A lake at midnight  View from Njulla at midnight in Abisko National Park, Lapland  Oak Woodland at Ottenby on the island of Oland

    26 June - 11 July 2004

    Observers: F. Simpson & Lezah Ketchen



    Following a fantastic trip to Finland last year I decided to return and explore another area of the Fenno-Scandia region. Due to the great latitudinal span of the country, Sweden has an impressive range of habitats from the alpine and boreal ecosystems in the north to the temperate broadleaved woodlands of the south. Sweden therefore offers the chance of seeing both the northern specialities as well as experiencing the bird communities more typical of Continental Europe. That said, the distances are vast and I wouldn't really recommend trying to cover the length of the country in two weeks! We found the northern forests quiet at this time of year with owls and woodpeckers eluding us for the most part and we missed out completely on two of my favourites from last year - Siberian Jay and Siberian Tit. The southern half of the country provided the bulk of our final list of 174, both in terms of species and numbers. Weather-wise, we were extremely unfortunate with rain and cloud for the most part. Nonetheless, we concluded that Sweden is a great country for wildlife and landscapes and definitely worth birding there.


    Montagu's Harrier · Icterine Warbler · Thrush Nightingale · Red-breasted Goose · White-winged Black Tern · Spotted Redshank · Collared Flycatcher · Red-breasted Flycatcher · Red-backed Shrike · Caspian Tern · Brent Goose · Common Crane · Black-throated Diver · Osprey · Red Kite · Black Tern · White Stork · Honey Buzzard · Little Gull · Velvet Scoter · Hazel Hen · Rustic Bunting · Waxwing · Pine Grosbeak · Brambling · Peregrine · Smew · Wryneck · Rough-legged Buzzard · Red-throated Diver · Whooper Swan · Bluethroat · Ring Ouzel · Snow Bunting · Willow Grouse · Little Bunting · Capercaillie · Merlin · Long-tailed Skua · Lapland Bunting · Scaup · Long-tailed Duck · Broad-billed Sandpiper · Red-necked Phalarope · Whimbrel · Long-eared Owl · White-tailed Eagle · Hobby · Temminck's Stint · Garganey · Common Rosefinch · Marsh Tit · Grey-headed Woodpecker.


    Return flight from London Heathrow to Stockholm Arlanda with British Airways (~ £125). Car hire with Avis (~ £450) (Scandinavia is probably the most expensive area in the world for car hire) www.avis.com . Stayed at campsites, all of which were excellent quality, and slept in the car when birding in more remote areas. Could not obtain the Camping Gaz brand anywhere which rendered my stove useless (Primus brand is everywhere) so we ate in restaurants and cafes, most of which offer salad included in the price. Despite what some people say, the supermarkets are more expensive than the UK with a loaf of bread averaging £1.50. Most roads have slightly more traffic than Finland but the driving experience is generally much more pleasant than in the UK. I won't mention just how many miles we covered.



    1.      Aulén, G. 1996. Where to Watch Birds in Scandinavia. Hamlyn.
    2.      Wirdheim, A. et al. Birding Southern Sweden. Swedish Ornithology Society.
    3.      Bain, C. & Cornwallis, G. 2003. Sweden. Lonely Planet.
    4.      Motormännens Sverige Vägatlas (Sweden Road Atlas). Kartcentrum.
    5.      Svensson, L. et al. 1999. Bird Guide. HarperCollins.
    6.      Tolman, T. & Lewington, R. 1997. Butterflies of Britain & Europe. Collins.
    7.      Askew, R.R. 2004. The Dragonflies of Europe. Harley Books.



    Day 01         26/06/04        London Heathrow > Stockholm Arlanda Airport > Stockholm > Norrköping > Öland.
    Day 02         27/06/04        
    Färjestaden > Beijershamn > Möckelmossee, Öland.
    Day 03         28/06/04        
    Färjestaden > Gettlinge > Ottenby, Oland > Lake Åsnen.
    Day 04         29/06/04        
    Husesbymaden > Bjurkärr, Lake Åsnen > Silvåkra, Lake Krankasjön > Hörby.
    Day 05         30/06/04        
    Hörby > Askersund > Laxjön > Åråshult, Lake Vänern.
    Day 06         01/07/04        
    Åråshult > Kilsuken, Lake Vänern > Kuggörana > Hölick, Hornslandet.
    Day 07         02/07/04        
    Hölick, Hornslandet > Skulskogen National Park > Töre.
    Day 08         03/07/04        
    Töre > Skrovån Naturrasplats > Vittangi > Nedre Soppero.
    Day 09         04/07/04        
    Vittangi > Ainiasjärvi > Kiruna > Torneträsk > Abisko National Park.
    Day 10         05/07/04        
    Abisko National Park > Torneträsk > Rautas > Dundret > Gällivare.
    Day 11         06/07/04        
    Gällivare > Muddus National Park > Jokkmokk > Sorsele > Vojmån.
    Day 12         07/07/04        
    Vojmån > Stromsund > Gadded > Stora Blåsjon > Stekkenjok > Vilhelmina > Dorotea.
    Day 13         08/07/04        
    Dorotea > Lake Ånnsjön > Östersund.
    Day 14         09/07/04        
    Alebosjön, Söderhamn > Ledskär > Färnebojärden.
    Day 15         10/07/04        
    Färnebojärden > Lake Hjälstaviken > Uppsala.
    Day 16         11/07/04        Sweden Arlanda Airport > London Heathrow Airport.



