torsdag 14 november 2019

Hawk Owls moving around

There´s been a few Hawk owls reported this late autumn. However they don´t seem to stay in one place for very long. Remains to see if we will get some in wintering territories.

tisdag 12 november 2019

Golden & White-tailed Eagles

The 2.nd session for the season was equally successful with Golden & White-tailed Eagles coming close to the hide, offering good views and photo possibilities. Ulf Jonfelt got these pictures. If you are interested you are welcome to visit us in the Black River Valley and book our comfortable hide (with heater and loo) for a session or two. Read more here:

söndag 10 november 2019

Waxwings en masse

There´s been surprisingly few Waxwings in the area lately (despite plenty of Pine Grosbeaks and Thrushes). So it was a bit surprising to find a buzzing flock of 300-400 birds in a garden in the Black River Valley. Overcast and soft light makes them better justice than sunshine I think.

Pine Grosbeaks near Västerås

Today we encountered a good bunch of 20 or more Pine Grosbeaks (Pinicola enucleator) just outside Västerås. A good mix of males and females and some young males too. And they gave very good photo opportunities feeding low and close.

söndag 3 november 2019

Great Grey topping up the day

It was great already with the Pine Grosbeaks that day, but as I drove home from Fläckebo that afternoon, a Great Grey Owl appeared on a felling area next to the road. It was almost dusk but I managed to get 1 (!) picture and then a couple of videos that I´ve posted on the Birdsafarisweden Facebook and instagram pages. It´s far from common to see Great Grey Owl around here in october/ november. Actually 2 Moose appeared later as well, so this was an extraordinary day and quite a reminder of what an amazing area I have on my doorstep. (after 3 weeks in West Papua I needed that reminder I think)

Pine Grosbeaks like never before

There´s a major influx of Pine Grosbeaks (Pinicola enucleator) in the south and central parts of Sweden right now. They turn up in the countryside, villages and towns, anywhere with fruiting trees. It is not only unusually early but it also extends much further south than normally. I was lucky to encounter a group of 7 of these lovely birds when stocking up my Hawfinch garden feeding station by the Black River the other day. I heard the fluty calls and located them to a stand of rowan trees dangling with berries. Although they are often quite tame, they have a tendency to sit in the densest part and u need to use manual focus. There was only one adult male among these birds. Right now theres´an abundance of berries that gives hope the birds tay around for some time. We know buy experience that it´s hard to predict and they often vanish later in winter. Of course Waxwings and thushes do their best to help finishing the food as well. Anyway we hope to see much more of these nomads from the vast taigas this winter.

lördag 28 september 2019

Blue Hawker ovipositing

This Blue Hawker (Aeshna cyanea) showed an unusual interest for the newly logged pine trunks lying across the pond by the Goshawk feeding station. It even looked like it was ovipositing - or at least trying to - on the surface of the trunks. Is that normal?

tisdag 24 september 2019

Still Cranes in the valley

The september Crane evenings is in my mind always a potential great spectacle on my local patch. About 340 Cranes were counted last night as they flew in to roost in Lake Fläcksjön. A bit late but the relatively wet and mild autumn can make them linger for another week or two. Normally they peak before the 20:th of september with about 800-1.000 individuals before they start their journey south towards Spain and France.

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!