Bird watching trip report


Introduction

One week of bird watching on Öland and I will spend a few days of bird watching in Skåne before going for my Course on Öckerö 27th of May. So I have booked three different hotels in Skåne and I will start at Österlen then move to Skanör/ Falsterbo before moving the the NW part of Skåne.


My Guide

No Guide required in Skåne


Land transportation


• Rented car
I have rented a Volvo from HERZ

Accommodations

Brösarps Gästgifveri, Österlen, Skåne: 17 May to 19 May




Weather

Sweden in April and May, could be summer and it can be winter, or anything in between. In the South I hope to have sunshine and the summer in good progress. And I might be lucky Skåne and Öland and I can walk around in shorts and shirt. But it can as well be winter and I need to pack a lot of clothes this time.

And coming to Skåne and Öland I might be lucky and I can walk around in shorts and shirt. But it can as well be winter and I need to pack a lot of clothes this time.

Weather in the spring

Visiting in the spring time and you really need to pack a huge bag. In the morning it is below zero so I have packed full winter equipment, parka jacket, warm hat and gloves. And of course warm socks. In the late morning you will have to change the winter clothing to “spring” clothing, a wind breaker.

If it is sunshine the temperature is easily reaching 20°C at lunch time and that can easily be almost 30°C. If you have a car it is no problem, just keep everything in the car and change as the day proceeds and you ae ready for any weather changes you will run in to.


South of Sweden - Climate & Temperature
Pictures from www.climatemps.com

South of Sweden - Climate & Temperature - Click picture for full size picture
Pictures from www.climatemps.com


Equipment

Canon 5D Mk. III and Canon 5D Mk. IV
Canon EF 28-300/3,5-5,6 L IS USM
Canon EF 70-200/2,8L IS II USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens
Canon Speedlite 600EXII-RT flash
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II
Panasonic HC-W585 video camera

Sound recorder
ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder


References/Resources

www.natursidan.se Excellent page, but in Swedish only

Visit the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and choose between Swedish and English

Naturum - visitor centres in nature - A naturum is a visitor centre with activities and exhibitions, located at several of NaturumSweden’s national parks and nature reserves. Here, you will be welcomed by friendly, knowledgeable staff who will answer your questions and guide you through the area’s sights of interest.

List of Swedish National Parks (With information about every park in English) from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, click HERE.

Vattenriket

eBird - Find birding hotspots with bird checklists from all over the world

Avibase - is an extensive database information system about all birds of the world, containing over 25 million records about 10,000 species and 22,000 subspecies of birds, including distribution information for 12,000 regions, taxonomy, synonyms in several languages

Cloudbirders - Read birding trip reports from all over the world

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND


Fatbirder is a fantastic web page with information from, I think every country in the world. My first stop when I plan for my bird watching trips. There is information about locations and guides, well, pretty much everything you need to know. Sometimes this is the only place I need to visit to plan my trip.

BirdingPal - find a birding Guide around the world

BirdingPal


And the web page you cannot live without. I have been around the world looking for birds. I usually have a Guide, but sometimes it is not possible to find a Guide. So, well, I have lost count onhow many times I have had help to ID birds at BirdForum. Joining this forum have been very very good for my bird watching experience.

www.birdforum.net

ClimaTemps.com is the place to learn about the worlds climates with more than 4000 locations documented. Each aspect of the climate is represented using colour enhanced tables and professional graphs so that data can easily be compared by switching between locations in different tabs in your browser.

Collins Bird Guide

The Collins Bird Guide is a field guide to the birds of the Western Palearctic.

Its authors are Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney, Dan Zetterström and Peter J. Grant, and it is illustrated by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström (with two plates of North American passerines contributed by Larry McQueen). It has been described as "undoubtedly the finest field guide that has ever been produced", and "the last great bird book of the 20th century".

It was originally published in Swedish and Danish in 1999, and in English in hardback in the same year, and later in paperback. A large-format English edition has also been produced, as has a German and Dutch edition. The first edition was translated to 14 European languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch and German.

