Sunday 4 September 2011

Falsterbo, Sweden

The birding just keeps getting better and better!
Yesterday I joined two birders for a day trip to Southern Sweden - our main destination was Falsterbo which is famous (among birders) for being one of, if not, the best raptor migration spot in all of Europe!
In the one day our group had 12 species of raptors, 19 species of shorebirds and ~95 species of birds in total!! That alone was more than satisfying but combined with the fact that 19 of those birds were lifers for me makes for an amazing day!

Falsterbo is very similar to Point Pelee (for any Canadian birders that are still reading this blog) - it is a point towards which the raptors are funneled before making the dreaded 25 km flight across the ocean to Southern Denmark. Not only that, the shorebirding is amazing.

A view of the point (can't really see much):

But these people can see some things:

And a glimpse of the birds:

After a good bit of shorebirding we drove to the main raptor migration spot - although we had already seen several raptors begin the crossing to Denmark.


Ready for battle:

At least 200 people sitting and waiting around for some megas to pass by! Not long after this a Pallid Harrier and Black Kite passed by - which are pretty rare birds for this part.

It was also nice to see several young birders and Klaus Olsen (a birding celebrity :p) casually hanging out.

The most common raptors were Sparrowhawks and Buzzards:

Favourite bird of the day: Bar-tailed Godwit
82 lifers in the past 2 weeks. My end goal = 103
118 birds in Europe. My end goal = 152
Admittedly it will only get harder from now, but I am pretty confident I will reach those numbers even if  I don't do much traveling outside of Scandinavia.

Some of the lifers from Sweden:
Eurasian Siskin (didn't realize this was a different species from the one in North America), Bar-tailed Godwit, Red Kite, Black Kite, Pallid Harrier, Eurasian Hobby, White-tailed Eagle, Common Cuckoo, Common Scoter (similar to our Black Scoter in Canada), Gray Wagtail, Common Crane, European Robin and Fieldfare.