Saturday, March 29, 2014

reptile tick

Got a new reptile this morning, Nile River softshell, a big terrapin that can be found in the river at Dalyan, SW Turkey. A great start to the tour for me.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

pipit cock-up

Got back to Klarningen for a cold hour this morning and got a much better look at the pipit I saw three days ago - it was a rock not a water... littoralis rock pipit continues to cause confusion... school-boy error though.

Plenty of birds on site though despite this disappointment. Best bird was the first little ringed plover of the year, a nice early bird. Waders were well-represented with oystercatcher (2), redshank (1) and curlew on site. Otherwise the teal flock has built to 87 and there were pairs of both shoveler and gadwall.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

polecat (20140325)

Not how I hoped to find my first BK polecat... Dead on road at
Västra Karup.

Nipped out in the afternoon for a look around for firecrests again. On the way stopped for a dead polecat at Västra Karup, my first in Sweden and the first Artportalen record for BK.

It was bitterly cold in a NW wind at Yttre Kattvik and I saw no small birds of any kind. On my way round to Ripagården I stopped for a huge gathering of gulls following a plough and picked up four adult lesser black-backed gulls. At Ripagården things were slow but there were four white wagtails on the beach and two song thrushes in the plantation.

Monday, March 24, 2014

rock pipit at Klarningen!

Had another good morning in the field which kicked off with my first moorhen of the year at Lindab in the village.

First up today was a good look in the plantation at Ripagården to see if I could latch onto a firecrest during the mini-influx that we seem to be experiencing in southern Sweden at the moment. No joy on that front but it was god to be out. Two lesser-black-backed gulls in a huge gathering of herring gulls were new for the year and several chiffchaffs and a song thrush were belting out their songs. It was calm on the sea and there were several red-throated divers (17) offshore, the start of the build-up that will see thousands departing inland in early May.

I could not resist a look at Klarningen before lunch and an hour here was excellent. The easy highlight being a rock pipit in summer-plumage (initially mis-identified as a water pipit...). Rock pipits are regular winter visitors to coastal BK but I never thought I would see one away from the shoreline! A nice record. Also here barnacle goose (2), wigeon (37), gadwall (4), teal (67), snipe (5) and redshank (1).

Sunday, March 23, 2014

arctic roll!

Had my first proper morning in the field for some time today and it was packed full of birds. I worked the coast between Stora Hult and Gröthögarna searching in vain for a large congregation of feeding eider but sadly failing. No king this year perhaps...

Stora Hultstrand had single Slavonian and red-necked grebe and redshank (2), as well as a decent-sized flock of common scoter (130+). Nearby Grytskären had a single flyby curlew and more redshank. Ranarpsstrand produced a single flyby white-tailed eagle, another red-necked grebe and (far inland) a flock of 200+ golden plover took to the air. Segelstorpsstrand was quiet (just five great crested grebe). At Glimminge I heard my first reed bunting song of the year and also bumped into three twite.

The king eider search continued north. I dropped into Rammsjöstrand (a rare event), no eiders here but the small birdy bay just north of the harbour had some redshank (2) and a pair of gadwall. Next stop was Påarps mal and here I got three year-ticks in no time at all. A white wagtail was feeding along the shoreline, as were at least three dunlin and back in the juniper there was a pair of linnet. Offshore at least two shags on the rocks. The rev was busy with birders when I got there but I had a quick look, counting one dunlin and 17 purple sandpipers out on the rocks before the crowds sent me scuttling on my way.

Last stop of the morning was a look at Norra Ängalag but before I got there I was stopped in my tracks by the Rålehamn redpoll flock. Back again and still containing an Arctic redpoll (this bird was last seen on 1st February) . I got reasonable views on the deck through the scope but the bird was very skittish as usual so no chance of a photo. Also in the mix, at least three twite and 25 linnets.

Very little time remained to me to examine Norra Ängalag but a quick look revealed a pair of gadwall and yet another redshank.

In the afternoon we all walked in Sinarpsdalen, the only bird of note being a single jay, although the kids made so much noise they were probably disturbing birds down on the coast...

hat-trick (20140321)

Friday saw me bagging a hat-trick of BK year-ticks by chasing down a few glaring omissions. The day started well with a flock of 200 golden plover at Ljungbyholm whilst chauffeuring Mrs B to work in the morning.

After that it was hunting for grebes. The sea off Båstad was rather quiet (just one long-tailed duck and singing chiffchaff) but from here it was apparent that most of the action was to be found off Eskilstorpsstrand, so that is were I went next. Quite a few duck offshore including big numbers of scoters (both velvet and common) and 170 scaup. In amongst them after quite a search I finally found my first Slavonian grebe of the year. Another singing chiffchaff was an indication that this species has now arrived on a broad-front, but still no wheatears???

Last stop of my short session was a look at Petersberg. The tufted duck flock has built to an 280 individuals and my first BK red-necked grebe of the year briefly emerged from the reeds. A jay here was interesting, are they moving at the moment?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

birding the E6 corridor

Had much to do today but still squeezed in some quick looks at three sites along the E6. First up was Brandsvig, wet here this year but no birds to speak of strangely in a very speedy appraisal.

Next stop was Hasslarp, plenty of birds here including white-fronted goose (32), barnacle goose (2), gadwall (9) and shoveler (2). My first red-necked grebe of the year put in an appearance too.