    Saturday 26 June 2004
    London Heathrow > Stockholm Arlanda > Öland
    Overcast, max 15°C.

    Highlights: Montagu's Harrier, Icterine Warbler, Fieldfare, Thrush Nightingale and Great Reed Warbler.

    Arrived at Arlanda Airport at 1130h. Took a short shuttle bus connection from the terminal to the car hire pickup office. Two tame Jackdaws feeding on scraps around the bins at the main door of the airport building. A flock of around 50 Starlings noted. Skylark heard singing. Greenfinches singing from sycamores and horse chestnuts around the car hire building. House Sparrows calling. House Martin (2) feeding along a large drainage dyke. Great Tit singing. Willow Warbler calling. Magpie calling. White Wagtail. Goldfinch singing. Fieldfare calling.

    Heavy showers interspersed with brief periods of sunshine during most of the drive south to the island of Öland off the southeast coast. Species noted: Common Buzzard (5), Grey Heron (ad + b/3) (4 o/h), Hooded Crow (abundant), Jackdaw (abundant), White Wagtail, Fieldfare, Willow Warbler (heard singing), Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Starling, House Sparrow, Feral Pigeon, Swifts (fairly common), Magpie (common), House Martin, Swallow, Cuckoo (heard singing), Badger (two roadside casualties), Fox (roadside casualty). Stopped at a service station a few kilometres north of Kalar: Skylark singing and a Montagu's Harrier overhead. Rain eventually ceased.

    Time was pushing on when we arrived on the island via the 6km road bridge over the sea from Kalmar to Färjestaden. We decided to camp here as it was handy for Bejershamn but was not really my typical preference - a large busy, family site and a bit expensive. To camp in Sweden you need a national Camping Card which can be bought at the first site on arrival in the country if you haven't ordered one in before arriving. Pitched the tent in the quietest area along some trees bordering farmed land of cereal fields. Icterine Warbler singing here. Fieldfare (2-3) looking for worms in the grass around us. Willow Warbler, Greenfinch and Chaffinch singing. Walked down to the edge of the site which has its own beach on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia. Further along there are patches of phragmites, iris and carex vegetation which held two singing Great Reed Warblers. Common Sandpiper and Lapwing calling. Common Gull and Black-headed Gull out over the water. A Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus) running along the grassy shoreline. A few notes from a distant Thrush Nightingale audible at dusk.


    Sunday 27 June 2004
    Färjestaden > Beijershamn > Möckelmossee, Öland
    Cloudy, max 16°C.

    Highlights: Red-breasted Goose, White-winged Black Tern, Marsh Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Icterine Warbler, Spotted Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Nuthatch and Wood Warbler.

    Slept until 1030h to recover from the lack of sleep at Heathrow airport on Friday night. Species seen or heard in our area of the campsite: Cuckoo, Icterine Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Common Gull, Wood Pigeon, and House Sparrow.

