lördag 20 april 2019

Good time for Capercaillie leks

The cold start of the swedish spring tipped over to warmer weather with easter. Suddenly birds became very active on the Grouse leks. Now the lekking season for Capercaillies seems to be peaking in the central parts of Sweden. These pictures where taken by Simon Green from a hide on our lekking site in the Black River Valley the other day. This morning there was again very good activity on the spot. No females reported here yet, but on other sites mating season is in full swing.

söndag 3 mars 2019

Spring arrives with Great Grey Owls

The last week several Great Grey Owls have appeared in the central parts of Sweden. On this latitude they tend to be very invisible in wintertime, absent most of the time from known breeding areas. With the warm spell we´ve had the last weeks they suddenly became visible again. It´s not unusual that they appear when the snow thaws and they can find prey more easily on the open grass areas and meadows. Remains to see if this will be a good breeding season or not around here. We don´t see an abundance of voles yet.

lördag 17 november 2018

Caspian & Baltic Gulls in Västerås harbour

The last 2 weeks me and several other bird watchers have been spending time scrutinizing the flocks of large Gulls in the harbor of Västerås, Sweden. I found a 1.st year Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans) on the 4:th of November and this thursday an adult Baltic Gull (Larus fuscus). Today I believe my friend Thomas Nilsson located the Cachinnans again but there´s a lot of similar birds around so you need to look carefully. Today we could enjoy 2 Dippers, a Kingfisher and 2 Peregrines, Waxwings, Fieldfares and Redpolls, in the process and even some sunshine, so quite a nice day. 

söndag 21 oktober 2018

Nutcrackers in autumn

Autumn is a great time to photograph Nutcrackers here in the Black River valley. My feeding station is attracting a handful of birds who have become really unshy for people and cameras. Light and colors with yellow autumn leafs justify them more than snowy winter.

torsdag 11 oktober 2018

Sea Eagles hunting in pair

I witnessed a pair of White-tailed (Sea) Eagles hovering low over the water surface of Lake Fläcksjön. They stayed over the same point so long I realized they must be hunting something in the water below them. They took turns in swooping down to attack the prey. The wind was strong at the moment so they seemed to have a hard time, but they were ever so persistent. After several minutes and seemingly endless attempts, one of the birds came up with a duck in it´s talons. They had managed to exhaust the bird til it finally got possible to grab when it re-surfaced. I´ve seen this before with Coot and Great-crested Grebe for prey. This time it looked like a Mallard. Sorry the poor picture quality but the documentary aspects justifies!

söndag 23 september 2018

Chiffchaffs moving south

The Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) is one of several passerine species that increase in Sweden and are pushing up their distribution range from the south, colonizing new habitats and areas in the country. In our (central) parts of Sweden however, the Chiffchaff is not yet a regular breeding bird (yet) and in fact not a bird I see many times a year at all. We are namely mostly exposed to the northern population on migration. Mid september is when they turn up on their way south and during a relatively short period of a few weeks they can be enjoyed, often spotted by their distinctive song. At this time practically all Willow Warblers have gone south.  Today I saw my first Chiffchaff for the autumn. It flitted around in one of my big apple trees in the garden and I was surprised to get a few images of this constantly moving little bird. I later saw a Bluethroat as well but the Chiffchaff was the bird of the day for me.

söndag 16 september 2018

Geese bonanza in Hjälstaviken

Hjälstaviken not far from Uppsala is one of the major staging areas for Geese in central Sweden, especially during autumn migration. The season has just started but already last week 4.000 Bean Geese, 8.000 Greylag Geese and 7.000 Barnacle Geese where counted. The minorities where the 25 Lesser White-fronts and 4 (!) Pink-feet. Add to that 4.100 Common Cranes and you can just begin to sense the noise and sheer spectacle when all these birds come into to roost in the wetland at night. The Barnacles are the most tame, the Beanies the most shy.