6-12 October 2001

Jeff Price

Localities visited:

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.

Species lists:


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

© The Travelling Naturalist 2001