Monday, December 21, 2015

trees and sea

Dragged the team out for a walk around the woods around the Önnarp firing range today - it was ridiculously mild and almost bird-free. Warm winters are always a bit dull here. No hard weather movements and always a curious lack of birds...

Tried Grytskären for a while and this was better the mild weather encouraging more grey heron (4) than usual to attempt to over-winter. Also here a mobile flock of at least 25 dunlin - a large flock for winter here in BK. Also here a nice close Slavonian grebe.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

misty morn

Horrible misty, drizzly morning but I got out for a little while. Checked Klarningen at dawn. Ducks are on the move and still using the site; mallard (77), teal (5) and a solitary pintail. Next stop was Eskilstorpsstrand, nice conditions on the sea for looking through the sea-duck but the visibility was rather poor. A close flock of 175 scaup was a treat though and in amongst them were three pochard (a real surprise) and about 35 tufted duck. Also here gannet (2), long-tailed duck (4) and Slavonian grebe (3).

return of the black duck!

Had a day in the field today - first job was to chase down the black duck re-found yesterday by Mikael Olofsson. It was almost the only duck (with it's female partner as usual) just offshore which made things easy. Offshore two gannets, a few kittiwake and a Slavonian grebe.  No sign of any water pipits here though so I moved up the coast to Påarps mal, a late reed bunting greeting me at the car park and there were tow waxwing in the junipers. An adult white-tailed eagle flew in and sat on the rocks scaring all the birds away just as I arrived. More gannets and kittiwakes here and a few whooper swans going south, ahead of colder weather up north. Last stop of the morning was at Torekovs rev where I finally caught up with some water pipits (they came in very late this year). Two birds in amongst a mixed flock of rocks and meadow pipits. Also here little grebe (1) and dunnock (1).

In the afternoon I worked Lervik and Grytskären but only came up with two goldfinch before I had to go.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

more chiffies

Had a nice afternoon walk around Rammsjöstrand and Mäsinge this afternoon. The weak sun was enough to get two chiffchaff feeding in the gardens along the front at Rammsjöstrand, also here a small flock of teal (9) and two grey heron. All signs of the mild weather. Walking south to Mäsinge produced a big flock of siskin (150+) feeding in the alders, 20 whooper swans heading east and seven waxwing south. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

back in the saddle

Been hard to get out of the office since I got back from two months abroad but got back into the field today and I am even back to blogging after a mostly moth-related hiatus! A first season of mothing became rather time-consuming!

Today I checked Påarps mal for water pipits but it was very windy from the SW and small passerines were difficult to pin down. Offshore there was a large concentration of gulls that proved to be mainly kittiwakes (at least 150), as awell as six gannets. Two dunnocks in the car park were a good reminder that temperatures were hovering near double figures in December!

To get out of the wind we headed for Båstad and enjoyed some mild December birding here too with white wagtail (2), wren (1), chiffchaff (1) heading up the notable passerines. In the harbour a kingfisher kept calling from a concealed perch. Offshore we had a flyby great northern/white-billed diver, that looked like the latter but I need better views for a BK first... As dusk approached a pre-roost gathering of hawfinches got into double figures here - my largest flock to date in BK.

As dusk approached we went for coffee at Klarningen to look for raptors. Nothing doing on the raptor front but there were still wildfowl on site, although nothing exciting.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Black-splashed elf - first for Ethiopia

Just back from Ethiopia where we recorded this black-splashed elf (Tetrathemis polleni) at Bishangari Lodge (Lake Langano) - perhaps the first record for the country!

Friday, June 26, 2015

garden moth trap (20150621)

 The garden produced a few more moths this morning. Totals: Korscheltellus lupulinus (1), Korscheltellus fusconebulosus (3), Hepialus humuli (1), Smerinthus ocellata (1), Xanthorhoe fluctuata (1), Odontopera bidentata (1), Hypomecis punctinalis (1), Ptilodon capucina (1), Phalera bucephala (1), Autographa gamma (1), Cucullia umbratica (1), Charanyca trigrammica (5), Agrotis exclamationis (14), Ochropleura plecta (2), Noctua pronuba (1), Ethmia bipunctella (1), Aphomia sociella (3), Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (1) and Hedya nubiferana (1).

that's more like it (20150620)

The highlight for me this morning was my first Pseudoips prasinanus - a stunning little moth.

