tisdag 28 oktober 2008

Blurry yellowlegs

26:th of October 2008
In a small coastal lagoon on the Swedish mainland opposite from Öland, a Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes), have been sighted for a while, and since it is only a short detour for us, we take the chance to twitch it.
As we put up our tripods and telescopes the first bird to appear in view is the one. (Check my flow!)
It feeds in a tight and very busy flock of Dunlins, Grey Plovers and the more similar Greenshanks and Spotted Redshanks (the Yellowlegs stand sleeping between them on the picture, you can barely sense the yellow legs) on the shoreline. For once even I got a tick!
The bird was quite diagnostic with really tall, pale yellow legs and a body most reminiscnt of a Wood sandpiper. The bill was short and fine and the expression a bit open-faced, cute with pale lores and a short supercilium.
Excuse me the extremely poor picture quality, the light was terrible and I just digiscope with a small camera.

Barnacle bonanza

26:th of October
The last day on this little Öland visit is not as pleasant as yesterday, it´s grey, drizzly and windy. The Gyr falcon is still hanging around "udden" (the southern point of the island) and some White-tailed Eagles are flapping in the hard southerlies.
A couple of Caspian Gulls (Larus cachinnans) are identified on the westreef, but that´s about it. On our way back north, we can´t help stopping as we pass the favourite field of the Barnacle Geese. Impressive amounts and great looking, contrasting birds. No sign of the Snow Goose from yesterday.

lördag 25 oktober 2008

Öland – blessed and beautiful

25:th of October 2008
It is always great to revisit this fabulous part of Sweden. Last night´s storm is over and a clear blue sky and practically no wind at all surprises us in the early morning, as we head south for Ottenby nature reserve. For a birdwatcher, Ottenby, Öland is The place! Da shit! Where it´s all at!
On the way down south, some 500 or so Cranes and perhaps a few thousand Barnacle Geese and the odd Rough-legged Buzzard appears along the road as the sun rise above the fog. It shure feels like a good day is coming.

Little Bunting

25:th of October
A small crowd of ten people or so, makes us stop along the road by Sibylla´s hunting lodge, to find a Snow Goose in a huge flock of Barnacles (10.000+ later in the afternoon) and a Little Bunting. Far from the typical, skulking little beasts they usually are, this gorgeous, little sweetheart flies up to a tree top and perches in the morning sun for quite some time. Even I could fire some shots through the telescope.

Pectoral sand

A lunch break in todays meeting activities coinsides with the appearance of a Pectoral sandpiper just north of Ottenby. The Black-winged Pratincole, stood right beside it for a while, but went south just before we got there.

Pratincole dip

25:th of October
In the afternoon, the Black-winged Pratincole who have spent about a month here, reappears by Hahns cottages along the lighthouse road, just a km north of the lighthouse at Ottenby. Unfortunately we dip it by a minute or so.

onsdag 22 oktober 2008

Plumed and prominent

21:st of October 2008
It is truly amazing that there is still so much nocturnal activity going on in nature this late in autumn this far north. We are 8 people performing what might just be this year´s last moth-night. It´s chilly but not cold and the main target species is Plumed Prominent, a hairy little creature with strikingly long, furry antennae. We encounter one (!) Other species we attract to our mercury-litten canvas this evening are November Moth, Autumnal Moth, Winter Moth, Northern Winter Moth, Juniper Carpet, The satellite, etc. Quite amazing!

Furry beast

Am I on audition for the next follow-up to the Adams family? It...? Plumed Prominent (Fjäderbärare in swedish).

December Moth

Actually one of the most common species on the canvas tonight.

El toro

Full frontal, this little creature resembles more a little bull ready for fight, still a December Moth though. (Poppelspinnare in Swedish)

Mottled Umber

tisdag 14 oktober 2008

Ural Owl in broad daylight

Some days things more extraordinary than other happens. Today was one of them. I was busy driving to collect stuff for a tourism-fair in Posnan, Polan, when a Ural Owl appeared posted on a clearing in the forest near the Black River Valley. I got out and approached it down to 10 meters before it finally took off. An abnormal behaviour, that in worst case could be due to starvation. Ural owls don´t almost ever perch in the open in daytime. I think I´ve seen that perhaps only twice in my life ver apart from at nestsites.
At the "Nutcracker Inn", 4 birds approached me instantly as I gave out hazelnuts to the. Such charming birds!

onsdag 8 oktober 2008

The heat is on

8:th of October 2008
It´s a busy time for the Nutcrackers at our feeding station. Today no less than 6 of them were there together. Sven & Berit Lång saw it and took the picture. A sparrowhawk was there several times and for a second one of the crackers and the hawk sat on the same boulder, just a few feet from each other.

söndag 5 oktober 2008

Feeding season started

The feeding season have started with Nutcrackers and Jays, Woodpeckers and forest tits, coming to the hazelnuts, acorns and seeds we put out. Sven & Berit Lång kindly submits this picture on one of the more tame Jays we´ve had lately.

torsdag 2 oktober 2008

The lodge

1:st of October
After a great, social sauna with outdoor baths last night, we wake up to fog and frost on the hotel lawn. Indeed struck by autumn!
But we enjoy the vast forests of Bergslagen and drive through the Wolf territories and feel the excitement of just sharing air with them. We stop at one of the biggest Beaver lodges I´ve ever seen. Just have a look!

Last day of the summer?

30:th of September 2008
The sun is shining warm from a clearblue sky, Dragonflies and Butterflies are very active at Sikfors herrgård in Hällefors, where I pay a visit for a network-meeting with other Swedish tourism-companies involved with natur- and wildlife tourism. Check out their websites on the links & partner page on birdsafarisweden.com.
Blue Hawkers and Black Darters are hunting the lakesides and the sunny side of the garden offers great views of Commas, Brimstones, Small Tortoiseshells and a really fresh Red Admiral. Could it be hatched recently?