Hjälstaviken 2012/03/26

Weather: Dry – 6°c to 10°c – Medium to Heavy wind easing off throughout the day, partial cloud in morning clearing up towards the end of the day.

Started off around 10:45 at the south end of Hjälstaviken briefly checking out the reeds at what is called the “Långa WWF-spången”. It’s a wooded walkway lifted above the ground that runs straight through the reed beds, fantastic area most of the year.

Alan Dalton and myself were hoping for a Bearded Tit (resident bird around the reeds), instead we had pretty much everything but, 2 White-tailed Eagles circled the area and at times pretty close giving us both great views in really nice light.

Havsörn - Hjälstaviken

1 of the 2 adult White-tailed Eagles circling upon arrival

Other birds around were 2 Common Buzzards, a Linnet, 2 Reed Buntings, Greylag flying over landing towards the north, Goosander, Coot, Blue Tits, Great Tits, 6 Cormorants and several Black-headed Gulls.

We done the usual and walked up to the bird tower (easiest way to the tower is from the north, there is a parking area and a large path straight down to the tower).

5 photos pieced together, view of geese in the fields behind the tower

All the ice had melted, several ducks around – Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Teal, Wigeon, Coot, Mute Swans in the distance, Mallards and a single Great Crested Grebe.

More birds seen or heard around were Meadow Pipit calling, Skylarks, Herring Gulls, 2 Gadwall, Raven Lapwing and Siskin.

Now to the geese, I very much wanted to see a Pink-footed Goose after missing it last time and I was hoping for some photos of White-fronted Goose.

We counted as many as 29 White-fronted Goose, a good 300 Greylag, maybe 50-60 Bean Goose, Canada Goose, Barnacle Goose, a leucistic Greylag and a probable Canada x Barnacle Goose (common hybrid around the stockholm area).

First views of White-fronted Geese together with Greylag just off the tower.

We had fantastic views of Geese flying from water to fields and back and forth for a good hour or so.

What I was after - just 1 of many good photos

Small groups of Common Crane arriving in the area, Hjälstaviken will be covered in Cranes not long from now.

3 Common Buzzards around, 2 displaying, flying in pretty close at times.

North of lake seemed to be holding the Bean Geese, not as many down towards the tower.

2 Pink-footed Geese at the end of the day, they seemed to be with the Bean Geese and the odd Graylag at the North of the lake.

A leucistic Greylag Goose - seen weeks before.
I also seen one the year before around the same time, maybe the same? Who knows...

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Hjälstaviken – 2012/03/11

A few days behind but here is the write up on a quite interesting trip to Hjälstaviken just outside of Stockholm.

Met up with Alan Dalton and we started off at the north of the lake where lots of geese had been gathering the days before. Off to flying start with several new birds for the year, Skylark, Starling, Bean Goose, Greylag Goose and at least 4 White-fronted Goose. We then moved down the road a little to Lingbokullen and checked out the same geese, this time counting 6 White-fronted Goose. A few other birders and Alan managed to catch a Pink-footed Goose as it landed but it soon disappeared and wasn’t re-found, I will have to wait to find one another day.

Bean Goose

4 of the 600+ Bean Goose in the area

3 White-fronted Goose - Anser albifrons

We then continued to move down the lake and got several Skylark, 4 Ravens and my first Swedish Rook (seen more than enough of them in the UK but never over here).

Raven - Corvus corax

Whooper Swan - Cygnus cygnus

Other birds seen around were, Blue Tit, Great Tit, White-tailed Eagle, 6 Common Buzzards, 2 Whooper Swans, 1 Goldeneye, Nuthatch, Lapwing, Hooded Crow, Jackdaw, 1 Siskin, 1 Marsh Tit and Nuthatch.

Greylag Goose - Anser anser

Canada Goose - Branta canadensis

Not a very good day for photographs but a good day never the less.