Friday, January 31, 2014

goose panic

Had half an hour at Klarningen this morning. Things were quiet (kestrel 1) until a huge flock of Canadian geese flew in from the west and over the tower. Right at the back of the flock an adult white-tailed eagle chivvying them along!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Bird of the day, an unseasonal 2K tundra swan, found by Jan and twitched off in the afternoon. Most of our tundra's come through in early spring and late autumn.

Got out early chasing a possible gyr falcon reported yesterday on Gröthögarna. Walked from Norra Ängalag to Ripagården and picked up a few good birds but no gyr. Walkign down to the coast at the start I flushed a common snipe from the side of the track. The big freeze is putting them in strange places apparently. A peregrine was out on Tjällran but there was little else of note until I reached Ripagården. Here on the seaweed bank by the harbour were nine starlings and a song thrush. Back at the car later a 2K female goshawk gave an impressive flyby.

In the afternoon we checked out Ranarpsstrand searching for pheasant (!), unseen by anyone this year in BK apparently... We saw a male! Hearing of a tundra swan found by Jan Skidell we drove up to Torekovs rev and were put onto the bird by a helpful birder. Also here at least one purple sandpiper to round off the day. The year-list hits 102 in record time, perhaps three weeks earlier than usual, although it has helped that I have actually been in Sweden during the whole of the month!

pygmy? (23012014)

Walked the long loop at Killeröd this morning in an attempt to year-tick crested and coal tit after missing them the other day. In the end I managed to hear crested tit but did not get a sniff of a a coal. I did hear two distant notes form a possible pygmy owl though at one point. Otherwise similar birds to the other day, with another four willow tits on show during the walk.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


A morning birding netted another three year-ticks. First up was the often elusive kingfisher at Båstad, which gave itself up in less than five minutes luckily. Hemmeslövsstrand produced three superb flyby redhead smew and a calling black woodpecker, but the light was too poor to go through the assembled scoter with any confidence. Last stop of the morning was at an icy Klarningen which surprisingly produced some passerines in the shape of a flock containing one reed bunting and four meadow pipits.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

chasing woodland birds

Walked the woods this morning, desperate to get fit before my next tour after two-and-a-half months of shingles related problems. This snowy walk also had the potential to add perhaps six year-ticks to my tally. In the end though I had to settle for just three. Willow tits (4) were found within two flocks encountered during the walk. A high nutcracker was heading for pastures a little lower down the hill and at least four jays were feeding at a game feeder in a clearing.

Before lunch I just had time to check the sea off Grytskären for grebes (I still need red-necked and Slavonian for the year...). Nothing doing on the sea but nine purple sandpipers cruised around the islands offshore briefly and a dunnock was skulking in coastal bushes.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Two hours at Dagshög

Target bird today was a black redstart reported a few days ago by a birding chasing the elusive water pipit at the site. Pleased to connect after two hours but should it show so much rufous wash in the underparts?

Had two-and-a-half hours in the field today and headed for Dagshög which netted me three year-ticks. First up was a song thrush over the car park as I got out of the car. Down at the coast I had a possible glimpse of the water pipit and two or three starlings were in the area. I walked south to Burensvik, hoping to reconnect with the pipit but failed. However on my return to Dagshög the black redstart (reported recently by others) was feeding avidly in amongst a mixed flock of rock and meadow pipits.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

long-tailed grass lizard

 Spent the day cataloguing photographs and found this excellent animal in the files, a long-tailed grass lizard (Takydromus sexlineatus ocellatus). This species has a huge range in Asia but this individual is the only one I have ever photographed. The incredibly long tail can be appreciated fully in the shot below.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

wildfowl count - Torekov to Hovs Hallar

Another morning duck counting, this time in much milder conditions, between Torekov and Hovs Hallar. In between the counting I found a few good birds. A male pintail popped up at Rålehamn. I finally found a raven (!) for the year, one flying noisily around Norra Ängalag. Ripagården produced a treecreeper in a small flock that also included three goldcrest. Tjällran had a roosting peregrine.