Rosentorp produced a bumper haul this morning (by this season's standards anyway) that actually took some time to process. Totals: Korscheltellus lupulinus (1), Korscheltellus fusconebulosus (14),  Hepialus humuli (1), Drepana falcataria (2), Timandra comae (1),  Xanthorhoe montanata (2),  Xanthorhoe fluctuata (1),  Cosmorhoe ocellata (2), Ecliptopera silaceata (1), Colostygia pectinataria (2),  Dysstroma truncata (1), Hydriomena impluviata (2), Opisthograptis luteolata (1), Hypomecis punctinalis (7), Biston betularia (2), Siona lineata (7), Deltote pygarga (2), Charanyca trigrammica (1), Apamea crenata (2), Diarsia rubi (1),  Pseudoips prasinanus (1), Calliteara pudibunda (11), Spilosoma lubricipedum (2), Spilosoma luteum (1) and Eurrhypara hortulata (1).

My first Pyrochroa coccinea actually landed on Number 1 as she was walking along, she had the presence of mind to quickly pot it and run it to me. Getting them trained up nicely!

Number 2 had a poor session today but typically produced the goods with this smart staphylinid (Platydracus fulvipes). Only 8 records for Skåne for this species on Artportalen at the moment, so she got the prize for best find of the day.

In the afternoon we all went out searching out invertebrates. Just before we got to Frestensfälla we bumped into a huge female moose with a tiny youngster as they crossed the road. Big! Frestensfälla was great if a little cool and windy and we found some great stuff. Number 1 did well today finding a nice cardinal beetle (Pyrochroa coccinea), only to be trumped by Number 2's Platydracus fulvipes - a smart little staphylinid that has only been recorded in Skåne eight times! There were also a pleasing number of new micromoths during this session...

garden mothing (20150619)

Male ghost moth (Hepialus humuli) a welcome addition to my list and flying around my garden at night apparently...

The garden trap produced some nice moths this morning, but again in small numbers/diversity. Totals: Hepialus humuli (1), Pterostoma palpinum (1), Charanyca trigrammica (2), Apamea crenata (1),  Agrotis ipsilon (1 - are spring individuals migrants?), Agrotis exclamationis (8),  Agrotis segetum (3) and Aphomia sociella (1).

wood-stacking (20150618)

Spent the day trucking scrap wood down from the nearby workshop for the winter fuel supply. As I sweated away birds occasionally appeared including a nice hobby and a flyby crossbill.

rosentorp trap contents (20150617)

Rosentorp produced my first Apamea remissa this morning.

Moth totals for Rosentorp this morning: Korscheltellus fusconebulosus (3), Smerinthus ocellata (1), Drepana falcataria (1),  Xanthorhoe montanata (2), Colostygia pectinataria (1), Odontopera bidentata (1), Plagodis pulveraria (1), Opisthograptis luteolata (2), Hypomecis punctinalis (2), Siona lineata (3), Pheosia gnoma (1),  Peridea anceps (1), Apamea remissa (1), Diarsia mendica (1), Calliteara pudibunda (3) and Hedya ochroleucana (1).

mothing with the kids (20150616)

The highlight of a sparse haul from the garden trap this morning was my first Sphinx ligustri!

Dragged the kids out for a cool and rather windy moth session at Lya ljunghed and nearby Älemossen this morning now they have finished school. The net at Lya produced my first Xanthorhoe spadicearia at last. It was busier along the trail to Älemossen and Number 2 distinguished herself by finding a huge number of cryptic or just plain tiny species and earning numerous ice creams as a result. Perhaps her best observation came when she pointed out a roosting Clostera curtula dangling from the tip of a spruce branch above the trail! A nightjar perching and flying about in daylight was a fine sight and then it was time to take the cubs back for a rather late lunch.

moths trapped (20150615)