    To the bird tower...BEJERSHAMN, ÖLAND 56º 36' N  16º 24' E
    This area of marshes, reedbeds, mud, and coastal grassland on the coast of the Baltic Sea is centred around a ruined, overgrown pier which was built c150 years ago to create a harbour but ultimately failed. Checking the excellent Swedish bird sightings news and database on Species Gateway www.svalan.environ.se/rappsyst/swedish_daily.asp over the last few days revealed reports of a Red-breasted Goose at this site. Excellent for waders. Pied Flycatcher (f) in the car park - also Blackcap and Willow Warbler singing. A mobile flock of c20 Tree Sparrows at the start of the trail near the edge of the woodland. A closer looked revealed many juveniles in about four family groups. Swifts fairly abundant overhead. Blue Tit calling. Another flock of c25 Tree Sparrows further along the trail towards the tower in a more open, scrubby area. Flock of c30 juveniles Starlings overhead. Greenfinches singing from juniper shrubs about three metres high in an area of grazed grassland. The nearest tower looks over a coastal marsh with many brackish pools. Good close views of birds here but the majority were further to the north. Ruff (3). Arctic Tern (4). Ringed Plover (4). Common Sandpiper (6). Redshank (3). At least 77 non-breeding Mute Swans and a pair with a brood of two. Raven croaking. Marsh Harrier (m) hunting over grazed grassland. Numerous Pied Wagtails feeding juveniles. Canada and Greylag Goose broods and a hybrid adult. Greenfinch overhead. Cuckoo and Blackbird singing. Large tree-nesting breeding colony of Cormorants on a large islet off the old pier. Magpies and Hooded Crows common. House Martins and Sand Martins passing. Skylark singing. Goldfinch. Mallard (20, f + b/1). Shelduck (1). Black-headed Gull (2). Starlings common. Meadow Pipit displaying. Willow Warblers singing. Scoping through the c250 Greylags on the mud north of the pier I eventually picked out the Red-breasted Goose. Walked to the tower overlooking this area. Species noted on the walk to the pier area: (Grey-headed) Yellow Wagtail (1), Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais uritcae) (6), Linnet (pr), Skylarks singing, Ringed Plover and Lapwing in short turf with cattle, Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings singing.
    Large area of marsh and mud at 56º 35' 43N  16º 24' 37E
    Great numbers of non-breeding/migrant waders with the many summer plumaged Spotted Redshanks looking superb. Wood Sandpiper (100+), Dunlin (100+), Spotted Redshank (20+), Greenshank (50+), Ruff (30+), Black-tailed Godwit (2), Oystercatcher (30+), Green Sandpiper (several flying around), Redshank (abundant), Lapwing (abundant). Several hundred Shoveler and Wigeon. Minimum of 25 Grey Herons. Marsh Harrier (2) hunting over the area. A single Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) buzzing around low over a reed-fringed pool. Many Ruff in breeding plumage including the two male plumage polymorphisms.
    Second tower on the woodland edge overlooking the area at 56º 35' 47N  16º 25' 00E
    Wood Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Cuckoo, Willow Warbler, Blackbird and Garden Warbler singing from wet alder woodland behind the tower. Several Green Sandpipers flying around. Shelduck (c200). Lost the Red-breasted Goose after the Greylags waded up the creeks. Later it showed well although about 200 metres distant. Small groups of Teal. Canada Goose (6). Great Spotted Woodpecker calling. Wood Pigeon singing. The northern Fennoscandia/Baltic race of Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus fuscus) observed.
    Took the path inland through the alder and beech woodland: Cuckoo (2 singing). Tree Pipits displaying. Chiffchaff singing (presumably the Scandinavian race abietinus, sounding more-or-less like collybita). Treecreeper. Chaffinch. Spotted Flycatcher. Great Spotted Woodpecker. Came across a sunny open area of juniper and dog-rose scrub on limestone grassland: Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) (10+). Wren, Yellowhammer, Greenfinch and Willow Warbler singing. Plants growing here (according to the information board here): Orpine (Sedum telephium), a St. John's Wort sp. (Hypericium maculatum), Biting Stonecrop (Sedum acre) which was abundant in most areas on the island, Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum), Sticky Catchfly (Lychnis viscaria), a Dog-rose-like sp. (Rosa dumalis), Mouse-ear Hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella) and Scottish Bluebell (Campanulaceae rotundifloia). Great views of the Scandinavian race of Nuthatch (Sitta europaea europaea) (pr + b/3) - completely pale below apart from a small area of rufous plumage on the vent. Good views of a singing Icterine Warbler on the border of the oak and scots pine woodland. Several Fieldfares feeding on the forest floor. Wood Warbler and Wood Pigeon singing, Blue Tit and Great Tit calling. Another Icterine Warbler detected singing within a purely coniferous habitat of fairly open scots pine woodland. Robin calling. Tree Pipit displaying. Blackbird singing. Adult male and a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker observed chipping away at an old pine. Spotted Flycatchers fairly common along the open ride. More Yellowhammers in semi-open oak woodland. Oystercatcher overhead. By the time we arrived back at the car park, around eight Icterine Warblers had been heard singing along this stretch. Met some birders in the car park who let us know about a White-winged Tern further south on the island. Changed our original plan to visit Kapelludden and headed to Möckelmossee.

    MÖCKELMOSSEE, ÖLAND 56º 31' 46N  16º 31' 05E
    This site is half way between Resmo and Brunneby on the north side of this road crossing the island here. Montagu's Harrier over the road about two kilometres west of the site. Also a Wheatear flying off a dry stane dyke. Large area of steppe-like heath on a flat limestone plateau in the centre of the island - known as Ölands Stor alvar. Characterised by karst formations, sink holes and gravel and sandy embankments. Vegetation short and sparse with few clumps of low scrub and carpets of stonecrop and rock-rose. From the small car park at the roadside it is a short walk north to the marshy pools. Many Skylarks, Whitethroats and Yellowhammers singing. Soon found the White-winged Tern (ad) at the main pool, perched on a short post in dense rushes surrounding the water. Regularly flying up to take flying insects including damselflies, dipping and picking stuff from the surface and occasionally diving. Usually returning to the same perch. Also noted: Coot (pr + b/4), Redshank, Mallard (c60), Grey Heron, Swift, Whitethroat, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Chaffinch, Willow Warbler. Plants noted: 'Öland' Rock-rose (Helianthemum oelanicum), Artemisia rupestris, Red Alpine Catchfly (Viscaria alpine), Shrubby Cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa), Biting Stonecrop (Sedum acre), Carline Thistle (Carlina vulgaris), White Stonecrop (Sedum album), Rue-leaved Saxifrage (Saxifraga tridactylites), and plenty of orchids.

    2230h. 15.8ºC. A Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus) flew slowly past us and the burring of the wing beats was audible as it came past again, inspecting the area around our tent. Woodcock roding.


