söndag 27 december 2009

Nutcrackers in snow

27:th of December 2009
–10° Celsius and a promising sunrise on a clear blue sky. Well we get out and see a White-tailed Eagle, some 16 Black Grouse in treetops and end up on "the Nutcracker Inn" – the great little forest clearing where I feed the forest birds. Today they attend and Nutcrackers are the scenestealers together with a bunch of tits, (including 5 Long-tailed Tits) Nuthatches, Redpolls, Common Crossbills (in the trees) and 2 Great-spotted Woodpeckers. One of the Nutcrackers is doing a whole vocal little serenade for us. They have such a lot of charming sounds. A good meal on an open fire makes the day. Picture by Glyn Sellors. Thanks mate!

lördag 26 december 2009

Christmas eve walk

24:th of December 2009
Christmas eve is a good day for a walk along the river. A couple of Starlings, Siskins, and Redpolls are basically all the birds we see, but a lot of pretty houses with gardens along the river is a nice postcard picture anyway. Merry Christmas people!

Norwegian Woods

22:nd of December 2009
Two days before Christmas and yet another cold, brilliant day starting with –15° C, frost and sunshine. These norwegian tourists are sure impressed and happy to see all the snow (as if they didn´t have any themselves?)

Moose´s rear

22:nd of December 2009
Speaking of elusive animals... Elk or Moose isn´t so easy to see in wintertime, so we are quite excited to stumble upon 3 bulls in the forest – one of which wears a crown (haha), I mean antlers. For the camera they only show the rear.

Goldfinch in frost

22:nd of December 2009
A Goldfinch is feeding in the frost by the roadside. Regarding my tiny lense it´s at least something.

måndag 21 december 2009

The year´s darkest day

21:st of December 2009
Today it is the darkest day of the year. In swedish it is called midvintersolståndet, meaning the "midwintersunstand". Despite that fact it´s been another brilliant, cold day with frost covering everything, creating beautiful scenery in the landscape. Especially when the sun broke through in the afternoon. We had some more snow yesterday and the Stockholm area even got plenty. Hawfinches, Bullfinch and Chaffinch looked absolutley stunning in the frost at the feeding station this morning. I await some pictures from a visiting bird photographer. Meanwhile just a solitary tree in sunset and –11° C.

söndag 20 december 2009

Buzzards and "Sibiricus" Shrikes

20:th of December 2009
For the 2:nd time this week I see Common Buzzard feeding on fat I´ve ut out for Woodpeckers and passerines. This time in my garden in Fläckebo. This means there must be little to eat for them. However the 2 Short-eared Owls at lake Gnien were seen catching voles yesterday and there´s plenty of rodent tracks in the snow in the forest today. Hawk Owl still present in Upland too. A "vole forecast" published the other day predicts an upswing in swedish vole populations for 2010.
Another interesting thing is that Finland and Sweden have seen an influx of Sibiricus-type Great Grey Shrikes lately. So look out for shrikes with a brown tinge to breast and even upperparts. A small white handpatch, barred underparts and a small-headed impression also seem to be common features of these birds. Have a look at Richard Ek´s pictures for instance!

Winter Starlings

20:th of December 2009
Today 3 starlings showed up on my backyard feeding station downtown. I only started it for the season 3 days ago so that´s good, but it is in fact only the 2:nd time ever I´ve seen them here in winter. Last time (some 10 years ago) was a funny case, because they just fed on some leftovers from a carrot/ potatoe hash cake i had made and just put out on the balcony. After having finished them they left never to return despite all the other good stuff I put out for them. Let´s see how they´ll do this time. Today I instantly went out with bits of cheese, crumbs of bread, boiled egg and some red currants I found in the freezer. They did return so hopefully they´ll stay for a little longer these charming birds. Blackbirds and Fieldfares are around too with all the berries there is to eat for them. The picture was taken in november when Starlings were still around in numbers.

fredag 18 december 2009

Hawk Owl and other owls

18:th of December 2009
Another cold, sunny and brilliant day with temperatures desending down to –17° Celsius. It´s getting cold! Nothing special from my horizon today except for a Rough-legged Buzzard, some Hawfinches and Waxwings, but good news is that a Hawk Owl is residing in Uppland not far away from us. The bird has been present for a few days now and it´s not the only report of winter Owls in the nearby, Short-eared Owl was reported from Lake Gnien in Västmanland today. A Snowy Owl was reported briefly in Dalarna the other day so look out! Glyn Sellors took the picture of last years Hawk Owl at Djuprudan, Uppland.

Snowy views

17:th of December
After two days of snowfall we now have a layer of about 25 cm and a lot of snow on the trees and –10° C. Today the sun shines and even if it´s in a very low orbit, with sundown already at 2 o´clock in the afternoon, it´s a brilliant, and welcome light. We see some good birds on our feeding stations like Hawfinch, Nutcrackers, Crested tits, and yesterday there where Starlings and Chaffinches, which are not som common here in the north in wintertime. Just outside the window we can also enjoy a flock of beautiful Goldfinches.

Winter arrives

15:th of December 2009
Snow falls, some Black Grouse sits in Birch trees on my way up to the valley and Whooper Swans are still hanging around in open streams but there is worry in the flocks, they can feel the cold and the northerly winds. Large flocks of Fieldfares are still roaming about but there are still plenty berries on the Ashes for the late arriving Waxwings and hopefully Pine Grosbeaks.

måndag 7 december 2009

Waxwings and Isabelline Wheatear

7:th of December 2009
Back to dreary, miserable weather. By the way an Isabelline Wheatear was found in Uppland, not so far away yesterday and is still there today. I enjoy the fact that several flocks of Waxwings have arrived to the city, 150 of them on my own backyard. Such nice birds!

Moon upon frost

2:nd of December 2009
The day is absolutely brilliant and I spend it in a forest clearing doing a course in outdoor cooking together with some 25 other people. Crossbills and Crested– and Willow Tits make us company. On the way home the moon rises over the frosty landscape. It´s just so pretty.

Frosty morning

2:nd of December 2009
Yesterday we had the first clear, sunny day for at least a week. Last night came the cold. It was – 10° C this morning and the landscape is covered with frost, and the lakes with ice. As I drive north through the valley the moon descends and as I reach lake Rörbo, frosty and white, the sun rises, beautifully!
A couple of Swans are lingering in a pool of open water, but during the day flock after flock of Whoopers and Geese fly south.