A second edition, revised and enlarged, was published in January 2010. A series of updates and corrections were made in 2015, with no change to the edition number.

The cover of the first edition, in all formats, depicts a barn owl. On the second edition, this was replaced by an arctic tern.

Collins Bird Guide
Cover of the first edition
Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15538546


Eleven pages of introductory material are followed by the book's main content: 366 pages of text and colour paintings. The text for each species gives brief status notes, followed by a section detailing identification, and concludes with a section on voice. Accompanying most species accounts is a small colour map showing breeding, wintering and migrant range.

The guide is also available as a paid-for app, for iPhone and Android devices. The app includes all of the text and images from the print edition, as well as audio recordings. Additional data can be bought separately; the first such package being a set of distribution maps for 271 species, from the British Trust for Ornithology's Bird Atlas 2007–11.

All versions cover Europe, North Atlantic islands, much of North Africa and the Middle East.

Most of the species covered in the main part of the guide are regular breeding, wintering or migrant species in its area of coverage, although some vagrants are also included. There are additional sections giving brief accounts of (a) vagrants and (b) introduced breeding species and species recorded only as escapes.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Many bird watchers around the world know this book simply as “The Svensson”




Naturum - visitor centres in nature

Naturum

Naturum
Map over Sweden with all the naturum marked. Illustrator: Hans Sjögren.
Click HERE for bigger map

A naturum is a visitor centre with activities and exhibitions, located at several of Sweden’s national parks and nature reserves. Here, you will be welcomed by friendly, knowledgeable staff who will answer your questions and guide you through the area’s sights of interest.

All naturum visitor centres offer guided walks and demonstrations, slide-shows and theme nights. You will also find literature and multimedia here to immerse yourself in. In addition, there are brochures and information boards offering tips on beautiful nature trails and footpaths.

The nature experience starts at naturum
At naturum, you can learn almost everything there is to know about the region’s plants, birds, insects and animals. You can also learn about the cultural history and geology of the area as well as people’s relationship with nature and their impact on it. Information about the area’s national parks and nature reserves and why we need to protect and take care of our nature can also be found here. Join us on an activity in nature!

Opening hours and programmes
All naturum are open during the summer and many are open most of the year. Special demonstrations for school classes and other groups can be booked throughout the year.

Discover Sweden’s national parks


Naturum
The map shows the locations of Sweden´s 30 national parks
Click HERE for bigger map

There are 29 national parks in Sweden. Find more information about each national park in the alphabetical list on Swedish Environmental Protection Agency´s web page, click HERE.


Places to visit


Vattenriket

Kristianstads Vattenrike covers an area some 35 x 35 km in size that includes a variety of natural environments. The River Helge å flows through the landscape into the Baltic Sea, though wetlands and seasonally flooded grasslands, past leafy forests and sandy arable land. These diverse natural habitats are home to a wide range of animals and plants.

The naturum Vattenriket visitor centre has informative displays and nature interpreters to tell you about the birds, fishes and insects that are characteristic of the area. You can also take part in a variety of fascinating activities here, or simply relax with coffee and cakes and enjoy the view.

From the visitor centre it’s easy to get to the 21 designated visitor sites in Kristianstads Vattenrike. The sites’ information boards, boardwalks and birdwatching towers enable you to enjoy what nature has to offer in all sorts of ways all year round. There are also opportunities for swimming, hiking, birdwatching and barbecuing in the open air.

In 2005 Kristianstads Vattenrike was awarded biosphere reserve status. Since then it has served as a model for sustainable development under the motto “Benefiting nature and people”. There are some 600 biosphere reserves worldwide. Kristianstads Vattenrike is the oldest of the five biosphere reserves in Sweden.

Biosphere reserves

Biosphere reserves are areas comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. Each reserve promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. Biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments and remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located. Their status is internationally recognized.

Biosphere reserves are ‘Science for Sustainability support sites’ – special places for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems, including conflict prevention and management of biodiversity.

Biosphere reserves have three interrelated zones that aim to fulfil three complementary and mutually reinforcing functions:

The core area(s) comprises a strictly protected ecosystem that contributes to the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation.

