Thursday, 30 May 2013

Final Day in Sweden

Another O53O HRS call for a pre breakfast trip on route to the Black Grouse moor.We were
fortunate to see Hazel Grouse, a good view was obtained of it in the trees.
At the moor we saw Osprey and heard Black Grouse calling,a variety of passerines
obliged notably Brambling and Golden Plover overhead.
Some weeks ago a wolf had been seen here see Daniel Greens blog,we continued
to look for other denizens of the forest,however Capercaillie eluded us.

So we headed back to Salbohed for breakfast ,we packed for our departure said our
goodbyes to Wilma and Yohannes,the bird table was still holding splendid bullfinches.
Passing the lakes on route ,our first stop was Frovisjon where a mini twitch had produced
American Wigeon,this was a bonus as we had targetted Slavonian grebe.
Passerines of note while we scanned from the roadside proved a bit flighty in
particular two Wryneck, however a Yellowhammer sang close by.
Moving closer to the lake we found a nesting Long eared owl which was a surprise for
most of us.
Flemming had found a Spotted Redshank in summer plumage ,up to 9 Slavonian grebes in
breeding plumage and my mate Lewis had found a Red necked grebe.
After coffee we headed towards Stockholm and our final stop was Torslundgropen nature
reserve an excavated sand/gravel pit  with limited vegetation.
Mostly Silver birch ,on arrival a Whitethroat scolded from the undergrowth.
We walked up the steep hill,at the top we searched for our final quarry,the
superbly patterned Ortolan Bunting sang from scree and tree top as we viewed
this rare bunting that has become a delicacy for French gastronomics.
A swift lunch before a heavy shower and we were on our way to Arlanda airport
just outside Stockholm. We left our Danish friends at Terminal 5 and Daniel
dropped us off at Terminal 2 a little late ,but what a trip ,Thanks to Daniel, Mikael
Wilma and Yohannes and everybody on the trip .

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Day Three part two Eagle Owl

Another walk to tempt Hazel Grouse and Grey Headed woodpecker failed although tree nesting
Goldeneyes was unusual.
Butterflies included Camberwell Beauty, Green Hairstreak, and Common Blue.

The day was full of singing Willow warblers and another pair of Red backed shrike.
At Flackebo on route back we photographed the church, a rune stone and local buildings.
It was the only rune stone we saw on the trip which made it quite special.
We returned to Salbohed for our evening meal,then we were off to the Quarry in search
of another owl.On a cliff overlooking the plant in the Quarry a male Eagle Owl was seen
on the opposite gravel face.
We eventually found the female nesting in an unusual place,it was on one of the work
platforms on or near the stairs apparently the staff work around it.
We left reluctantly pushing on through the Black River lakes where two White tailed sea eagles
sat near there nest far across the lake showing well through the scopes.
Moving past Ramnas we encountered two Moose and some Roe deer.
We looked again for Eagle owl but only managed Pygmy owl,a  local cheese and berrie
wine finished our owl watch.
Our final night in Sweden was a sunset over Lake Flackebo were a Bittern  bade
us farewell.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Day three The Woodpeckers with Mikael Rhoonstadt

 A warm sunny day a little cool at first as we headed off with a different guide today,first up was
the elusive Hazel grouse which lived up to it's elusive notoriety as we only heard it,however we saw
Red Squirrel.
We even heard Grey headed woodpecker and a Wryneck.Moving on towards Ekopark

We explored a woodland  with a number of dead trees which had a purpose for a
particular species.
Here in this specialized  habitat we saw the incredible Three toed Woodpecker
excavating it's nest hole.
The male seen here with yellow on it's crown allowed close approach.
More splendid views of this superb bird before moving on.
We perceivered for other species ,managed  red backed shrike , hard to see
in the dwarf conifer scub.
Next up a site for Black Woodpecker we saw it leaving its nest and Spotted and
Pied Flycatcher in close proximity.
Checking more Silver Birch areas we flushed  a Woodcock  and noted four eggs.

It's not often you stumble literally over ground nesting birds we had seen many roding
individuals these light summer evenings.
Coffe or tea break was at Sveasskog  of note we had seen Red and Black throated divers
on the lakes.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Sweden owling with wolves

A  long ride through the Black River valley,then a forest  track along a lakeside shrouded
by  phragmites.The evening light showed off a summer plumaged Whinchat.
We creeped long the lake shore travelling as quietly as possible,the light coming
through the trees gave off orange like hues.
Then amongst the trees the phantom of the Northern forests sat obscurely on
a high stump.

For most of us it was an experience to savour and never to be forgotten.

Just before we left a cry went out Wolf ,two individuals crossed the track to end our
day ,truly we were owling with wolves

Monday, 20 May 2013

Birding in Sweden Day2 Part 2

Onwards to Broddbo where we followed a woodland stream to a nest box high in the trees.
Daniel followed our local  ringer to where a Tawny Owl box was in view.

The Tawny owl was soon in the net and it showed well in the hand for us birders to
More owling at Hastorrpet produced Ural Owl flying from it's nest box and giving good
The conifers surrounding the meadow showed off these owls rather well as they have
rather an aggressive nature.Finally a  second  Ural Owl site near Hornkarrssjon where
we photographed Ural in the hand and in flight etc.
Seen at close quarters, once again you can really appreciate this superb bird.
This ended a great day for us as we headed back to Salbohed,we had 20 minutes before our
evening meal ,a celebratory beer then the bird log prior to our evening sojourn.

Birding in Sweden 2nd Day

Got up 0530 hrs photographed Pied Flycatchers in the woodland around the guest house.
A single Black Woodpecker and a Wood Warbler singing in the canopy and Bullfinches
and Willow tits on the feeders all before breakfast.
After breakfast our first stop was Wolf hill apparently these elusive creatures are seen
here,however today we saw various waders,wagtails,Garganey,Wigeon etc.
On route to Bangbo,a  wet  woodland area produced  Thrush Nightingale.

At  Bangbo we all got to see Pygmy Owl after a walk over a boulder strewn area some
pictures were got fairly close.
In the adjacent Odessa we saw Cuckoo,Crossbills,heard Wryneck and saw Black
Lunch  was at Halle Skogen produced White tailed Sea eagle.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Birding in Sweden Mid May

On arrival in Stockholm we were met by Daniel Green and our party was complete as we met two
Danish birders Vibeke and Flemming Moeller then we drove  to a shallow wetland .
It was here Goldeneye  obliged and a cracking Baltic gull,also of note our first Wood
Then on to Lake Malaren a large wetland area where a large flock of  Barnacle geese and
Cranes showed well. Overhead  Marsh Harriers disturbed Little Gulls and Black terns.

Passerines of note were Whinchat and Wheatears,making our way to the viewing platform
various waders including Ruff and more Wood sandpipers were distant,however the wagtails
came closer Yellow wagtails of the races beema and flava added a dash of colour.

Next stop was a private garden where a cracking male Bullfinch looked much
brighter than its English counterpart.

This was eclipsed by a rarity at home and our actual County bird the wonderfull
Hawfinch which gradually made its way to the feeders eventually being scared off
by a Sparrowhawk.

We made our way to Salbohed for dinner with our hosts,then it was to Lake Flackebo
where a Osprey had caught a pike,in the edges Teal dabbled and Beaver put in an appearance.
Our last venue of the day was a meadow bordered by conifers where we heard Great Grey Owl
calling,a number of Woodcock were roding overhead and Green Sandpipers called,Red and Roe
deer were nervous as the haunting call of the Great Grey Owl continued, our day ended at 2230hrs
as the threatening rain arrived.