Snapshot from the traps at Rosentorp this morning! The following species/numbers were trapped: Korscheltellus fusconebulosus (6), Xanthorhoe designata (1), Xanthorhoe montanata (1), Ecliptopera silaceata (1), Hydriomena impluviata (2), Eupithecia exiguata (1),  Eupithecia tantillaria ( 1), Hypomecis punctinalis (1), Phlogophora meticulosa (1), Agrotis segetum (1), Ochropleura plecta (1), Diarsia mendica (1) and Diarsia rubi (2). So diversity and numbers still low thanks to the appalling cold weather we are experiencing.

sunday morning (20150614)

Got out in the morning and checked Ripagården (a late long-tailed duck was the easy highlight of a quiet session) and then the woodland at Haga. Caught quite a few new micromoths at both sites but the backlog of unidentified species is starting to get daunting! Haga also produced two new macromoths in the shape of Drepana falcataria and Scopula floslactata.

Later on in the day I set the traps at Rosentorp and bumped into the lesser spotted woodpecker again.

new moth (20150513)

The garden trap produced another new moth this morning, the commonplace buff ermine (Spilosoma luteum).

more mothing (20150612)

Emptying the moth traps at Rosentorp was livened up by the presence of a lesser spotted woodpecker in the oaks above. My first of the year and a species that is starting to get hard to find in BK?

My first Thyatira batis! What a beast.

In the evening just as it got dark I nipped up to the junction above Killeröd and dashed about with a lamp and a net. Quickly bagged nine species of moth many of them new to me! The best was a splendid fresh Thyatira batis - a much-wanted species. Overhead two nightjars and two woodcock, magic stuff.

checking Segelstorpsstrand (20150611)

Number 2 and I checked the coastal vegetation at Segelstorpsstrand for invertebrates in the afternoon, mostly common day-flying macro- and micro-moths but the one below still eludes identification.

Unidentified micromoth from Segelstorpsstrand

Monday, June 15, 2015

epic invert day (20150610)

Crambus lathoniellus proved to be common in the long grass at both sites visited today.

With the car in the shop being sorted out ahead of our summer holidays I was released into the neighbourhood on a glorious sunny day. With my net in hand and a few hours to spare I did not waste any time in getting to nearby Petersberg. The micromoths here were fascinating and included my first Crambus lathoniellus, Cochylis dubitana and the stunning Nemophora degeerella. Birds here included a few singing reed and marsh warblers and a single grey wagtail.

Crossing the road I checked out the Makadamfabriken, an old quarry that I thought might have potential for Lepidoptera. I was not wrong and over the next few hours the moths and butterflies just kept on coming. It was nice to see some fresh painted ladies here but the big shock came when I discovered a tiny colony of small blues clinging to the grassland at the top of the quarry. Also here more new moths in the shape of cinnabar black-veined moth, yellow shell and the micromoth Crambus pratella. Birds here included a five long-tailed tits, a pair of little ringed plovers and perhaps 25 active sand martin burrows. An epic session.

Nemophora degeerella - just stunning.

Cochylis dubitana was new for me too today at Petersberg.

The quarry was amazing for invertebrates. First up was the first BK cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae), one of three or four during the session here.

Another new moth - the yellow shell (Camptogramma bilineata). New for BK too.

The grassland at the top of the quarry was home to a small colony of black-veined moth (Siona lineata). New for BK...

The biggest surprise in the quarry though was the discovery of BK's first colony of small blues (Cupido minimus).

more mothing (20150607)

18 species of moth greeted me in the trap at Rosentorp this morning, probably my most diverse catch to date and including four lifers. A quick look at Klarningen later produced very little of note.

 This morning's catch included my first flame shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)

and my first white ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda).

Friday, June 12, 2015

looking for bugs at Killeröd (20150605)

Took the kids out after school for a run out at Slottet and Killeröd. The highlight was bagging a new longhorn (Asemum striatum) in amongst the many new invertebrates. Nearby at the junction pond we had the three adult whooper swans that seem to be over-summering in BK. Next stop was the orchid glade at Slottet which produced another Mother Shipton moth and a few new micromoths for my list. Icterines warblers are singing in big numbers in BK this year and Slottet was dominated by the crazy song of this late migrant.

