I returned on Monday evening from four nights at Falsterbo Bird Observatory, southern Sweden. Known to many as a unique destination for raptor migration with hundreds sometimes thousands of raptors moving through each day around this time of year.
Early mornings were soundtracked by constant Tree Pipits and Thunbergi Yellow Wagtails wth high flying flocks of Common Crossbills and occasional Tree Sparrows too. Sparrow Hawks were all over the place during the hours of daylight.
The day before we arrived was the first ‘Big Day’ of the season, many birds would have crossed the sea already and things were fairly quiet during our stay, however almost day long sky watching sessions were the most rewarding I’ve ever had, with hundreds of Common and Honey Buzzards, many Red kite, Ospreys, Marsh Harriers and the Local White Tailed Eagles putting in a handful of appearances over the peninsular. A Flock of 32 White Storks were also a perk, White Stork is a relatively good bird for Falsterbo.
Juvenile Honey Buzzards (above), pose occasional ID problems, resembling Common Buzzard from a distance. But Jizz and here the three barred tail pattern, the lack of a pale breast band few other measurements rule out Common.
We were fairly unlucky with the weather and lack of big numbers. However a Juvenile Pallid Harrier, picked up at Hunting height on the Heath was ample reward for the few periods of empty sky.
These birds are coming through the peninsular almost everyday in late August and early September. This individual was mobbed by a Hobby and gained height rapidly allowing these distant record shots.
Passerines were never thick on the ground. A couple of Pied Flys, few Redstarts, many Spotted Flycatchers (or Grå Flugsnappare in Swedish, a bird that many houses have historically incorporated nesting opportunities within the architecture, as they eat Mosquitoes, Love that) Willows and a Wood Warbler, and this first year Red-Backed Shrike.
Nutcrackers put in a few appearances , with three birds first seen from the mound. The same, possibly, three were seen again over the heath and then another two so possibly five birds were around in total.
Other highlights were a couple of Juvenile Caspian Gulls amongst the few Argentatus Herrings on the point, two Caspian Terns low and calling aswell as wood and Curlew Sandpipers, summer plumaged Grey Plover, Spotted Redshaks…etc. Basically great views of great birds, a general good vibe, great people and I will certainly return.
Thanks To Laurence P and Paul C for good birding and great company