Last stop was Klarningen where five gadwall and four shoveler were present.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

20140318

Had half an hour in the field and checked Grytskären and Stora Hultstrand quickly. A few wigeon and teal only and a bitter rain-laden westerly soon put me off!

Monday, March 17, 2014

ross' gull goes past!

I elected to be a good boy today and collect some firewood from the nearby workshop despite the reasonable sea-watching conditions. As I trundled my loads down the hill to the house I was happily oblivious of the adult Ross' gull that was passing BK under the eagle-eye of Nils Kjellén. Rats!

When the news went out I was fairly cool about it but decided to get down to Torekov after I had finished my work and see if the bird had stopped off at the rev. With the dinner slow-cooking in the oven and the kids picked up we headed out to Torekov to see what we could find. No sign of the Ross' - that would have been too good! But we did find the first BK redshank of the year and at least 17 purple sandpipers. 

Driving home we found a curlew wandering the field son the outskirts of the village, year-tick number two.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

early chiff

Had a picnic lunch enjoying a brief spell of sun today on a walk between Mäsinge strand and Rammsjöstrand today. Not much doing bird-wise until we crossed the small bridge over the stream in Mäsinge strand and ran into a chiffchaff quietly feeding in a hedge. My earliest BK bird by nine days! There must be a wheatear around somewhere...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

stormy weather

A male green woodpecker put on a show for me and the kids this afternoon.

It was blowing a gale through the night and into the morning but I stayed at home. The sea-watching was poor so I made the right decision. Did get out in the afternoon though and checked Klarningen for the reported fulmar (!) - no sign. But did pick up two male shovelers, my first of the year.

Nearby at Petersberg we found a flock of at least 219 tufted duck, a huge total for the site and BK, but no sign of red-necked grebe. A pair of green woodpeckers put on a show for us though and the kids got good looks through the 'scope.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

45 minutes at Klarningen

All beak and no trousers, yet another photo of a white-tailed eagle.

Had a short session at Klarningen in the afternoon. Rather quiet on the migrant front. The teal flock has built to 55 but there were no other notable wildfowl species. The stars of the show were a rough-legged buzzard hunting all the rough ground and diving spectacularly at times. The buzzard went high at one point as a white-tailed eagle came through and tried to catch a teal. Two reed buntings were new-in.

Rough-leg back at Klarningen after being absent for most of the winter.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

wot no beans

Been trying to secure a bean goose for my BK year-list for some time this spring but no dice again today. Another session at Klarningen this morning failed to deliver the goods but the white-fronted goose flock had built up to an amazing 140 birds. Easily my highest total in BK. In amongst them were nine barnacles but I managed to miss the pink-footed goose reported by others later. The pintail (male) and gadwall (2) remain on site.

Båstad next for a quick look on the sea, somehow I am missing both red-necked and Slavonian grebe this year too. But again no joy, but seven long-tailed duck looked fantastic as they always do. Later whilst shopping I picked up some fly-by crossbills at Petersberg. Finally a year-tick!


Friday, March 7, 2014

white-front flock

Had half an hour at Klarningen this morning. A large flock of geese along the access track contained a massive 95 white-fronted geese and a single pink-footed geese. A great show. At the tower a great grey shrike was hunting out around the wetland, my first on site this season. Wildfowl included the male pintail and pair of gadwall.

In the afternoon the kids and I dropped in on Stora Hultstrand to check through some eider. At least 500 on site but no sign of the king. Six goosander were good to see they have been scarce this year.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

cranes!

Finally bagged a couple of cranes migrating over the village this afternoon. Slight compensation for suffering from a nasty cold virus and being out of the field for a few days.

Monday, March 3, 2014

eider know

Had a quick look through the eiders massing off Segelstorpsstrand and Ranarpsstrand this morning. No sign of a king eider yet but the build-up looks promising and many of the birds are feeding close inshore too.

A similarly quick look at the swan flock at Ängalag revealed that numbers have dropped just 217 whooper swans today and fewer geese but including at least one white-fronted goose and a limping pink-footed goose.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

gadwall

A ringtail hen harrier at Klarningen was our first ringtail for some time on the site and evidence of movement.

Got out to Klarningen briefly this afternoon, picking up seven white-fronted geese at Östra Karup on the way. I was hoping to connect with the pair of gadwall that have been reported occasionally this week and this happened after a ringtail hen harrier went through the site and scared all the duck out of the marginal vegetation. Also here pintail (1) and the harrier put up an early snipe too.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

whooper trooper

Part of a huge flock of wildfowl feeding in fields in Ängalag was today's treat, a huge congregation by local standards and including at least one tundra swan, two pink-feet and two white-fronted geese.

Managed to drag myself away from the computer this morning and get out in the field for a grey and wet afternoon of birding. We screeched to a halt in Ängalag when we spotted a huge flock of whooper swans in a fallow field. Closer inspection revealed a lot of wildfowl, with counts of whooper swan (270), greylag goose (237), barnacle goose (100) and canada goose (69) making it the biggest flock of grazing wildfowl I have ever seen in BK. In amongst all this we managed to pick up one tundra swan, two white-fronted geese and best-of-all another two pink-footed geese (perhaps the same individuals first seen on Tuesday). Epic stuff and indicative of the early move north by migrants this year due to the mild weather.

Afterwards Torekovs rev in the rain did not seem half as exciting and we did not linger long. A black woodpecker flew by and out on the rev was a single snow bunting.