Asemum striatum - a common longhorn that I have probably overlooked until now...

marsh warbler (20150604)

Managed to get to Klarningen today for a sniff around. A hobby and Martin Ekenberg greeted me on site but otherwise the short session was notable for me finally getting marsh warbler on my year list. Afterwards Number 2 and I headed to Eskilstorpsdammar for a look around. We were hoping for a diurnal snatch of grasshopper warbler song but had to make do with more marsh and reed warblers. The highlight for me though was my first Mother Shipton (Euclidia mi)!

rising to prominence

Birding has definitely been on the back-burner this spring, with mothing fitting in better around my domestic and office schedule. My first season has been dominated by a very cool spring and early summer that has certainly impacted on the numbers of moths caught. Species diversity though has been wondrous, it has been impossible to predict what might turn up and this of course generates a huge amount of excitement as you approach the trap just after dawn.

Pictured below are some of the the real-lookers of the moth world - the Notodontids or prominents. I will try and post hightlights more frequently in future...

 Coxcomb prominent (Ptilodon capucina)

Pebble prominent (Notodonta ziczac)

 Swallow prominent (Pheosia tremula)

Pale prominent (Pterostoma palpina)

Buff-tip (Phalera bucephala)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

avocet twitch (20150531)

Nipped out briefly to Klarningen when Mats discovered a pair of avocet on site.  Only my second record at Klarningen, the first bird did not stick around presumably due to a lack of prey. But these birds (like the godwits earlier in spring) were obviously finding stuff to guzzle.

starting to click (20150528)

Hovs Hallar was chilly and breezy, hardly good conditions for searching out invertebrates but we found a few nice things like this click beetle (Athous subfuscus).

Took the team out for a breath of fresh air. Terrible weather continues to dominate our month, set to become the coldest Swedish May since 1962! It has doubtless affected my search for invertebrates, for example I have yet to identify an Odonate in BK this year and I can only imagine what a normal moth trapping May would be like!

Today we worked Klarningen for birds, picking up a Temminck's stint and two ruff. Then moved on to Hovs Hallar for a picnic and a look in the bushes for invertebrates. It was appalling weatherwise and we found very little but of course I still managed to add two click-beetles (Athous subfuscus and haemorrhoidalis) and a new soldier-beetle (Cantharis nigricans) to my BK list (which hit 600 this week).

Checked Påarps Mal on the way home but it was quiet.

postcard from Corfu

 Misumena vatia

Finally got round to posting a few photographs from my Corfu trip last month!

 Southern festoon (Zerynthia polyxena) larvae were everywhere on Aristolochia, must have missed the adults?

 Number 2 found this assassin bug (Rhynocoris iracundus) on a walk along the coast.

Fireflies were everywhere at night around our riverside accommodation.

Orchids were reasonably abundant but confusing...

Calopteryx virgo

Seeing blue chaser (Libellulla fulva) is always a highlight.

The primary reason we went to Corfu was to track down some critically endangered Greek red damsels (Pyrrhosoma elisabethae), which we managed to do. Only one site seems to remain on Corfu sadly.

I was very pleased to finally catch up with Grecian copper (Lycaena ottomana) at the damsel site.

Birds were spotted during the week, invariably common migrants like this great reed warbler.

We only recorded ten species of Odonates, with most being recorded away from water like this immature Crocothemis.

Egyptian grasshoppers (Anacridium aegyptium) were egg-laying on all the sandy tracks we walked.

 The kids enjoyed finding tortoises on the trip, all were the expected Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni) until we found this big marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata) on the walk up Mt Pantokrator. Perhaps a released pet? This species does occur on the nearby mainland though.

Another surprise on Corfu is the presence (again on Pantokrator) of chukar. Not present according to BWP but presumably must have been introduced for hunting?