After the count I headed for Båstad to have a quick look for the oystercatcher, no sign but 18 whooper swans in the bay. Klarningen next hoping for the great grey shrike that has been reported occasionally over the winter. It was quiet on site but amazingly on the way home I picked up a great grey shrike as I drove up Sinarpsdalen. Year-tick number four for the day but as I opened the door I added another as ten waxwing swept over the front garden.

Monday, January 13, 2014

wildfowl count - Dagshög to Torekov

It finally went sub-zero today in time for part of my wildfowl count. I walked the section from Dagshög to Torekov and my shingles hardly bothered me, at last signs of recovery! The counting was pleasurable but did not provide much in the way of excitement. There was evidence of a little southerly hard weather movement from species like whooper swan and fieldfare during the morning. Best birds otherwise were a single male goosander (scarce this winter for some reason) and at least 12 shags on the rocks off Torekov

I had lunch looking over Torekov rev from the car and picked up another year-tick in the shape of a black guillemot, which flew in from the direction of the island. Also here at least three purple sandpipers and a shag feeding offshore. On the way home I picked up a covey of ten grey partridge in the big field at Norra Ängalag, whilst searching unsuccessfully for the redpoll flock. The partridge were year-tick number three for the day and my first since June.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

winter seawatch

 Lightly-oiled kittiwake

Little gull

Rocked up rather late for a winter seawatch this morning in a strong NW blow. Sadly I arrived 15 minutes after a possible Leach's petrel went through... A couple of hours at Yttre Kattvik did produce two fulmar, a few gannets, lots of kittiwakes and three little gulls. On the way home I got close to another (or the same) three little gulls close in at Kattvik and took photographs until my hands froze. I need some winter camera gloves!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Had a day out in the field with Paul Cook yesterday and we worked the stretch of coast between Dagshög and Norra Ängalag. Paul inevitably got a few Swedish ticks (being the new kid on the block) but generally things were rather slow although we did spend a lot of time chatting...

The day was notable however for the continued slow passage offshore of good numbers of kittiwake and smaller numbers of gannet. Highlights on this stretch included at least one of the water pipits at Dagshög, three adult shags at Torekov, ten purple sandpipers at Torekovs rev and at least one on Tjällran, a big female peregrine in fields at Norra Ängalag and later perched on Tjällran and single dunnocks at Norra Ängalag and Torekovs rev.

Last stop of the day was a quick look around Kattvik, the sea was calm here but rather empty until Paul stunned me by finding a single shelduck off the harbour. Only my second BK January record and certainly my earliest.

Monday, January 6, 2014

goshawk kill

Highlight of this morning's session was flushing a goshawk off it's breakfast. You have to admire the economy and the systematic nature of this bird when it feeds. The goshawk obviously started at the head of the rabbit and worked it's way towards the rear. The skull (bottom right) when examined had been completely scraped free of flesh and a neat hole cut in the back to allow the removal of the tasty brain!

A bitterly cold southerly wind greeted me at dawn this morning at Klarningen. Not much going on on site, just a lone whooper swan and a fly-through white-tailed eagle of note. Nearby Petersberg produced a brace of year-ticks, first up was a huge flock of 160 tufted duck on the pit and then I flushed a fantastic adult goshawk off a rabbit.

Last stop of the day was Eskilstorpsstrand, the big flock of scaup (182) provided another year-tick and a couple of long-tailed duck and a gannet passed by.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

shed load of year-ticks

It wouldn't be winter without at least one photo of a white-tailed eagle

Got out for another morning of birding today. Checked out Torekovs rev at first light and found one roosting purple sandpiper. Finally logging one for the year, others saw up to ten later in the day of course. A flock of 32 wood pigeon here too.

Next stop was the main purpose of my day out, ie to try and locate the Arctic redpolls found by Nils Kjellén two days ago. I knew where they would be, as I had found a small flock of redpoll in the area in early November... Sure enough the fallow fields just north of the golf course held a big and very flighty flock of about 150 redpoll. In amongst them at least one Arctic but it was difficult to get good views of it sadly.

