Champions of the Flyway!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Sweden, 2019 - With Friends Like These....

... who needs birds?

Some of the best, and least uptight, birder-ornithologists you'll ever meet
In truth, the Falsterbo Bird Show was just as much about the people (if not more so), and what a bunch of sunny souls... old and new friends and good, good times.

Identity theft
"Look, there's another hundred Red-foots"
The lighthouse garden - Sophie (centre) still its ringing custodian after many decades
Youth team 
Bjorn inspiring the next generation... over the course of the Bird Show, many hundreds of schoolkids got first-hand experience of ringing and migration  
The lighthouse garden just after dawn
Måns demonstrating the new Swarovski BinoMug

Vismigging at the lighthouse

Spouse misuse of the migration observation deck
The venue for the bird show, a stone's throw from the beach and raptors streaming over
The roof observation deck at the Bird Show
More deck misuse - although she did wake up to watch a Red-foot circle over her head for 30 seconds before nodding off again
Bjorn and daughter Louisa leading the Bird Bingo!
Part of the bird show, from the roof, before it got busy....
A spot of birding away from the crowds

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Sweden, 2019 - Falsterbo Raptorama

Familiar perhaps, but still arguably the star bird of the trip - the spectacle of hundreds of Sparrowhawks on the move at Falsterbo is one of the most awe-inspiring aspects of visible migration there....
No need to be alarmed - this one has a full crop and is therefore unlikely to try and eat these birders
Raptor-wise, it wasn't just Honey-buzzards... over the course of our trip, we had 16 species, and Falsterbo provided the perfect backdrop and context against which to enjoy their respective migrations.

Red Kites were a regular presence.... 
... and we had several (much scarcer) Black Kites moving through
Ospreys migrating together
A juvenile Red-footed Falcon speeds south along the coast past the lighthouse
Osprey heading out to sea with a loose flock of Honey-buzzards
Another Red-foot - this one over the viewing roof at the Bird Show

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Sweden, 2019 - Falsterbo, Honey

Falsterbo and Honey-buzzards go together like being British and aiming a pistol at your foot, and the Bird Show is timed perfectly to coincide with a peak in the early season migration of this and other iconic long-distance migrants, exiting Scandinavia and funnelling down the ever-narrowing peninsula of the observatory. It's a spectacle we first (and last) enjoyed this time 13 (!) years ago, and once again, it didn't disappoint....

With the iconic lighhouse as a backdrop
Each day provided great views of birds high or low, alone or in flocks, successfully sea-crossing or U-turning, from all points (the lighthouse, Nabben, the viewing platform at the Bird Show, over the supermarket....), and we had triple figures on most days - with many hundreds on the biggest day, 31st.

Classic 'wife's head in the way' shot

U-turning over the golf course

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Filey-Lovin' Spoonful

I see Spoonbills annually locally (and with increasingly frequency over recent years), but rarely do they stay for more than a few hours - so this bird which continues to frequent local wetlands is exceptional to say to say the least, having stuck it out for two months....