Monday, May 25, 2015

pm session

Had a look around on the hill this afternoon, bumping into two pairs of crane, a spotted flycatcher (year-tick) and three whopper swans. A quick look into Klarningen produced a lifer red fox for Number 1. Also here hobby (2), shoveler (20), ruff (5), little ringed plover (2) and lots of swifts (at last!).

finally a self-found firecrest! (20150524)


Went out looking for invertebrates with the team in the afternoon during a patch of sun. Slowly walking the long loop at Killeröd produced some nice stuff and a few birds too. BK has experienced an influx of firecrests this spring and so it was no surprise that I finally found one of my own today when a male started singing right next to me. I have spent so many days in previous springs listening near suitable stands of spruce without success so this bird was very well-received. There are perhaps three or four males singing in BK at the moment! Other birds included a few cuckoos and some singing tree pipits (an overdue year-tick!).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

bugging and honeys arrive

Took the kids out bugging at Greviebackar after school. When they weren't accidently whacking each other with the net things went quite smoothly in a rare patch of sun. We found several new micromoths, a new hoverfly and enjoyed being out and about. As usual the haul will take some time to fully identify... The easy bird highlight was two honey buzzards migrating overhead at the start but icterine warbler was skulking about and singing sporadically too.

 Number 2 earned an icecream by finding this smart little cantharid (Cantharis decepiens) at Greviebackar today. New for BK.

Honey buzzard falls at last, two migrated overhead at the start of our walk.

Monday, May 18, 2015

micro magic

Found this little micro (and I mean little) in the garden settled on a Salix leaf near our big birch trees. Apparently an Ectoedemia occultella, a leaf-miner on birch. May saw me start to pan-list in earnest and I have got my BK list to 544 already! What will the total be by the end of the year?

Spent most of the day in and around the house. Lunch time found me prowling the garden for my first Ectoedemia occultella - a really dinky micromoth. An afternoon session with Number 1 had us searching the beech woodland at Tvehöga for the singing red-breasted flycatcher. No sign but great to hear the wood warblers here. A quick look at Klarningen produced three ruff, two wood sandpipers and a common sandpiper. Recently-hatched goldeneye fluffies were on the water and a pair each of shoveler and gadwall were of note.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


My first Arctic terns for some time straggled through Yttre Kattvik heading west today

Got up early for a chilly and occasionally wet seawatch at Yttre Kattvik that failed to deliver despite some ferocious westerly winds. Finished a five-hour session with totals of: fulmar (1), black-throated diver (3), merlin (1 north), kittiwake (3), Sandwich tern (2) and best of all Arctic tern (34 west). Disappointing not to bag a shearwater.

On the way home I checked out Lya ljunghed for singing cuckoo and a pair of red-backed shrikes. Driving up Sinarpsdalen was greatly improved by a hobby flying alongside the car for a while.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

late purple sandpipers

Had a quick look at Torekovs rev today which turned up five late purple sandpipers but not much else.

quick Klarningen (20150514)

A quick fifteen minute session at Klarningen revealed just a pair of shoveler and a scouting adult white-tailed eagle.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Cory's dip (20150513)

Flying home I was unsurprised to find that I had dipped Cory's shearwater yet again. This species is really giving me the runaround! I spent three hours in the afternoon at Yttre Kattvik but without success, the bird presumably long gone as the westerly wind decreased. I did get a fulmar, five kittiwakes and four gannets for my trouble though.

failed twitch - UK DK (20150511)

With a trip to the home country on the cards, the news the day before I left that the UK's second citril finch had pitched up in Holkham Pines caused a sense of twitchy excitement. Flying in and shooting straight out to pick up Ed Parnell, we headed up to check the site, knowing that the bird had only been seen early morning and not shown since. We arrived well after lunch and had a look along the edge of the pines but did not hold out much hope. Eventually we called it a day and headed for some nearby dotterel. I will draw a veil over the birding abilities I displayed here but I learnt a lot about what flying dotterel look like low, at range and in harsh light. Hopefully this will stand me in good stead at some point as I still have to find this species in BK...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

great hobby (20150509)

Had a quick birthday birding session after going through two largely empty moth traps (frost overnight!). Checked Ripagården en route to Hovs Hallar. A little ringed plover was singing in the carpark, together with a cuckoo and the first of three thrush nightingales. Walking the site suggested a light fall overnight with plenty of wheatears, a single redstart and a few lesser whitethroat on the ground. Offshore a single black-throated diver and three red-necked grebes. Walking back to the car I was overtaken by a hobby powering inland.