    Monday 28 June 2004
    Färjestaden > Gettlinge > Ottenby, Oland > Lake Åsnen, Småland
    Cloudy, clearing to sun and blue sky, max 20°C.

    Highlights: Montagu's Harrier, Collared Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike, Avocet, Caspian Tern, Little Tern, Brent Goose, and Icterine Warbler.


    Species noted on the drive to the south end of the island: Montagu’s Harrier (1), Wheatear (3), Lapwing, White Wagtail, Fieldfare, Blackbird, Starling, Hooded Crow, Grey Heron, and Cormorant.


    GETTLINGE, ÖLAND 56º 23’ 11N  16º 25’ 50E

    15.6°C. An ancient burial ground with some nice rabbit-grazed, flower-rich grassland. Only butterfly seen (due to the cool, cloudy weather) was a female Idas Blue (Plebejus idas). Skylarks displaying and Yellowhammers singing.


    OTTENBY NATURE RESERVE, ÖLAND 56º 14’ 02N  16º 24’ 55E

    Stopped at the first car park at the entrance to the reserve area at the south tip of the island. Birds attracted to a small, unassuming puddle: Tree Sparrow (2), Linnet (4), Goldfinch (1), House Martin (6), Willow Warbler (1), Starling (juv), White Wagtail (1), Chaffinch (m) and House Sparrow (f). Oystercatcher and Lapwing nesting in the adjacent field. Two Grey Partridges observed crossing the single track road here.


    Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)OTTENBY LUND (WOOD), ÖLAND 56º 13’ 00N  16º 24’ 34E

    Mature oak, birch and aspen woodland with many sunlit glades. Icterine Warbler, Garden Warbler and Chaffinch heard singing on the approach to the wood. Red-backed Shrike (pr) found in a birch glade with rotting stumps used as perches. Both birds carrying for nestlings. Yellowhammer and Wood Pigeon singing. Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) concealed in the long grass here. Brood of Blue Tits. Swifts and Greylag Geese overhead. Whitethroat singing from the scrub around the pools on the edge of the woodland. Several hundred Shelduck on this area of the east coast. Curlew and Skylark displaying over the grazed coastal grassland. Hooded Crows common. Chiffchaff singing. Coot (ad + b/3) on one of the freshwater pools. Great Tit noted. Pair of Garden Warblers with food for young. Came across a tower hide on the edge of the wood, overlooking the coastal grassland at Schaferiangarna - birds on the shore fairly distant here but picked out with the ‘scope.


    SCHÄFERIÄNGARNA, ÖLAND 56º 12’ 58N  16º 24’ 47E

    19.9°C at noon. Tower about 1km away the coast. Most of the shorebirds and wildfowl were feeding in a large sheltered strip of water protected from the sea by a long sand bar.  Avocet (300+) scattered over the shallow sheltered coast and at one time a flock totalling about 200 birds got up but quickly settled. Many Greylags, Shoveler, Mallard and Shelduck present. Snipe ‘yickering’. Herring Gulls overhead. Caspian Tern (2) perched at the water’s edge. Around 200 non-breeding Mute Swans. Swift, Swallow and House Martin flocks hawking insects over the area. Nice views of a female Montagu’s Harrier hunting above the grazing sheep and geese. Numerous Cormorants on the rocks. Many displaying Skylarks and Meadow Pipits in the sky. Small numbers of Wigeon and Teal. Oystercatcher, Lapwing and Redshank nesting in the behind the foreshore. Blue Tit in an oak below the tower. White Wagtail passing. Curlew displaying. Raven croaking in the distance. Starlings fairly common, particularly roving gangs of noisy juveniles in the shorter turf areas in the pasture. Three broods of Coots in the ponds on the edge of the wood. Two Fallow Deer (Dama dama) appeared from behind a dry stone wall on the edge of the woodland. A flock of 21 Black-tailed Godwits flew south. Icterine Warbler singing from the wood. Dragonflies noted at the pond: Variable Damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum), Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa), Scarce Emerald Damselfly (Lestes dryas) and Ruddy Sympetrum (Sympetrum sanguineum).


    Ottenby LighthouseWALK TO THE LIGHTHOUSE

    Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) and Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) noted but the fairly strong coastal breeze did not offer ideal conditions for butterflies. Another Icterine Warbler at the woodland edge. Great Tit family. More Fallow Deer and several Brown Hares. Whitethroats in coastal scrub. Wheatear (2) along the edge of the single track road to the lighthouse. The southwestern tip of the island here is not accessible during the breeding season. Three Brent Geese flew past in a hurry without stopping. Many geese, waders and gulls along the flat, rocky coastline with islets. A single, perhaps recently arrived, Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) trying its best to extract some nectar from rock-rose in the strong wind – quite exposed here. A few Silver-Y (Autographa gamma) moths noted. Many Skylarks displaying. Swift and House Martin overhead. Oystercatcher and Lapwing nesting on the  flower rich foreshore. Sandwich and Arctic Terns perched on the numerous rocks in the shallow sea. A female Red-breasted Merganser flew past. Eider (several broods/crèches noted). Mallard. Lesser Black-backed Gull. Great Black-backed Gull. Common Gull. Black-headed Gull. Some Arctic Terns nesting very close to the road. Wheatears abundant.