• The buffer zone surrounds or adjoins the core areas, and is used for activities compatible with sound ecological practices that can reinforce scientific research, monitoring, training and education.

• The transition area is the part of the reserve where the greatest activity is allowed, fostering economic and human development that is sociocultural and ecologically sustainable.

Places to visit in Vattenriket
1. Naturum Vattenriket
2. Aosehus
3. Balsberget
4. Degeberga backar
5. Ekenabben
6. Fjällmossen
7. Forsakar
8. Gropah&arin;let
9. Hercules
10. Håslövs ängar
11. Karpalundsdammarna
12. Kanalhuset
13. Lillöomr&arin;det med Lillöborgen
14. Lägsta Punkten
15. Mosslunda
16. Näsby fält
17. Pulken
18. Storkcenter
19. S&arin;gnnarna
20. Vramsån
21. Äsums ängar
22. Äspet



Äspet

Place #22 to visit in Vattenriket:
Äspet is beside the sea at Åhus. In addition to the fantastic sandy beach there is also a shallow lagoon that attracts endless numbers of birds. Two birdwatching towers overlook the lagoon. Further inland is the Kronoskogen recreation area, criss-crossed by numerous forest paths. There are parking and toilet facilities by the beach.

Paths lead north from the car park to the birdwatching towers, while 150 metres to the south there is a barbecue site close to the road among the sand dunes.

Directions: Äspet is on the south bank of the river opposite the docks in Åhus.

Follow the road called Åvägen and then Snickarehaksvägen to the beach. Bus 551 connects Åvägen with the centre of Åhus.

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Äspet

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Map over Äspet - Click HERE for full size map

There are forest and beach and a few parking areas. Two birding towers overlooking the Lagoon Korran. Well marked walking trails takes you around the nature reserve. The “ORANGE” trail goes out to the bird watching tower. The tower is to far away for taking pictures, bird watching only.

There are waders and sea birds along the trail to the bird watching tower. And on the other side of the trail you have the beach and there are some birds to be seen as well.

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Follow the signs

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Drive along the small forest road

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
It is a beautiful forest

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Reaching the first parking

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Parking area

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Passing the WC for the walk trail to the bird watching tower

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Following the ORANGE walk trail

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Following the ORANGE walk trail

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Following the ORANGE walk trail

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Walking along the beach

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Walking along the beach

There are several trails in the area and from the parking you have 2 colour coded trails. The orange and the red and white. The red and white leads you to a bird watching platform. Again, pretty useless for a bird photographer. I continued past the bird watching platform, the red and white trail ends at the platform.

I continue and I´m soon on a dust road and I turn right and walk out towards the sea side. Reeds on one side and Lagoon Korran and there were many birds.

Lagoon

noun a stretch of salt water separated from the sea by a low sandbank or coral reef.

• the enclosed water of an atoll.

• N. Amer. & Austral./NZ a small freshwater lake near a larger lake or river.

• an artificial pool for the treatment of effluent or to accommodate an overspill from surface drains during heavy rain.


Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Walking along red and white coloured trail

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Walking along red and white coloured trail

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Bird watching platform at the end of the red and white coloured trail

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Walking towards the sea side

There were a lot of birds on the dust road going east just north of Lagoon Korran. There were many birds coming as soon as I had stopped the car on the turning space. Using the car as a hide is perfect, stop for just a few minutes and the birds are soon back.

Second parking area is in the forest and from there you have walk trails in to the forest. The area is well known for its Goldcrest and Firecrests. All the parking are almost empty, but be careful during the summer. They will be full when the beaches are full.

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Entrance to the forest

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Trails through the forest

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Trails through the forest

My eBird checklist from Äspet, click HERE


Bird checklist

I never use any bird lists, but since I try to make it in to Cloudbirders. A very helpful site when planning your birding trips. And if I use their service, of course I want to contribute as well.

Well, my bird watching trip reports was rejected. I posted 2 that was rejected. So I started to take ideas from the reports I found on Cloudbirders. They have Bird checklists so I will put them here but they will not be used as bird checklists. I will post my birds on eBird and on my different “BIRDS THAT I HAVE OBSERVED” pages.

