Friday, February 27, 2015

a rare twitch nets a tick

Male ring-necked duck at close-range today at Halmstad, been a while since I saw this in Europe, my first in Sweden.

I had to go to Halmstad today as part of the rather drawn-out and expensive process of changing my driving license over to a Swedish version (something I should have done seven years ago...). Having been formally identified and photographed I was then able to visit a nearby ring-necked duck at the sewage works. Bonus Swedish tick. The bird was showing very well and had a supporting cast that included water rail (1), little grebe (1) and moorhen (2+). Amazingly I have not twitched anything off-patch since October 2011! Perhaps I should get out more.

Checked Klarningen on the way home and was excited to watch the 2K peregrine hunting jackdaws. Also here kestrel (1), shelduck (11), teal (20), lapwing (70). A flock of 22 goldfinch added a splash pf colour to an otherwise rather grey day.

great day out (20150226)

Had an increasingly rare day in the field today in southerly winds, blues skies and lots of bird movement (mostly skylarks!). Skylarks were definitely the bird of the day, plenty already singing on territory and they could be heard overhead nearly continuously along the coast in the morning.

Great grey shrike finally fell for the year at Ripagården (one of four year-ticks recorded during the day), an engaging individual that was hopping about on the short turf searching for invertebrates. Thanks Sara!

I started the day at Glimminge plantering, where the beach failed to produce a ringed plover but it was evident here and at all coastal sites visited afterwards that shelduck had arrived in numbers. Dagshög next to check for the black duck (no sign), two black guillemots well offshore were the highlight here. Påarps mal did produce the black duck, sheltering in the rocks from the brisk southerly wind. Out on the island were my first ringed plovers (3) and three lapwing. Torekovs rev had two more ringed plovers and at least three oystercatchers. A single purple sandpiper was spotted way to the south on Svarteskär.

Norra Ängalag had a few birds moving through including ten white-fronted geese and a single stock dove going like a bat out of hell. My last coastal stop of the day was at Ripagården hoping for the great grey shrike reported earlier in the week. It was still present and showed very well, hopping about in search of food in the short turf by the sea. A Lapland bunting calling as it flew north was a nice bonus.

Finally I had a quick look at Klarningen. Lots going on here for a day in February with 17 shelduck, 12 teal and 36 lapwing all seeming very early.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Klarningen (20150221)

Half an hour at Klarningen produced more birds. Twelve lapwing were resting on the island today and other stuff new-in included a pair of shelduck and four teal. Over on the fields near Eskilstorpssdammar in a small greylag flock were two white-fronted geese.

busy at Klarningen (20150219)

A real spring feel this morning and it was reflected in the birding at Klarningen. First up were three lapwing resting on the island (my first of the year). Whooper swans (16) were resting up too and as I watched a flock of four adult Bewick's swans joined them.

quiet at Klarningen (20150217)

Had a quick look-in at Klarningen on my way past today, not much happening with just a rough-legged buzzard on site as usual.

wild eagle chase (20150215)

A late SMS informed that there was a golden eagle near Förslöv so I nipped out for a half-hour drive around some likely spots. No sign of the eagle (sadly as it is less that annual for me in BK) but I bagged a year-tick goshawk across the road at Grevie kyrkby.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

hat-trick (20150213)

Had a short amount of time in the field in the morning. It was calm so I headed for Eskilstorpsstrand to check for sea-duck. Very few offshore though and those that were were mostly out of range. At Stensåns mynning I finally connected with a black woodpecker for the year - a singing male.

Last stop of the day was Klarningen where pintail (1) and barnacle goose (4) were year-ticks too. Otherwise quiet. So ducks are returning early this year by the looks of it.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

bean goose

Had a short session at Klarningen in the afternoon. En route in Båstad we had two nice roadside hawfinches (year-tick). Klarningen had a small flock of 100 greylag which included seven bean geese, otherwise just rough-legged buzzard (1) and kestrel (2).

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Got out this morning and tried to add black-throated diver to my year-list again and failed again too. Checked out Yttre Kattvik first, no divers on the sea but a few red-throated divers, gannets and guillemots going west in a strengthening westerly wind. Kattvik was likewise quiet and a quick look at Båstad produced a gannet and the over-wintering white wagtail. The latter starting to look a little worse for wear. Eskilstorpsstrand proved a little too exposed so I moved on to see how the destruction of the Petersberg wetland was getting on. The main pool is now half empty - they could have done it during the wader season if they really cared! Sad to see this site going under the bulldozer's blade. Last stop was a chilly Klarningen, here three red kites suggested a slight return movement of raptors might be happening. There was definitely a touch of spring in the air but the westerly wind was now really strong so I headed home.

After lunch we all went out for a foam party at Hovs Hallar. A few gannet and kittiwake evident going past the bunker. Elemental.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lapland bunting

The day started nicely with this kingfisher at Lervik and got better as it went along.

Blue sky birding beckoned this morning, so I got out of the office and got stuck into some winter birding. Kicked off at a rather quiet Stora Hultsstrand before working the small Lervik harbour. Here the long-staying kingfisher showed well and I booted up three common snipe (but no jacks). Driving round to Grytskären I noticed a big flock of pipits in fields to the south, so walked back that way against the light for a couple of year-tick skylarks. Worked my way north to Ranarpsstrand, picking up a nice ringtail hen harrier for the year but little else. Back at the car I met Martin Berg and he told me he had just found a Lapland bunting in the big pipit flock... Back we went and there it was feeding in excellent light along the bottom of the wall. Missed that one!

I gave Martin a lift up to Dagshög for the black duck, which behaved impeccably as usual. Next stop was Påarps mal, with Martin's help the water pipit soon showed very well and was a pleasure to watch in the incredible light available to us. Driving on I checked out Torekov, a lone peregrine was sitting out on the navigation markers on Vinga and four shags fished together as a team off the rocks. Great morning out with three year-ticks.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

20 minutes (20150202)

Busy in the office at the moment but managed to fit in a few birds during the day. A single waxwing over the garden in the morning and twenty minutes at Klarningen at dusk netted me nice views of the 2K peregrine that is hanging around the site.