lördag 27 december 2008

Winter night´s sky

27:th of December 2008
Yet another clear, sunny day with crisp, cold air. Great Grey Shrike, a flock of Black Grouse, 100 Waxwings is about all I can report after a tour around the valley. An unexpectedly late flock of Canada Geese passed me twice but finally headed south in the sunset. Quite beautiful colours in the sky after that.

måndag 22 december 2008

Return of the sun

21:st of December 2008
A day of symbolical importance, the Midwinter sun stand, the darkest day of the year on the northern part of the globe. For us northern people it´s the first light in the dark tunnel of winter. We´ve survived the darkest part of the year and knowing that from now on it´s only getting brighter every day, leaves a certain hope.
A short tour through the valley offers some nice sightings including a White-tailed Eagle, a Pygmy Owl, a Nutcracker, 6 Black Grouse and some Waxwings and Bullfinches.
Left of the little hut in the picture, a Great Grey Shrike is perching in the distance.

tisdag 16 december 2008

Waxwings and Redpolls

16:th of December 2008
A period of snowfall and a new influx of Fieldfares and Waxwings are the latest events in this dark period of the year. Redpolls seem to be building up for a good winter too, meaning chances to find Arctic Redpolls of course.
Yesterday I saw 3 Redpoll flocks just around town and that´s also where the Waxwings linger on; in the gardens and parks with all berry-bushes and fruit-trees. Such gorgeous birds. I just love their sound.
Bullfinches have also started to appear at the feeders... finally. Meanwhile, enjoy a good looking male Redpoll taken by Niclas Lignell at one of our feeders. See more of his own excellent pictures on his own photopage.

Christmas Fair

7:th of December 2008
The annual Christmas Fair at the church-stables of Fläckebo on the 2:nd advent, is just as small-scale, rural and indigenous as you could ever wish for. The local school-children are selling grilled hot dogs and hot glögg (glywine), horses with reindeer-disguise takes you for a sledride and the handicraft is not only local, but also of good quality. You meet a lot of nice people and hey. . . . isn´t that Santa himself warming his bones by the fire?

fredag 5 december 2008

Swans in snow

5:th of December
Yesterday I saw 200 Waxwings feeding from a couple of Ashes down in the city (Västerås). Today´s notes include a Sparrowhawk, a flock of about 200 Redpolls (might be a good winter for them), a few Bullfinches (actualluy the first for a while), 4 Nutcrackers on the feeding stations and finally a couple of Whoopers in the open stretch of the river. Pretty picture with all the snow.

White-tailed Eagles

5:th of December 2008
As I drive up the valley today I just happen to glance up in into the sky on my left side as I drive and there flies an adult White-tailed Eagle along the road, sort of just beside the car. It keeps on flying and I keep on driving and after a while an immature bird - not from this year´s clutch though - teams up and they start to soar together above me.
I stop and get a few pictures - again - despite my little digi camera. On the picture you can see why this bird is older than a year: it´s secondaries are of different length, which indicates that it has already moulted some of the feathers. First year birds don´t do that, so this must be 2:nd calender year or older. Maybe any of you experts out there could tell exactly how old it is?
The white armpits indicates it´s not older than 3:rd calender year, rather 2:nd in fact.