But the list can come in handy to find out the local name of the bird etc. And Avibase have a list with pictures and sounds, excellent!

So I will post bird checklists here and if my Guides provide me with checklists I will also post them here.

Cloudbirders


Avibase - Bird Checklists of the World

Skåne bird checklist from Avibase, click HERE

Avibase is providing you with bird checklists from all over the world. And I´m impressed by their web page. Select country and area and you get the bird checklist. Like the PDF files I got from Avibase on the links above. You also get the checklist with pictures and sounds.

The best part is that you get the local names of the birds and the online checklist gives the names in English plus the language you have selected. But it seems like the PDF cannot handle some alphabet.

For example the Japanese language so it is blank in the PDF checklist. But it worked excellent with Swedish. But you get them in the local language on the online version.


Bird list

I only listed birds I have got on picture before I started with eBird in November 2019. Now I record all the birds that I can identify. Before that see the DAY TO DAY reports and my lists of observed birds in different countries.

And you can visit my list of “Birds I have seen in Sweden

My eBird checklists can be found HERE


Report


Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Today´s track

Waking up in my room at Brösarps Gästgifveri at 3 thirty. I looked out the window first thing and it was fog with almost zero visibility. I had my tea and oatmeal and I left Brösarps Gästgifveri around 5 thirty.

Driving through a foggy but beautiful landscape and even though I enjoyed the morning I was a little worried about the bird watching with the fog.

Driving through Äspet Nature Reserve and I spot a deer next to the road. I took a chance and I stopped the car and I pleasantly surprised when the deer remained munching on fresh leafs. So I would take a few pictures before I continued.

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Deer next to the road at Äspet Nature Reserve

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Deer next to the road at Äspet Nature Reserve

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Deer next to the road at Äspet Nature Reserve

I left the deer behind and I continued towards the parking area. I was alone so there was plenty room at the parking area. I start my eBird app at 06:20 and I start to walk out towards the bird watching tower.
There are many birds in the wetlands on the way to the bird watching tower, but the fog. It was impossible to see the birds and to take any pictures. I reach the bird watching tower and there was not many birds to see.

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
I can see a Jackdaw and a Pied Avocet in the fog

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Two Pied Avocets in the fog

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Common Greenshank

I walk back to the car and there were a few cars and a group of people that turned out to be Nordöstra Skånes Fågelklubb out on an excursion. We talked a little and I told then what I had seen. I continued on the white and red coloured trail towards north to check out the second bird watching tower.

Walking along the trail next to the lagoon until I reach a dirt road and I turn right continue walking along the northern border of the lagoon. Walking along the dust road and I have a huge reed area on my left hand side and I have the lagoon on my right hand side. It is still very foggy so I need to get very close to the birds to get any pictures.

I see 2 Common Reed Buntings in the reeds and I give it a try to take some pictures.

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden - Common Reed Bunting, Emberiza schoeniclus, Sävsparv

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden - Common Reed Bunting, Emberiza schoeniclus, Sävsparv
Common Reed Bunting / Sävsparv

Tui on New Zealand


Tui on New Zealand

I reach the end of the dust road and I hear a bird in the bushes. I was instantly reminded about the Tui bird on New Zealand. It sounded almost as stepping in to a Mini Mart with the doorbell. I had no clue what it was, had never heard the bird before.

I made a recording and it turned out to be two birds, one Thrush Nightingale that kept hidden in the bushes. And one Common Whitethroat that was jumping around in the bushes and I was lucky to get some pictures of the bird.

Listen to the Thrush Nightingale / Näktergal

Remarks from the Recordist

Recorded with my ZOOM H5 Handy recorder. High Pass Filter applied Audacity

I heard a bird in the bushes and I was thinking about the Tui I recorded on New Zealand. It was a very strange sound. I made the recording and it is a Thrush Nightingale.