    There is a charge to park around the lighthouse if you drive right to the end. Apart from the highest lighthouse in Scandinavia, there is the ringing station with heligoland traps and small hides overlooking coastal pools and the sea, a small restaurant (Fågel Blå) and an excellent nature centre (Ottenby Naturum). Climbed the stairwell to the top where there is plenty of room to set up a tripod and take in the superb view. This is, of course, really a place to visit during the migration periods but there was plenty of summer wildlife to see. Common Seal (Phoca vitulina) (27) lying on rocks on the east side of the peninsula. A few hundred Eider and Cormorants in the area and 157 non-breeding Mute Swans. Also Shelduck and Red-breasted Merganser present. Wood Sandpiper (4) on a swampy pool below the lighthouse and a male Ruff surrounded by mud-collecting House Martins which were breeding in the few buildings here. Whitethroat singing from scrub. A few Rock Pipits ‘scoped and a close look along the east coast revealed plenty of resting/feeding Dunlin, Ruff and Wood Sandpipers. Starlings abundant here. Hooded Crow. House Sparrow. Swallow. Swift. Oystercatcher. A group of 12 Little Terns resting on one of the larger grassy islets. Sandwich Terns (4-5) fishing along the shoreline. A single Turnstone flew by. Headed back to the woodland for a more thorough search.


    SchaferiangarnaOttenbyOttenby Lund



    Good numbers of passerines but perhaps taking a bit of work at this point in the breeding season. Nuthatch (3). Treecreeper (4). Spotted Flycatchers fairly common. Many Blackcaps and Icterines singing. Lesser Whitethroat (m) observed rattling away from a hawthorn in a more open area of the wood. Chaffinches feeding young. Cuckoo, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackbird singing. Two Collared Flycatchers heard giving their slow, whistling song. Fieldfare. Raven calling. Starlings nesting in natural holes on the oaks. Fallow Deer (8-9). Two Ravens perched on a dead area of the canopy on the edge of the wood. Several Great Tits broods. Tree Pipits singing/displaying. Garden Warbler singing. Wood Warbler singing. Song Thrush. A Red-breasted Flycatcher flitting about actively in the sub-canopy – difficult to keep track of. Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) (3) and more Fallows observed. Greenfinch. At least six White Wagtails were feeding along one of the tracks inside the wood – never seen this behaviour from Pied Wags in the British Isles. When we approached they would fly on a few metres ahead and occasionally up into some limbs in the sub-canopy. Large Skipper (Ochlodes venata), Common Blue and another Red Admiral noted on the edge of the wood. Hooded Crow. Wood Pigeon.




    Tuesday 29 June 2004
    Husesbymaden > Bjurkärr, Lake Åsnen > Silvåkra, Lake Krankasjön > Hörby, Skåne
    Mix of sunshine and showers, cloudy and windy later, max 17°C.

    Highlights: Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Icterine Warbler, Common Crane, Black-throated Diver, Osprey, Red Kite, Black Tern, Caspian Tern and White Stork.

    TORNE CAMPSITE LAKE ÅSNEN 56º 41’ 51N  14º 35’ 48E

    Great Spotted Woodpecker calling. Chaffinch singing. Willow Warblers singing. Jackdaws in the tall beeches surrounding the campsite Green Woodpecker calling.


    HusebymadenHUSEBYMADEN 56º 45’ 51N  14º 34’ 48E

    0930-1125h. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker heard calling from oaks around the car park for the site. Soon found in the same tree as a Nuthatch. Icterine Warbler and Yellowhammer singing. Snipe heard drumming and yickering. Tree Pipit. Short walk to an observation tower overlooking the area. Another Nuthatch feeding on a birch stump, chipping away under the bracket fungi. Yellowhammer fledgling in a nearby tree. A female Red-breasted Flycatcher flitting around the edge of the oak/birch woodland behind the tower. Great Spotted Woodpecker calling. Tree Pipit feeding young in the canopy. Jackdaw and Hooded Crow overhead. Plenty of wader and wildfowl activity out on the marsh. Common Crane (pr). Whooper Swan (1). Chaffinch pair copulating. Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting singing. Lapwing with a brood of two – small chicks hiding in damp grass in front of the tower. Adult Lapwings abundant. Willow Warbler flitting about the fence line. Swallow, White Wagtail, Great Tit, Pied Flycatcher (pr) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (juv) noted. Black-headed Gulls nesting around the marsh. Also a few Common Gulls in attendance. Cormorant overhead. Greylag Goose (c200). Canada Goose (17). Oystercatcher alarm-calling. Yellowhammer singing. Teal. Mallard. Chaffinch singing. Ringlet (2) flying low over grassland during drizzle. Coots with young. Common Buzzard calling. Wood Sandpiper (4+). Several male and female Ruff present. Common Tern (pr) on a raft. Yellow-winged Darter (Sympetrum flaveolum) fluttering low over damp grassland, regularly settling.  Chimney Sweeper moth. Just as we were leaving a White Wagtail landed on the front of the car and picking the dead insects from the window and windscreen wipers.


