torsdag 29 augusti 2019

Good season for Camberwell Beauties

It´s a good season for Camberwell Beauties. My garden "butterfly restaurant" has been attracting up to 4 of them together and with at least 25 Red Admirals and some Commas. I don´t think I´ve ever had as many butterflies on my apple-compost in late summer/ autumn. They are in pristine condition this time of the year and you can easily see the red velvety tone on the upper side. That colour is not very visible after hibernation, when they tend to look more dark, blackish brown.

söndag 4 augusti 2019

Purple Emperor in my garden!

When I started to look at butterflies (2006), Purple Emperor was a hard to see species, confined to the very south of Sweden exclusively. I remember going there with my family and a bag of rotting bananas soaked in wine (accidentally) to lure it down from the canopies. We succeeded and the butterfly came flying past our faces very close, but I never managed to take any pictures. Since then I´ve seen it many times abroad, but always with the feeling it is a great butterfly to see and photograph. During the last ten years it has made a remarkable expansion of it´s range in Sweden and is now found up to the north of the county Upland, some 650 km north of it´s former core area. In Västmanland it was first sighted 3 years ago, and with a couple more records every year since then, it has been on every butterfly-watchers want-to-see-list locally. I baited my garden for weeks and now suddenly there it sat! On some fermenting pieces of melon. He´s imperial high-ness…the Purple Emperor! In my own garden!

onsdag 24 juli 2019

Silver-washed Fritillaries just emerged

The heat seems to bring out new butterflies. This silver-washed Fritillary appeared in our garden today and although I might have seem some yesterday this is probably the first days for the year they are out around here. Nevertheless a high-summer species, but it is a bit later than normal. In fact quite a few butterflies have been late to emerge this year. Was happy to see and photograph a Purple hairstreak in my garden the other day too. A first for the garden list in fact.

söndag 9 juni 2019

Great Grey Owls

Great Grey Owls haven´t had a great year in central Sweden so far. But there are some pockets with voles in the landscape that attract Owls. We are blessed to have some of these gorgeous birds in our area this year.

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 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.