Five days in Falsterbo

It has been a while since I last posted on my blog (6 months!) as to be honest I haven’t had much use for it. However with the many photos I took in Falsterbo (Sweden) recently, I felt it would be sensible to resurrect my blog from the dead and condense all of my photos into one blogpost instead of filling up everybody’s Twitter feed.

Throughout the trip I solely concentrated on raptors, so if they are not your cup of tea, click off this page now!

Honey-buzzard

The main reason for me to go to Falsterbo in the first place! I saw c.1330 Honey-buzzards during my visit.

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Adult male Honey-buzzard. Skanörs Ljung, 25/08/17

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Adult female Honey-buzzard. Falsterbokanalen, 29/08/17

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Juvenile Honey-buzzard. Skanörs Ljung, 28/08/17

IMG_5977.jpgFlock of 20 Honey-buzzards. Falsterbokanalen, 29/08/17

 

Pallid Harrier

By far my most wanted uncommon raptor at the start of the trip. I had 3 different individuals over my stay: an adult female, a 2cy female and a 2cy male.

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2cy male Pallid Harrier. Briefly thought it was a 3cy male but several retained juvenile secondaries, the streaked breast and the overall messy appearance ages the bird as an advanced 2cy. Falsterbokanalen, 29/08/17

Adult female Pallid Harrier (left). Aged as an (presumed) older adult female due to light secondaries, thin body streaking and heavily spotted median and greater coverts. Skanörs Ljung, 28/08/17

2cy female Pallid Harrier (right). Skanörs Ljung, 26/08/17

 

Black Kite

A good autumn for this species on the peninsular. I connected with 3 adults all on the same day.

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Adult Black Kite. Nabben, 28/08/17

 

Lesser Spotted Eagle

The day before I arrived a 3cy+ Lesser Spotted Eagle had been seen in the area. To my joy it did not migrate and so I had a chance to see it. The bird I saw on the 28th and 29th is surprisingly a different individual to the bird seen before my stay (comparison picture here).

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3cy+ Lesser Spotted Eagle. Falsterbokanalen, 29/08/17

 

White Stork

Not a raptor but it was impressive to see two of them migrating with Honey-buzzards on the 28th. A semi-decent bird for Falsterbo.

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White Stork. Skanörs Ljung, 28/08/17

 

Other

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Adult male Osprey. Skanörs Ljung, 28/08/17

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Juvenile White-tailed Eagle. Nabben, 24/08/17

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Juvenile Red Kite. Skanörs Ljung, 25/08/17

Overall a very enjoyable trip with great people and I am already looking forward to going again next year!

 

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White Winged Gull Quest

As white winged gulls in London are pretty hard to come by I had to resort to a little twitching to finally nail both Iceland and Glaucous Gulls onto my list.

Bowers Marsh 17/02/17:

The big, juvenile Glaucous Gull that has been hanging about around the tip at Pitsea for quite a while now did not let me down as I picked it up having a wash and a drink on Bowers Marsh. Although the bird was pretty far off it felt great to see one of these milky brown beasts at last.

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Dungeness 19/02/17:

With two juvenile Iceland Gulls being seen daily at The Patch, Dungeness, Rich B kindly offered me a trip down there to catch up with them.

On arrival at The Patch mid morning, we were initially disappointed to find hordes of fishermen in front of the hide where the gulls normally hang out. Thankfully further along the beach a small roost had gathered and we quickly picked up a new second-winter Iceland Gull as it stood out like a sore thumb amongst the usual suspects. A good way to get the day going! A little later on both the regular, juvenile Iceland Gulls rolled up. We had the darker individual feeding in the mayhem of The Patch itself and the lighter bird joined the second-winter loafing on the beach.

Satisfied with 3 Iceland Gulls, albeit distant, we moved on to the fishing boats where Mick S and Richard S soon joined us. The first bag of popcorn went out and bang, the second-winter Iceland Gull, seen earlier at The Patch, came in. With perfect weather conditions we enjoyed watching and taking many photos of this fantastic bird. Surprisingly this is the first ever Iceland Gull to be seen at the fishing boats.

Iceland

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Later on in the day we picked up an orange ringed, third-winter Caspian Gull J3NT as it appeared in the middle of a feeding frenzy. It was ringed as a first-winter at Pitsea on 21/03/15. This birds extensive history can be found here.

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As it was getting dark two first-winter Caspian Gulls came in briefly.

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Thank you Rich B for a great day out!