Moving on to Norra Ängalag I met up with Olof Jönsson and Thomas Svanberg and they were kind enough to find me some more year-ticks whilst I rested my shingles. Kittiwakes were flying past, a bird I have been overlooking this year! A sub-adult white-tailed eagle cruised north. Thomas called a trio of snow buntings as they flew north offshore. Razorbills were present offshore, together with a few red-throated diver and one black-throated.

We all headed back to the redpoll field and saw the Arctic again and the guys noticed a few twite in amongst the redpolls this time. Nice. On the way home I bagged barnacle goose and collared dove bringing the BK year-list to fairly creditable 72.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

water pipit

Water pipit at Ranarpsstrrand and my bird of the day (sorry about the photo!). It was glimpsed by Peder Winding yesterday and I was lucky enough to get good views of it this morning.

Had two hours in the field this morning and covered the coast between Stora Hultstrand and Ranarpsstrand. Highlights included some mundane year-ticks like common scoter, rook and yellowhammer as well as a single showy water pipit at Ranarpsstrand. Driving home I picked up two redwings in treetops in the hedge line bordering the apple orchard at Lervik and less excitingly two feral pigeons at Grevie kyrkby...

In the afternoon we ambled round the Killeröd loop trail. Plenty of storm damage here and we had to pick our way round numerous tree-falls. Very few birds noted but good numbers of goldcrest evident.

Friday, January 3, 2014

BK tick!

2014 got going nicely today with a BK tick no less. Checked out Torekovs rev very late in the morning (relaxed and slightly lazy birding being the order of the year so far). No sign of any purple sandpipers here sadly but the coastal bushes had goldcrest (1), dunnock (1) and reed bunting (1). More indicators of the ridiculously mild winter we are experiencing.

A quick look for the shags (5) south of the harbour was a very good idea. Here I found Nils Kjellén and he had just found an adult yellow-legged gull! Result. Perhaps the same bird that spent the early part of the winter just north of BK in Halland? Also here one gannet for the year-list. Driving out of BK to pick up Mrs B we bumped into our first red kite of the year and that brought up the 50. Slow and steady!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January lesser whitethroat

Yesterday's big news was the continued presence of the wintering lesser whitethroat at Glimminge. Managed 40 minutes there today and quickly got views of the bird in question and bagged a handful of year-ticks. The year-list creeps up to 43.

Day 1

A new year and a new year-list. Finished 2013 on a fairly creditable 215 for BK. Hope to top 200 again this year if I have the time.

A slow start though today with the garden providing the first new birds of the year, including robin, brambling and wren. A short walk around Axelstorpsravinen was enough to bag dipper for the year, as well as nuthatch and marsh tit. A drive over the top to Klarningen bagged a few more common species but great grey shrike eluded us both on the high bits and at Klarningen. Last stop of the day was Båstad where short walk netted more species but nothing notable. 34 species for the day!

26122013 - checking for the lesser whitethroat

A quick look at the pile of tree brash in the car park at Glimminge failed to turn up the lesser whitethroat - is it still there? Birds that were there included wigeon (65), red-necked grebe (1), hen harrier (ringtail), rock pipit (7) and starling (1).

22122013 - shingles complications

Things are not going so well, I have developed the neuralagia that sometimes comes after shingles which may slow me up a bit in the coming months...

Managed a bit of time in the field though today, checking out Klarningen and Petersberg. En route a hunting rough-legged buzzard was present in just outside Grevie. Klarningen was quiet with 12 whooper swans and a kestrel. Peterberg had a good number of wildfowl including 68 tufted duck and also three lesser redpoll.

17122013 - grey wagtail

Have managed to get behind with my diary entries over the festivities. The 17th of December (!) saw me up the tip near Troentorp dropping some stuff off, a chore that was made much more interesting by the presence of a feeding grey wagtail. Only my second this year, they really have been scarce.