    ROAD NORTH OF BJURKÄRR 56º 41’ 32N  14º 39’ 01E

    1207h> Two Common Cranes nesting in a field here. Magpie and Dunnock noted. Chaffinch singing. Common Buzzard calling. Another two Cranes less than 1 km further on in a field viewed from 56º 41’ 13N  14º 39’ 10E. Pine Martin (Martes martes) observed emerging from vegetation at the roadside in the forest c250 metres further on. Good views from the car again as it later bounded across the road and leapt over a ditch. A Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) ran over the road about 5 km further on.


    BJURKÄRR 56º 41’ 32N  14º 39’ 01E

    1200-1445h. Old deciduous woodland with views over Lake Åsnen. Mostly old beech trees, some up to 300 years old. Nuthatches fairly common. Jay (ad + 3 juvs). Wood Warblers singing. Singing Chaffinches common. Blue Tit and Great Tit broods abundant. Black-throated Diver (ad + chick) on the lake with an Osprey carrying a fish overhead. Several distant Arctic or Common Terns fishing and perching on a large boulder emerging above the water surface. Several Grey Herons. Cormorant (ad). Common Buzzard flying through the beech woodland. Blackbird, Fieldfare and Song Thrush noted. Raven croaking. Several Great Spotted Woodpeckers calling and two juveniles observed. Black-headed and Common Gulls around the lake. Ina grassy, sunlit clearing with many flowering plants and a few rocky mounds, many dragonflies were basking and feeding: Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) (4+), Black-tailed Skimmer (20+) and many Northern Damselflies (Coenagrion caerulescens).



    Marsh Harrier at the roadside near Libly. Red Kite at Holmby. Grey Partridge noted at the edge of a field in a large flat agricultural plain near Kristianstad.


    LAKE KRANKASJÖN AT SILVÅKRA 54º 41’ 28N  13º 29’ 32E

    1810h-1930h. Red Kite hunting over the large grassland used by a military training group marching, oblivious to the spectacle above. Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats singing. Observation from the bird tower during overcast, cool and windy conditions: Black Tern (4+). Marsh Harrier (m) perched in a tree close to the tower. An impressive 1000+ Swifts hawking over the lake. Hundreds of Coots with juveniles. Numerous pairs of Great Crested Grebes with young. Mute Swan (86 ads). Caspian Tern (2) picked out among the more numerous Common Terns. Gadwall (14) dabbling close to the observation point. Cormorants appear to have bred here with a few juvenile birds sitting on mounds in the reeds. A busy Black-headed Gull colony with a brood of three fledged and swimming. Mallards fairly common. White Wagtail noted. Remains of a Barn Swallow nest inside the hide. Common Gull. Yellowhammer and Chaffinch singing. Greylag Geese grazing in nearby fields. A few pheasants in the area.



    Two White Storks in a field on the outskirts of the village was a surprise.



    Camped at Ringsjöstrands Campsite near Hörby for the night. Large numbers of Rooks (inc. juvs) in mature trees around the site.


    Wednesday 30 June 2004
    Hörby > Askersund > Laxjön > Åråshult, Lake Vänern, Västergötland
    Blue sky, max 21°C.

    Highlights: Honey Buzzard, Red Kite, Black-throated Diver, Little Gull and Willow Tit.


    Reed Warblers singing on the lake shore of the camping ground.



    Honey Buzzard (3), Red Kite (5), Common Buzzard (2), Goosander, Rook, Fieldfare, Black-headed Gull, Starling, Tree Sparrow, Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni), Raven, Blackbird, White Wagtail, Hooded Crow, Coot, Oystercatcher, Common Gull, Cuckoo, Swallow, House Martin, and a Small White (Pieris rapae).


    Scots Pine forestSTOP AT PINE FORESTRY NEAR ASKERSUND ON ROAD 205 58º 53’ 13N  14º 44’ 38E

    1745h. Blue sky, few clouds. Areas of dense and open scots pine, cleared areas and area mixed with deciduous trees. Tree Pipits, Willow Warblers and Chaffinches singing. Crested Tits calling with many birds flitting around the canopy. Hooded Crow (pr). Swifts overhead. Cuckoo advertising in the distance. Great Tits with fledged juveniles. Blackbird, Fieldfare. Wood Pigeon. Blue Tits calling. Goldcrest juvenile found amongst the calling adults. A noisy Willow Tit family found, calling continuously. Several Black-tailed Skimmers. A male Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) observed in a ride through young pines – regularly flying off then settling again on low and high positions along the track. This northern race/subspecies differed slight from individuals in the British Isles which initially led to some confusion: the dark wings were clear of pigmentation around the apex (extreme outer region) of each wing.


    LAXJON 58º 54’ 27N  14º 40’ 59E

    1905h. Black-throated Divers (5 ads) together on the lake here. Little Gull (c20). Mallard (3). Yellowhammer singing.



