Friday, 27 April 2012

Grim up North

With spring late to arrive here in Central Sweden it's been a slow couple of weeks bird wise. The main work at the moment comprises of wetland surveys and Starling nest box checks. The wetland surveys however are very enjoyable and there's always the hint of mystery at what might turn up? I was surveying some marshland last week and here I came across an oddity, not a big rare in terms of British or even Swedish birding but a 3cy Caspian Gull was the first record for Kvismaren and the first I've seen in a while. The Ferruginous duck is still present on the reserve looking rather smart amongst the Tufted's and many other ducks are starting to move through in good numbers now. Goldeneye, Pochard, Teal and Wigeon mainly with well over 1000 of the latter two species.
Wintry wetland survey.

With help arriving this week (Maggie from Germany) we were able to put up some large nest boxes around the reserve. These boxes are mainly for Goldeneye and Tawny Owl although lots of Starlings seemed interested whilst we were putting them up. It's too late this year for the Tawny's but the Goldeneye's are still passing through, pairing up and looking for nest sites.

Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) Box
We've also caught a few birds this past couple of weeks, nothing mega in terms of numbers but it's nice to pass the time watching mist nets (even though they're often empty). Highlights include a cracking male Kestrel and today a Woodpigeon (not a rarity, but not often caught). A Long-eared owl has been seen around the house for the past 3 days and we've flushed it from the side of net rides more times than I care to recall! Hopefully it'll either jump into a net on it's own soon, or I'll set up the big nets and annoy it until it's caught.

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) 2cy Male

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