Friday, May 8, 2015

double shift (20150507)

I did a quick morning look-in at Klarningen and bagged a few year-ticks. I love this time of year. A scan though the waders produced two Temminck's stint, two wood sandpiper, a greenshank and a common sandpiper. In amongst the swirl of hirundines halted by the cool conditions were at least five sand martins. In the UK sand martin was always the first hirundine on my year-list each year but here it has been the last every year...

In the cool and blustery evening I returned to Klarningen chasing Martin E's great snipe from last night, whilst I waited for dusk I enjoyed a nice session. A crane greeted me on the access track. The female merlin was still buzzing about. A pair of gadwall and shoveler were on site and a few water rails were squealing in the Juncus. Two greenshank and a glorious summer-plumaged spotted redshank fed in front of the tower. Eventually and just as I was starting to feel despondent the great snipe broke into song. Nice.

Not said much about my mothing on the blog, just finished my first month of light-trapping and the learning curve has been very steep. I will start posting the best-looking species soon when it gets a little calmer. This scarce prominent (Odontosia carmelita) fell to my mobile UV trap at Bränneslätt after dark. A great looking species.

On the way home I snoozed in the car at Bränneslätt whilst my mobile UV moth trap did some work. An hour-and-a-half was enough to net me a new moth - two splendid scarce prominents (Odontosia carmelita).

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

sylvias (20150505)

Hit the coast today trying to catch up on the flush of migrants that have come in whilst I was away. First up was a wander around Öllövsstrand, where I quickly mopped up the three common Sylvia warblers and got a bonus pair of grey partridge to boot.

Påarps mal next and the expected pair of little tern were available and a greenshank flew past. Also here a few yellow wagtails and a common sandpiper.

In the afternoon either side of a meeting with my accountant I checked Klarningen (nice female merlin and 13 wood sandpipers in 15 minutes) and Petersberg (low water here produced a single green sandpiper and the what's left of the reedbed had a singing reed warbler).

Monday, May 4, 2015

back on patch

After travelling home overnight from Corfu I was feeling a bit groggy but managed to get out for 40 minutes at Klarningen. Lots of new stuff in - a singing wood sandpiper was a first and also here 15 ruff, two spotted redshank and a handful of yellow wagtails. Five gadwall were present too.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

thanks Mats! (20150424)

Had half an hour after lunch to twitch off the ring ouzels found by Mats Ljunggren up on Hallandsåsen. Sure enough I found a nice collection of thrushes in a field at Hulrugered that included a redwing and a quartet of great-looking ring ouzels. A lone crane stalked around a field in the distance.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

school trip

Took Number 1's class on an outing to Torekov rev this morning. The weather was rather poor sadly, with a strong westerly making things rather difficult. In the end after bagging a little ringed plover (1) and three common terns we headed into the woods to get the kids out of the cold wind. Flytermossen produced seven swallows, two house martins and a singing redstart. Much better!

In the afternoon we set the moth trap up in Förslöv and bagged a nice hawfinch and had our first wood warbler of the spring singing in the woods.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

stonechat revisited

A trip to Klarningen was always part of the plan today as I did my rounds of chores. So I was well pleased when I got an SMS an hour before I was due there that a stonechat had been found on site. Bonus. I missed Jan's bird on the 9th and then the site was burned which must have put the bird off somewhat.

An adult white-tailed eagle had a good go at catching something right in front of the tower today at Klarningen.

