Friday, July 1, 2016

Sweden, June 2016 - garden beasts

Eurasian Elk (or Moose if you prefer), watching us eat breakfast, watching it eat breakfast
Amity and I have just returned from a mighty fine ten days or so in Sweden - a country which we love and have been lucky to visit various times (although not for some years) - and no, we really didn't want to come back, and yes, we would've stayed there if we could have. The trip was mostly about humans, specifically dear friends and their wonderful kids, and hence the opportunities to chase birds and wildlife were largely incidental, but there was still plenty of nature to enjoy.

Roe Deer, another close-up garden visitor - all were noticeably paler and more ginger-coloured than ours
We spent the first five days out in the sticks east of Ängelholm - out in the sticks in the true Swedish sense, hidden away via miles of tracks through a wonderfully mixed, expansive forest - with Paul and Äsa and their irresistible firecracker of a daughter, 20-month-old Marianne. But for a few hours birding around coastal NW Skåne and a day trip to Malmö, it was all about the idyllic homestead - and the equally idyllic surroundings of the garden, adjoining forest tracks and nearby clearings.

After arriving long after dark, catching up and drinking well into the early hours (and thus past dawn), we were woken from our bed in our 18th century cottage (more of that later) by Paul casually announcing "guys, there's an Elk in the garden", which kind of set the tone for the trip.