Norra Järvafältet – 04/04/2012

What a glorious spring day, not a cloud in site, perfect blue skies, very little wind, +5°c. My wife was at the doctors conveniently near a top birding spot in Stockholm about 15 minutes on the train from Stockholm City so I tagged along, unfortunately for birding I had to take my soon to be 1 year old daughter in the pram, kind of restricts moving and walking in certain areas but it was still great. She even had some close encounters with Canada Geese and Mallards which she thought was wonderful (quack quack quack we talked as we watched them feeding).

Upon entering the reserve I seen in the corner of my eye an odd looking tree, perched on the top was a Common Snipe, first for the year. Took some long distance shots.

Common Snipe - Gallinago gallinago - Enkelbeckasin

Moved on further towards 30 m-kärret (a hot spot where the birders gather), last 2 days there had been 2 Rock Pipits on site and the day before Osprey (a spring arrival). I had at one stage 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers drumming, Long-tailed Tits and several Chaffinch calling.

No sign of the Rock Pipit at 30 m-kärret but not to worry I heard a Green Woodpecker in the distance, a few Lapwing, Starlings, Greylag Geese and Canada Geese. I decided to move on to the other side at Säby Strandäng, just as I walked away I spotted an Osprey flying right to where I previously stood (typical!). I quickly rushed back only to see everyone putting their cameras back down and looking rather pleased, the bird had flown away again.

Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus - Pilfink

Not much between there and Säby Strandäng other than Yellowhammer, Tree Sparrow, 3 more Long-tailed Tit and some Common Gulls flying around. Always best lighting there in the afternoon/evening, now I had the sun straight in my face when looking out to the water. I was hoping for a Black-throated Diver but I suspect it was further up in the lake (somewhere I couldn’t get to with the pram). I had some good views of a Sparrowhawk, an Osprey (first for the year) Wigeon and Teal (also new for the year), Mallards and a brief view of a male Shoveler before a White-tailed Eagle came over and not long after a female Goshawk came down in the middle of everything and lifted pretty much all the birds off the water, I later couldn’t relocate the Shoveler.

Sparrowhawk - Accipiter nisus - Sparvhök

White-tailed Eagle - Haliaeetus albicilla - Havsörn

Goshawk - Accipiter gentilis - Duvhök
Failed attacked on ducks or gulls.

Goshawk - Accipiter gentilis - Duvhök
Fleeing the scene - passing right in front of me

On the way back I stopped and grabbed some photos of the Tree Sparrows I passed earlier. Pretty good day with 29 species seen and 1 heard. Back again tomorrow for a full day out, should be fun!

Bro Skog – 2012/03/13

Took my usual stroll through the forest after dropping the kids off this morning, not a great deal around and after about 10 minutes the forest was full of kids from day care, 3 separate groups making it rather difficult to see much.

Red Squirrel

I did however come across 5 Red Squirrels in a small group of trees, 2 sat out the way eating pine cones and the other 3 had a blast running up and down the trees. I spent a good 45 minutes watching, photographing and filming then, has to be the cutest animal in the forest.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

Back to birds, I seen the following: Goldcrest, Nuthatch, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blue Tit, Great Tit, 2 Greenfinch, Raven, Hooded Crow, Jackdaw, several Herring Gulls flying over, Blackbird and some Bullfinch calling in the distance.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

Norra Järvafältet

Today Alan Dalton and I made our way to Norra Järvafältet but at the top/back side, I had never been there before and thought the whole trip was quite interesting. We started off at a place called Ravalen, carefully searching for a resident Tawny Owl that had been seen the day before in it’s usual hole with no luck. We then moved towards the winter feeding station this time checking for a female Brambling that has been there all winter but again no luck. Plenty of winter birds around though, Siskin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Yellowhammer, Bullfinch and Blackbird.

We then moved off in search of Hawfinch but no real luck there. From there we made our way to Fäboda in Norra Järvafältet to another winter feeding station, a good 20 minutes walk from Ravalen.

Nuthatch - Common all around feeders in the winter.

The main birds we both were aiming for was Crested Tit and Hawfinch.
Hawfinch were around but not visible, eventually I managed to catch my eye on one flying away from the tops of the trees. Then 2 Willow Tits feeding within 5 minutes of arriving and were still present when we left.

Willow Tit

1 of the 2 birds in the area

A single Crested Tit made a brief appearance before disappearing in to the forest, 3 Long-tailed Tits were also coming back and forth and I got what I consider my best photos of the species yet. Other birds around the feeder were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker (2), Siskin and Blackbird.

