got six near Öllöv for the year. Glimminge was my destination this morning. Quite a bit going on here with flyby white-tailed eagle and five shelduck on the sea. The high point though was the gyr coming past close in on it's way south.

I went south too walking onto Vasaltheden and whilst chasing a very annoying and flighty water pipit bumped into the gyr on the beach. It flew up with a bird's wing in it's talons and landed on a rock. The water pipit distracted me then the gyr flew inland out of sight. The fog descended and I headed back to the office.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

nutcracker!

The first year-tick of the day was the target of a long trudge in the snow around the Killeröd-Önnarp loop.

Went for the strenuous exercise option this morning with a walk in the snow around the Killeröd and Önnarp area. I was hoping to break the crossbill drought but they are definitely hard to find at the moment. Looking through my records I find I did not see a parrot last year and there were few common crossbills last year too. I was also hoping for a nutcracker for the year and I only had to walk 3 km before I heard one calling nearby and it popped up to have a look at me. Few other birds of note, just one singing willow tit and a calling black woodpecker.

Stopped at Slottet on my way out, picking up three long-tailed tits (another BK year-tick). Ranarpsstrand produced the year-ticks too with two skylarks through and at least eight dunlin and two knot (early/overwintering) out on Grytskären, signs that March is nearly upon us. Driving home I finally found a pheasant in BK, a female at Segelstorpsstrand. This time last year I was well over a 100 for the year, this year just 92 at the moment, cannot complain about the quality though.

Monday, February 25, 2013

gyr!

A close encounter with the BK gyr was the order of the day today, it was reported yesterday sitting on one of the barrows on Gröthögarna, so I headed out that way today. I found it nearby just north of the harbour at Ripagården. You can easily see the contrast between the dark underwing coverts and the pale underside of the flight feathers in this shot.

This is the closest I have got to a gyr in my six years here! BK is hosting both this bird and a hawk owl at the moment - exciting times. It would be nice if this individual became a regular winterer and we got to see it gain adult plumage.

Got lucky with this underwing shot just before the bird flew south.

Nipped out in the morning for a sniff around Gröthögarna and Torekov. The gyr was reported yesterday from Gröthögarna and I was pleased to find it on the beach north of the harbour at Ripagården and get some great images with my P510. Little else of note here although a white-tailed eagle was camped out on Tjällran and another flew north through the site.

With no sign of the hoped-for shelduck, I headed for Torekovs rev, where three shelduck were rapidly added to my BK year-list. A single black guillemot flew north and seaduck numbers are building impressively.This might be the site to watch for this year's king eider?

Last thing I checked Rammsjöstrand, but the NVSA have repaired the sewage leak and I could find no sign of any water pipits or water rail near the stream.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

blank

Took the team out in the afternoon. We fed the ducks at Båstad, hoping to pull in a flock of gulls. No sign of the glaucous. We tried Klarningen - whilst the team skated, I tried hard to record a bird on site but failed! There was a bitter NE wind and things were pretty grim. Last thing we checked Hemmeslövsstrand again hoping for the glaucous but we had to settle for a BK year-tick - brambling. Tough session.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

hawk owl again

This morning I nipped out for a couple of hours checking the coast between Stora Hultsstrand and Ranarpsstrand. Stora Hult had the best birds with three BK year-ticks (green woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker (!) and red-necked grebe), plus a nice male smew. Elsewhere a small flock of 17 fieldfare and a white-tailed eagle graced Grytskären.

In the afternoon we all searched for the Skummeslövsstrand glaucous gull, once I realised one was around. It has been present since the end of January and I cannot believe it has not strayed into BK. Last thing we checked Älemossen for the hawk owl and were rewarded with a brief 'scope view.

Friday, February 22, 2013

great grey shrike

Went out with the kids in search of a great grey shrike for the year. We drove up onto Älemossen and it took just 10 minutes to locate the regular wintering bird. I felt pretty chuffed but just found out we missed the hawk owl, it is still around obviously!

Next stop was Klarningen, still frozen up and producing just sparrowhawk (1) and rough-legged buzzard (1). Over 120 wood pigeon in the area though so spring movements are occurring already!

A quick look at Eskilstorpsstrand produced little on the sea (which was looking a little mushy) and so we went home.

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Mrs B and I managed a walk out at Torekov and nearby sites in the afternoon. The rev was uncharacteristically quiet, with little of note in the half hour we spent there. Nearby though on the golf course I got my first fieldfare (21) of the year and Norra Ängalag produced a redhead smew, bringing the BK year-list to 79.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

jewels

Wading through my Odonata photos from Uganda today and sorting out id's, hard not to be captivated by stunners like Platycypha lacustris.

postcard from Mabamba Swamp

Lying just 45 minutes from Entebbe International airport, the Mabamba swamp is world-famous as the site for seeing shoebill and provides plenty of other species too such as the common and widespread yellow-billed duck. We made it our first stop on a recent private tour to Uganda.

Malachite kingfishers wait along the narrow channels as you search for the shoebill.

We got incredibly close to one shoebill this year, a memorable encounter with an iconic species.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

falcon hunting finally succeeds!

Nipped out this morning for a last-ditch attempt to find the elusive BK gyr falcon. Reported just seven times since the first sighting on the 21st October it was not to be expected but somehow our paths finally crossed! I checked out Torekov rev first, it was empty of gyr falcons but did produced a calling dunnock and two purple sandpipers. White-tailed eagles were also much in evidence and I came a step closer to ticking all of BK's regular birders by adding Jonas Holgersson to my list.

Drawing a blank I decided to head for Norra Ängalag for a look at Tjällran. A huge white-tailed eagle was in residence on the island but no sign of a gyr. A year-tick black guillemot scooted north and then my attention was drawn to a panicky-looking group of mallards heading north close inshore. I was not suspicious for long because close behind them was a superb 2K gyr falcon which gave a nice close flyby and looked gorgeous in the 'scope. A BK tick! Will it become a regular fixture in the winter?

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A spring-like feel to the day had Mrs B and I out for a walk in the morning. We checked the coast between Vejbystrand and Ranarpsstrand. Highlights were rather sparse but included a Slavonian grebe (Stora Hult), three coot (annoyingly just off-patch at Vejbystrand) and at least four long-tailed duck off Grytskären. There seems to have been a dramatic increase in sea-duck numbers in BK and the recent report of a Steller's eider just north suggests that time would be well spent going through the flocks of eider and goldeneye massing offshore.

Later in the day we dropped in on Klarningen for rough-legged buzzard (1) and kestrel (1). Unbeknownst to us the gyr falcon was sitting on Torekov rev...