TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT
6-12 October 2001
Day 1: The late arrival left no time (or light) for any birding today. However the drive to the hotel was spent getting to know each other, and it was obvious that people were enjoying themselves.
Day 2: We began of course with a visit to the Ottenby Observatory, followed by our first visit to the south woods. After lunch we moved up the east coast to Enetri dump looking for migrants, further to Össby Harbour and then onto Gräsgårds Harbour. After witnessing the unforgettable sight and sound of hundreds of Cranes gathered on the fields, we then crossed the alvar (heath) to the west coast and visited Södra Möckleby, Hammarby and Eckelsudde (for shorebirds). Our day ended in Ottenby.
Day 3: This day was spent entirely on the east coast, visting Ottenby, Gårdby, Eketorp, Seby, Stenåsa, Triberga and Frösslunda - this was also our "foggy" day with bad visibility. However the bad visibility didn't prevent us from another two sightings of Pallid Harrier.
Day 4: Ottenby, the south woods and the tiny harbour of Össby kept us busy, most of the day. However the day's highlight(s) was the enormous spectacle of geese and Golden Plovers we experienced at Risingehamn just as the afternoon light was fading. Not a bad way to end the day.
Day 5: With torrential rain threatening in the south, we headed northeast to Kappeludden - a good decision. We had no rain to talk of and much better conditions than elsewhere on the island. From Kappeludden we headed south along the coast to Bläsingehamn and Frösslunda. Our day ended in the north woods of Ottenby.
Day 6: Following a dazzling spell at the south woods with more than 40 different species passing close by our watch point, we then proceeded to patrol the east coast thoroughly from Ottenby to Stenåsa, stopping at Gräsgård and Alby. Barnacle Goose numbers were huge today with an estimated 15,000+ seen.
Day 7: Our last day. We began of course with the large concentration and passage of birds at Ottenby, and slowly worked our way planewards along the west coast, visiting Grönhögen, Kalkstad, Färjestaden and Beijershamn. We completed our log at Kalmar Airport over a cup of coffee.
Weather: The weather was generally good and at times fairly warm 16ºC. However the winds mainly SW were not optimal for this island.
Black - throated Diver (Gavia arctica) Only 1 bird at Kappeludden.
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) Quite common in all coastal waters.
Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) Common
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) Fairly numerous around Ottenby
Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) A total of 14 birds seen on the last two days
Bewick's Swan (Cygnus columbianus) 2 birds seen at Beijershamn
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) Common in coastal waters
Greylag Goose (Anser anser) Fairly common
White - fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) Numbers increased during the tour with many migrating and staging flocks
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 2 birds seen at Beijershamn
Brent Goose (Branta bernicla) Small flocks of birds were very approachable at Ottenby.
Brent Goose (Branta bernicla hrota) One pale-bellied bird at Ottenby
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) Huge numbers mainly around Ottenby and on the east coast.
Wigeon (Anas penelope) Very common
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) Common
Gadwall (Anas strepera) As with the following two species - small numbers seen around Ottenby
Pintail (Anas acuta)
Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Teal (Anas crecca) Fairly common
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) Ottenby had a staging flock of about 100 birds
Scaup (Aythya marila) Only noticed around Ottenby
Eider (Somateria mollissima) Large numbers migrating
Long - tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis) Seen only fleetingly as single birds whizzed by out at sea
Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) Fairly common
Red - breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) Fairly common in coastal areas
Goosander (Mergus merganser) A family flock of 5-6 birds were present in the harbour at Färjestaden
Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus) A grand total of four first-year birds crossed our path. Fantastic!
Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) Singles seen here and there
Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) Singles seen here and there
Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) We saw, as always, hundreds of Sparrowhawks
Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) At least 11 birds seen - including one very dark individual juvenile.
Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus) 1 late migrating juvenile
Buzzard (Buteo buteo) Very common
Rough - legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus) Fairly common - in suitable habitat
White - tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus abicilla) Our tour started with birds at Ottenby - a total of 6 birds seen altogether
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Two brief glimpses of birds near Hammarby and Fröslunda
Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) Fairly common
Peregrine (Falco peregrinus) 2 birds seen at Ottenby
Merlin (Falco columbarius) 2 individuals
Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix) A total of 11 birds seen
Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) Yes
Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) One bird heard in the south woods at the pond
Coot (Fulica atra) Small flocks at Ottenby
Crane (Grus grus) Many seen, often in hundreds, throughout the tour
Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) Only 5 birds at Ottenby
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) Surprisingly 8 birds were seen at Ottenby on 10 October
Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) 6 birds present at Kappeludden
Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) Huge swarms present at many localities (perhaps 60,000 in all)
Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) Seen in ones and twos at several coastal localities
Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) Very common
Dunlin (Calidris alpina) Common
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) A dozen or so birds found hiding in plough furrows
Curlew (Numenius arquata) Here and there
Redshank (Tringa totanus) Very small numbers
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus) Singles here and there
Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) Singles
Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) Small numbers here and there
Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus) 1 bird almost trodden upon. Visible for the whole group.
Black - headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) Common
Common Gull (Larus canus) Common
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) Common
Great Black - backed Gull (Larus marinus) Common
Lesser Black - backed Gull (Larus fuscus) Singles
Guillemot (Uria aalge) One found dead
Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) Common
Stock Dove (Columba oenas) Very large numbers
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) We "twitched" a handful
Long - eared Owl (Asio otus) The Ottenby Observatory staff brought one individual over to our group.
Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) One female heard outside our hotel in the night
Kingfisher (Acedo atthis) One present near Hammarby
Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis) Fairly frequent around Ottenby
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) Very common - irruption species
Skylark (Alauda arvensis) Common
Woodlark (Lullula arborea) Small numbers
Swallow (Hirundo rustica) Singles almost daily
Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis) Singles
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) Common
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) Singles daily
Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) 10 birds on our last day
Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) Common
Dunnock (Prunella modularis) Only a few records
Robin (Erithacus rubecula) Very common
Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) Only one seen at Alby
Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) Singles here and there
Blackbird (Turdus merula) Common
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) Common
Redwing (Turdus iliacus) Common
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) Common
Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) Up to 30 seen
Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin) 2 birds at Ottenby
Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) Fairly numerous around Ottenby
Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) Here and there
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) Fairly numerous around Ottenby
Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) Huge numbers everywhere - irruption species
Red - breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva) The Ottenby Observatory staff brought one individual over to our group.
Bearded Tit (Panurus biarmicus) Birds heard and seen fleetingly at Risingehamn
Marsh Tit (Parus palustris) 1 bird at the south woods
Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus) Very numerous - irruption species
Great Tit (Parus major) Common
Long - tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) A small flock of white-headed birds seen at Ottenby
Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) One or two birds in the north woods.
Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) Fairly common
Red - backed Shrike (Lanius collurio) 2 individuals seen
Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor) At least 6 different birds
Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Very common
Rose - coloured Starling (Sturnus roseus) 1 juv. Near Södra Möckleby - "drive-in" species
Jay (Garrulus glandarius) Small numbers
Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes) Up to 5 different birds seen at the south woods
Magpie (Pica pica) Common
Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) Very common - a few birds exhibiting "soemmerringii" characteristics
Raven (Corvus corax) Fairly numerous
Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) Common
Rook (Corvus frugilegus) Common"ish"
Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) Common
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) Common
Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) Large flocks
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) Large flocks
Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) Seen twice at the hotel
Siskin (Carduelis spinus) Common
Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris) Common
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Common
Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) Fairly numerous
Mealy Redpoll (Carduelis flammea) Common - irruption species
Twite (Carduelis flavirostris) Birds seen on two occasions
Linnet (Carduelis cannabina) Common
Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) Small flocks here and there
Parrot Crossbill (Loxia pytyopsittacus) A total of five birds seen
Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) Common
Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) Only recorded near Hammarby
Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) Singles around hotel and elsewhere
Parti-coloured Bat (Vespertilio murinus) Singles around hotel and elsewhere
Fallow Deer (Dama dama) Common around Ottenby
Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) Small numbers along eastern side of the island
Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus) One or two seen
Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) One seen
Common Seal (Phoca vitulina) 3 seen at Ottenby
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) A few seen here and there