    Found this charming campsite, 5 km southwest of Gullspång, where we saw signs for a place called Skottlanda. Small and friendly campsite set around a small lake with a small museum, shop (with an honesty tin!) and many eccentric features and trimmings. Stay here! Curlew calling overhead. Woodcock roding. Swallows feeding over the pools. Yellowhammers singing. Siskins flying overhead. Greenfinch singing. Pied Flycatcher (f). Great Tit nesting in a birch tree stump. Drove around the area at dusk looking and listening for Nightjars, Quail and owls without success. Found a Heath Fritillary (Mellicta athalia), form lachares, roosting on an ox-eye daisy near our tent.


    Thursday 1 July 2004
    Åråshult > Kilsuken, Lake Vänern > Kuggörana > Hölick, Hornslandet, Hälsingland
    Blue sky, max 24°C.

    Highlights: Nuthatch, Icterine Warbler, Marsh Harrier, Green Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Ruff, and Velvet Scoter.

    Arashult Campsite Welcome PartyCAMPING ÅRÅSHULT, CLOSE TO LAKE VÄNERN 58º 58’ 49N  14º 00’ 56E

    0620-0625h. Singing oscines: Willow Warbler, Yellowhammer, Greenfinch, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Siskin, Robin, Wren, Icterine Warbler and Fieldfare. Also Wood Pigeon, Swift, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow and a calling Nuthatch observed. Roe Deer (2) skulking through the campsite – it’s that sort of place.


    KILSUKEN 59º 06’ 58N  14º 05’ 00E

    0700h. Tower overlooking a large bay at the north-eastern end of Lake Vänern. Spotted Redshank (2) and Ruff (3 mm) in breeding plumage. Marsh Harrier (f) hunting over a large area of reedbed, marsh and pasture. Snipe displaying. Greylags numerous, a few with broods of well grown young. Lapwing flock (35). Skylark singing. Common Terns nesting. A harrier disturbed a hidden Green Sandpiper from the marsh. Coal Tits in the adjacent Scots Pine wood. Reed, Sedge and Willow Warblers singing. Another Green Sandpiper feeding along a muddy shoreline. Black-headed Gull. Hooded Crow. Swift. Teal fairly common. Grey Heron (ad + 3 imms). A group of cows disturbed several Snipe from an area of wet grassland. Reed Bunting singing. Snipe observed calling from a fence post. A male Marsh Harrier passed by at 0810h. Hare (2).



    Osprey, Swift, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Fieldfare, Magpie, Hooded Crow, White Wagtail, Jay, Blackbird, Common Gull, Swallow, Common Tern, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Starling, Black-throated Diver, (pr + b/1), Mallard and Mistle Thrush. Stopped for seafood pizza and then drove to ?? 60º 38’ 57N  15º 33’ 48E. 1410h. Best weather of the trip here. 24°C. Greenfinch singing from birch/spruce area. White Wagtail (1).


    KUGGÖRANA, HORNSLANDET 61º 42’ 03N  17º 30’ 51E

    1830h. Rocky, pine-covered coastline. Velvet Scoter (immature male) in the bay. Wheatear observed in Scots Pine Woodland – fairly open, trees not too densely packed, but still unexpected. Arctic Terns fishing. Eider. Lesser Black-backed Gull. Common Gull. Herring Gull. White Wagtail. Canada Geese with broods. Willow Warblers singing from pure pine areas.



    1930h. Siskins numerous. Goldcrests calling. Woodcock displaying overhead.


    Friday 2 July 2004
    Hölick, Hornslandet > Skulskogen National Park, Ångermanland > Töre, Norrbotten
    Overcast, rained most of the day, cool.

    Highlights: Hazel Hen, Icterine Warbler, Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Tree Pipit, Arctic Tern, Redwing and Fieldfare.


    Icterine Warbler, Yellowhammer, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Great Tit and Chaffinch singing. Siskins abundant. Tree Pipit, Blackbird, Redwing (juv), Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Willow Warbler, Common Gull, Pied Flycatcher (b/3). Wheatear (ad + 2 juvs) in an open area in Scots Pine woodland. Willow Warbler observed chasing a Pied Flycatcher fledgling, then later a female Siskin pursuing and attacking a Wood Warbler. Yellowhammer singing from small conifers in heathland in the low dune system between the campsite and the foreshore. Several Arctic Terns feeding along the coast. Lesser Black-backed, Herring, Common and Black-headed Gulls also present.


    Gulf of BothniaHolick Dune & HeathlandHornslandet


    SKULSKOGEN NATIONAL PARK 63º 04’ 59N  18º 27’ 45E

    1500-1845h. Very old, swampy Spruce forest – dark and dank with much moss and beard lichens. Also areas of Scots Pine woodland and forestry and Birch, Alder and Aspen. Walked the Näskebodarna trail with views over the Gulf of Bothnia. Whinchat in a clear fell area – also a Yellowhammer singing here. Great Spotted Woodpecker calling. Redstart, Wood Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackbird, Willow Warbler and Wren singing. Spotted Flycatcher. Great Tit. Blue Tit. Siskins fairly common. Bullfinch (m). Common Sandpiper and Arctic Tern along the shoreline. In a fairly dense spruce forest with a rich and rotting ground cover of fallen stumps and mosses I picked up a tailless, thrush-sized bird sitting in a fallen trunk. Through the bins I realised it was a Hazel Hen chick and just then the adult female flew up onto the log uttering a strange low, dull, liquid sounding call. A closer look revealed a whole brood – at least five chicks, possibly more. Very high-pitched Goldcrest-like calls were produced by the young birds, one of which showed for much longer than rest and remained perched at eye-level just a few metres away. It eventually flew down on to the forest floor, its wings creating a distinctive burring of whirring sound, before it vanished with its siblings into a dense tangle fallen branches, twigs and ground vegetation. Great Spotted Woodpecker (3 ads). Redwing singing. Several Fieldfares. Wood Warblers calling around the birches around the car park. Tree Pipit (ad + juv). Left the reserve in dark, overcast conditions as a downpour started.



