Tuesday, October 28, 2014

woo hoo!

Cracking day in the field today together with the kids, who kept themselves amused in typical fashion and enjoyed a superb burst of weather, with sun and ridiculous temperatures for the time of year.

Kicked off at Ripagården hoping for the three species of crossbill that have been hanging round. No dice with crossbills but the session here was not without excitement, most of which was offshore. The stiff southerly breeze produced a surprising number of seabirds. The best of which was a fairly close-in 1K pomarine skua. Further out a steady trickle of little gulls and kittiwake was evident and there were reasonable numbers of gannet in the mix too. Pleasant birding. Met up with Bengt here and as he was going south we went north!

Still a few cranes knocking about

Next stop was Yttre Kattvik just to see what the wind conditions were doing to sea-watching here. There were gannets going past but the gull passage was reduced. Interesting. Having promised the kids a burger for lunch our next stop was on the way - Klarningen. Some great birding here too with seven cranes flying in as we approached and quite a few geese on the ground. A quick look through the greylags and barnacle geese revealed at least four tundra bean geese and 11 white-fronted geese. The best bird here though was a redhead smew - only my second record of the year. Amazingly the curlew sandpiper remains, although this should not really be a surprise when we you consider that we have yet to experience temperatures consistently below double-figures this autumn...

After all this excitement we retreated to have lunch and run a few errands during which time I failed to notice that my phone was trying to tell me something. Jobs done we drove to Torekov, parked and finally received a text message saying that the rose-coloured starling was still being elusive!!! Where was it? Less than 300 metres from where we had parked! It took a while for members of the small team hunting for the bird to find it but there it was - a BK tick and one missed during a China trip two years ago. Amazingly this bird was found in the same place and on the same date as the one two years ago. The finder? Bengt of course. BK now has three records of this species and all come from Torekov.

Record shot of the rosy starling

Paul Cook had been one of the people trying to contact me during my 'lost hour' and he eventually joined us to have a look at the bird too. Before he arrived though the most surprising bird of the day drifted through the nearby gardens - a willow warbler, my first in October! Great day out.

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