Sure enough on arrival the tower had residents and they quickly put me onto the stonechat sitting on a fence post in the southern part of the site. An hour-and-a-half here was very productive with more year-ticks in the shape of garganey (one male), willow warbler (1) and a whinchat (1, early record? I guess but the database is down for maintenance so I cannot easily check). Other birds included a hunting white-tailed eagle, green sandpiper (3) and a single wheatear. Nice session.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

spring Arctic skua (20150418)

Had a great morning session which netted three year-ticks. Kicked off at Norra Ängalag and sat quietly to see what would fly by. There were plenty of fisherman disturbing the coastline but things were going past - the best bird being a splendid dark phase Arctic skua - a species I struggle with in the spring (usually because I am not here!). A singing male wheatear was new-in and a very welcome sight. Stuff was on the move overhead with a fairly constant trickle of passerines (siskin, pipits and wagtails) and even a kestrel. A single male gadwall dropped in at one point.

Next up was a look at Torekovs rev. Highlights here included the big flock of purple sandpipers (32), a single white-tailed eagle (2K) en route to the island and a migrating merlin (year-tick). Over at Vinga randy razorbills were a feature.

My first Cyphostephus tristriatus - a bug only found on juniper bushes with berries (if my Swedish translation was correct), that is where we found it anyway!

Later in the day we spent some time at Lya ljunghed beating bushes for invertebrates and found a great little jumping spider (Dendryphantes rudis) and a nice bug (Cyphostephus tristriatus) - the latter only found in junipers.

Last stop of the day was Klarningen - a few new birds in including four shoveler and at least seven swallows. Best of the rest included a green sandpiper and new total of five ringed plovers.

spotlighting (20150417)

Number 2 and I went spotlighting and mothing during the middle of the evening. Lots of roe deer about, a few hares and a nice close encounter with a male woodcock (my first of the year) at Bränneslätt. Moth action was seriously affected by the rather cold temperature I suspect and nothing came to our illuminated sheet in the hour after dusk.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

failed twitch

Chased a couple fo ring ouzel at Hovs Hallar this afternoon but dipped badly. Plenty of white wagtails on the ground and a few siskin and sparrowhawk in the air. I loath working Hovs Hallar alone (too much cover) but it has undeniable potential for turning up rares.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Fifteen minutes was all I could stand in the tower at Klarningen in the early afternoon. The weather was atrocious and in the short time I was there nothing unusual appeared. One little ringed plover was the highlight in amongst the usual suspects.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

more migrants

An SMS that there were two black-tailed godwit at Klarningen got me moving at midday for a quick look. Sure enough on arrival they were guzzling away in the eastern pool. Also here my first little ringed plover of the year, a massive 16 redshank and a green sandpiper. Nice one.

Later in the day I nipped out to Båstad to chase Sandwich terns and got a look at two feeding offshore. Lots of great looking summer plumage grebes in the bay too with five great cresteds, eight red-necked and at least 16 Slavonian grebes.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Got our very late today - feeling grotty and I fear 'real' flu may be on the cards shortly after exposure to the infectious in-laws over Easter... With temperatures hitting the low 20s I went inland to Bösketorp pools hoping for an early Pyrrhosoma but had to settle for a manic noctule and three barn swallows flying through (my first of the year). An orange underwing (Archiearis parthenias) gave us the runaround.

I eventually got round to reading my sms messages to find that I should have been in Mats' garden for the return of last year's firecrest. Got there eventually and the bird was still entertaining the finder in fine style. I then dragged myself off to lie on a rug on the beach as the day cooled and scored two whimbrel north. On the way home we checked the pond at Lönhult and nabbed a nice common sandpiper for our troubles. Four year-ticks today despite minimal time in the field.

springtime (20150410)

Great weather at the moment so I got out of the house to have a look around. It felt good but I actually managed to connect with very little during the session. Checked the coast between Torekov and Rammsjöstrand at various points hoping for some migrant passerines. Plenty of chiffchaff singing and dunnock have arrived in force too but not much else.

Otherwise highlights for this section of coast were a huge flock of 36 purple sandpiper (Torekovs rev), five scaup south (off Påarps mal), more green sandpipers (2) and a crossbill overhead at Burensvik. I had singing rock pipits at two locations, have I never noticed this spring phenomenon before or have the stayed later than usual [rock pipit does not breed on mainland BK but perhaps offshore on Hallands Väderö most years].