1 of 3 birds

On the way back we had a great view of a Green Woodpecker and at least 20 Fieldfare.

Not a too bad few hours even if it took the same time in travelling to get there. Off to the Eagle Owl now for what proved to be a fantastic finish to the day 🙂

photos and video coming soon…

Last few days…

Spent the last 4 days just wandering around close to home (total of about 4 hours), mostly with the kids, showing them the different birds and sharing the little knowledge I have learnt so far. Nothing spectacular to report but there was some nice light and I got some common bird photos to share.

A Mistle Thrush excreting mistletoe berries, this tree is covered in mistletoe

Species list for the last few days:
Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Waxwing, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Jay, Magpie, Sparrowhawk, Herring Gull, Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Hooded Crow, Jackdaw, Siskin, Hawfinch, Nuthatch,  Greenfinch, House Sparrow and Tree Sparrow.

3 Waxwings watching the moon rise

A male Chaffinch, 1 of 3 birds seen together

Extreme close up of Waxwing - the bird was about 70-80cm from me

The berry of choice today for a small gathering of Waxwings, Blackbirds and Fieldfares

This bird had trouble swallowing this berry, several attempts, re-positioning the berry and what looked like chocking at times..

Finally got it down, showing a bit of tongue.

Bro skog, Upplands Bro day 3

Another trip out this morning, started at 9:00 finished around 10:30. A brief wonder through the forest on the way back from dropping the kids off.

Crested Tit - Tofsmes

My best photo to date

One of many Fieldfares feeding with the Blackbirds

Not quite as much this time, 2 Jay, Nuthatch, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, 1 Crested Tit, 1 Goldcrest, lots of Blackbird and Fieldfare, 2 more Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Hawfinch.

Brief views of a Hawfinch, very shy bird and it soon spotted me and flew...

Then on the way back towards the apartment 1 Yellowhammer and 3 Siskin.

Now at 14:00 from the window there was 2 more Siskin and around 110 Waxwing gathered in the trees outside. Still lots of Bullfinch, House Sparrow and Tree Sparrow around the apartment.

Goldcrest

Wing shape of Goldcrest flying away

Here is a link to “my” forest area

Bro skog, Upplands Bro day 2

Another day of great light, another few hours out before getting the kids. Not so many good photos but quite a few birds. A total of 4 Great Spotted Woodpecker (3 male and 1 female), 4 Siskin, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Fieldfare, Blackbird, 2 Nuthatch, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Jay, a flying over White-tailed Eagle and a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

One of the better of the 200+ photos taken

A side view of the Male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Spent most of the time trying to photograph the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker as I don’t really have many good photos, this one was as difficult as the rest, rather high up the trees, moving very quick and thick dark trees, not ideal for photos.

A view from the back

Bro skog, Upplands Bro

1 and half hours before getting the kids, beautiful clear skies, fantastic light, I couldn’t resist 🙂 Grabbed my stuff (no tripod) and started a walk towards “my” little forest. Can only take an hour to go around the paths that run through, it’s small but really nice.

Started off with some Bullfinch resting outside someones house next to the apartments before I moved to the forest.

Male Bullfinch

Just outside the apartment, couldn't have been easier...

A fantastic bird, my best shots to date...

Lots of Blue and Great Tits in the entrance up to the forest and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. There seemed to be quite a lot of movement and noise so it was looking promising. Got through well over half of the forest without seeing anything else until I came across a fantastic little spot full of life, 2 Goldcrest about 50cm away, I literally could have stretched out and grabbed one and 2 more a few trees down from me. They looked at me and bounced from branch to branch, checking me out after each jump before moving down the path, they were so close I couldn’t get a photo, just moving the camera slowly up scared the living daylights out of them 🙂 What wonderful little birds..

Pecking away - 1 of 3 birds seen today...

Can he really see me? What's he doing?

Same area were lots of Magpies, 2 Hooded Crows, a single Crested Tit, more Blue and Great Tit, another Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Blackbird, Greenfinch, 2 Siskin and a Fieldfare.

Several House Sparrow point blank range

After getting the kids we all moved back towards home and I spotted a load of Waxwing in the distance and directed the kids that way, amazingly I managed a few shots before the kids got fed up (which happens far too quick after a long day at daycare).

One of about 40 odd Waxwing gathering for the night...