Thanks to Nordöstra Skånes Fågelklubb www.spoven.com for helping me identify the Nightingale together with the Common Whitethroat that we can hear in the recording as well. We can also hear the Common Whitethroat in recording XC484744



Listen to the Common Whitethroat / Törnsångare

Remarks from the Recordist

Recorded with my ZOOM H5 Handy recorder. High Pass Filter applied Audacity

I heard a bird in the bushes and I was thinking about the Tui I recorded on New Zealand. It was a very strange sound. I made the recording and it is a Thrush Nightingale as we can hear in recording XC484745

Thanks to Nordöstra Skånes Fågelklubb www.spoven.com for helping me identify the Nightingale together with the Common Whitethroat in the same bush


www.xeno-canto.org

Common Whitethroat, Sylvia communis, Törnsångare

Common Whitethroat, Sylvia communis, Törnsångare
Common Whitethroat / Törnsångare

Common Whitethroat, Sylvia communis, Törnsångare
Common Whitethroat / Törnsångare

Common Whitethroat, Sylvia communis, Törnsångare
Common Whitethroat / Törnsångare

Common Whitethroat, Sylvia communis, Törnsångare
Common Whitethroat / Törnsångare

I walk back to the car and now there was quite a few people and it turned out that it was Nordöstra Skånes Fågelklubb that had come back from the bird watching tower that I had visited earlier this morning.

I asked about the bird sound recording that I had made. He said it was a Common Whitethroat, the bird on the pictures above. I knew it was a Common Whitethroat but the recording was different. I told him to hang on for a few seconds and he would hear a strange sound, the “Tui” sound.

- That is a Thrush Nightingale.
AH!!! I could only see the Common Whitethroat and now I understood. I spotted a Common Whitethroat but heard a totally different sound and now I understood that it was two birds in the bush but I could only see one.

So my recoding was actually two birds. I said thank you and I took the car to drive to the next parking. The parking was full and I can imagine the parking here in the summer when the beaches are full of people.

I turned around and I parked at a parking lot at the forest. From the parking lot you have a few trails through the forest. I leave the car and parking behind walking in to the big “unknown” following one of the trails.

There were many different Warblers but no pictures. I walk around the forest looking for birds and by the time I was back at the car I had managed to get zero pictures.

I leave the parking driving along the road out from Äspet Nature reserve and my plan is to drive back along the sea front to reach the area where I had made the sound recording this very morning.

Bird watching at Äspet Nature Reserve in Skåne, Sweden
Deer next to the road at Äspet Nature Reserve

I pass another deer and I stop to try to get a picture before I continue. I see a small road down to the waterfront and I was disappointed. A small marina with some workshops and not possible to see any beach. I continued on the road and I ended up on the road I had walked this morning.

Driving along the road and I see a European Goldfinch sitting next to the road and there were several Barn Swallows and none of the birds bothered with me sitting in the car taking pictures. Coming to the end of the road and I parked the car in a position so I had overview over the road and the bushes where I had heard the Thrush Nightingale in the morning.

I have never seen a Thrush Nightingale before and I really hope to get a picture of the bird. With a song like I recorded this morning I just must see the bird before leaving Sweden.

European Goldfinch or Goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis, Steglits

Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica, Ladusvala

Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica, Ladusvala
Barn Swallow / Ladusvala

Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica, Ladusvala
Barn Swallow / Ladusvala

Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica, Ladusvala
Barn Swallow / Ladusvala

Spotted Flycatcher, Muscicapa striata, Grå flugsnappare

Western Yellow Wagtail, Motacilla flava, Gulärla

Greylag Goose with babies
Greylag Goose with babies

Common Greenshank
Common Greenshank

Common Greenshank
Common Greenshank

I was happy when I left Äspet Nature Reserve driving south. Thick fog and the bird pictures was not as good as I had been hoping for. Well, who knows? I might be back here again next time in Sweden. Now I will drive south and I will start to explore the bird life in Österlen.

But I am afraid that it will not be a very good afternoon with the fog. But I Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st hope for the best and you will find my Bird Watching Trip Report from Österlen HERE when the report is ready.


Bird watching trip report


       
                  


                                       

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