Having dealt with a family emergency over lunchtime we were back in the field in the afternoon briefly with a moorhen on the pools at Lindab in the village being my only year-tick of the day somehow! Checked Klarningen - for four shoveler and a green sandpiper and that was my day.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Hit Lya Ljunghed straight after the school-run this morning hoping for Jan's stonechat. No sign of the little fellah but I had a nice hour-and-a-half here with flyover redpoll (1), hawfinch (1) and crane (2). A great grey shrike was still in attendance and my first displaying snipe of the year was in the air. Chiffchaffs have definitely arrived with at least three males here. A crossbill called briefly.

Checked Klarningen on the way home. Things rather quieter here than of late with many of the wildfowl having pushed on. But I did get a nice male marsh harrier for the year and heard an elusive green sandpiper. Others included curlew (6), redshank (7), snipe (2) and stock dove (1).

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

lunch on the beach (20150406)

Had a picnic on the beach today at Vasaltheden. Not much going past during the two-hour session but a few things on the sea (Slavonian grebe and two red-necked grebes). Vasaltheden had many linnets - avoided so far this year. A quick check on the pasque flowers at Greviebackar revealed that they were still there.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

out on the moss

Checked Klarningen in the morning. The usual suspects in attendance; shoveler (3) and pintail (male), plus a nice female hen harrier loafing about. Spent another four hours mooching about Älemossen. Not many birds but good to hear about the restoration project planned here. We left the site after a good walk with just two long-tailed tits and four bullfinch noted.

brace of year-ticks (20150403)

Got out for a couple of hours in the afternoon today. Near Boarp a goshawk crossed the road. At Ripagården things were fairly quiet, just a red-necked grebe offshore. Nearby in fields at Vråen a large flock of gull included at least eleven lesser black-backed gulls (my first of the year).

A quick look at Torekovs rev produced a nice grey wagtail (ditto), at least ten rock pipits and a few white wagtails.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

another 20 minutes

I seem to be specialising in very short sessions in the field at the moment. Twenty minutes at Klarningen at least netted me a year-tick though in the shape of three shoveler. Only other notable species was pintail (1). Driving north I was disgusted to get hen harrier (ringtail) and rough-legged buzzard from the motorway just off-patch at Skottorp!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Got out for an hour along the coast this morning but had not factored in a very stiff westerly wind. Checked the coast between Stora Hult and Ranarpsstrand hoping for an early wheatear but no dice. The best birds were a flock of 20+ purple sandpipers going north off Ranarpsstrand.

klarningen check (20150331)

Checked Klarningen very briefly in the afternoon. Not much happening here compared to my last visit. Ten curlew were nice and there were four redshank today. On the way home we checked the ploughed field at Hulrugered again but this time just two mistle thrush graced it.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

weird water pipit record

Heavy rain overnight. Checked Klarningen this morning before the rest of the team woke. Plenty of birds here with gadwall (2) and pintail (1), in amongst a number of teal (71) and wigeon (27). Breeding birds have arrived whilst I have been away with two pairs of curlew and a pair of redshank being new for the year. Also ringed plover (pair) and at least six coot on site. Five snipe will sadly not be staying to breed.

Went home over the hill to check for thrushes and found a nice newly-ploughed field at Hulrugered that produced mistle thrush (15), song thrush (5), redwing (3), lots of chaffinches and very strangely a single water pipit in summer plumage.

back on patch (20150328)

Got out for an hour to Torekov rev after my return from a great trip to Morocco. There were 29 barnacle geese on the ground here, indicative of a large movement through southern Sweden. Also here eight gadwall, 23 purple sandpipers and best-of-all one dunlin (a year-tick). Four white wagtails on the beach were welcome migrants.

Monday, March 9, 2015

white-fronts (20150308)

Had a nice session at Klarningen this afternoon with Mrs B. The easy highlight was a large flock of 175 feeding white-fronted geese, 74 teal and 9 wigeon in too. Two ringed plover were on territory, a big flock of 51 starlings and a reed bunting called near the tower. The temperature hit double figures for the first time this year.


On the way home we bumped into a pair of cranes at Hulrugered, they looked great feeding in the warm sun.