    Eider and Common Gull along the coast near Käxed. Also a Fieldfare carrying food for young here. Common Buzzard, Swallow, Feral Pigeon, Hooded Crow, ‘Commic’ Tern, Jackdaw, Fieldfare, Magpie, House Martin, Wood Pigeon, Woodcock (roding birds noted from 1930h), Pine Martin, Elk (Alces alces) (6), Curlew, White Wagtail and Goldeneye.


    Saturday 3 July 2004
    Töre > Skrovån Naturrasplats > Vittangi > Nedre Soppero, Lappland
    Partly cloudy, dry, cool.

    Highlights: Rustic Bunting, Waxwing, Pine Grosbeak, Common Crossbill, Brambling, Peregrine, Smew, Wryneck, and Rough-legged Buzzard.

    Woke up at 0945h and drove across the Arctic Circle into Lapland and the Kiruna area. Yellowhammer singing.



    Brambling (2-3 singing mm) in open pine, birch and spruce woodland by the river. Also many singing Chaffinches and Willow Warblers. Two different male Pied Flycatcher bringing food to young in a nest box by the coffee kiosk. Common Sandpiper calling. Siskins common. Fieldfare. Spotted Flycatcher. White Wagtail.


    STOP BY ROAD E10, 67º 02’ 34N  21º 12’ 59E

    Fast flowing burn on the north side, lake and mire on the south side. Goldeneye (f + b/4) and Common Sandpiper (pr) on the river. Goldeneye (3) and Tufted Duck (pr) on the lake. Brambling and Willow Warbler singing. Hooded Crow. The sandpipers on the river appeared to be nesting on a cleared area of waste gravel next to the parking lay-by which was separated from the river by a thin belt of trees.


    VITTANGI  67º 41’ 31N  21º 37’ 34E

    Lakes around the village: Rustic Bunting (2 singing mm), Yellow Wagtail (3), Whinchat (m), Wigeon (f +b/8, 3 mm), Goldeneye (10+), Goosander (f + b/10), Tufted Duck (39), Arctic Tern, Sand Martin, Snipe calling, Swallow, House Martin, Magpie and Black-headed Gull.



    Species noted on the drive between the following sites: Rough-legged Buzzard, Arctic Tern, Redwing, Fieldfare, Cuckoo, Lapwing, Hooded Crow, Black-headed Gull, Magpie and White Wagtail. Many Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus).


    LARGE LAKE BESIDE ROAD 45, c15 KM NORTH OF VITTANGI AT 67º 48’ 20N  21º 37’ 26E

    Waxwing (min 6) flycatching from spruces and birches along the lakeshore in a spectacular fashion, quite different from their docile berry-chomping behaviour during the winter in the British Isles. Bramblings (the first area we birded where this species was the exclusive Fringilla), Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff singing. Tree Pipits in open spruce forest, White Wagtail along the shoreline. Flock of 11 Common Crossbills flew overhead. Common Sandpipers calling. Sand Martin (2) and Arctic Tern (4) over the lake. Another four Waxwings picked out through the ‘scope on the far side of the lake. Pine Grosbeak (3) feeding in the canopy of an old, tall spruce tree. Waxwing observed chasing off a male Brambling. Redwing singing.


    Lapland LakeVittangi areaMidnight Camp


    BOG AT 67º 57’ 53N  21º 36’ 21E

    Golden Plover (1), Wood Sandpiper (1), Teal (f + b/7) and Tufted Duck (pr) were the only birds visible. Willow Warbler singing. Flock of eight and 10 Crossbills overhead.


    LAKE AT 67º 58’ 42N  21º 37’ 33E

    Goldeneye (4), Tufted Duck (pr), Brambling singing and Cuckoo (2). Tree Pipit and Yellow Wagtail carrying food for young.


    TELECOMMUNICATIONS MAST 68º 01’ 48N  21º 45’ 15E

    Peregrine (juv) perched on the top. Redpolls and Tree Pipits calling. Willow Warblers singing.


    NEDRE SOPPERO 68º 02’ 30N  21º 45’ 44E

    Smew (1m/4ff) on Vuoksujärvi, the males beginning to moult into eclipse plumage. Female Goldeneye with three ducklings and another group of around 40 adults. Tufted Duck (27). Wigeon (26). Reed Bunting and Sedge Warbler singing. Common Sandpiper calling. Hooded Crow (2).


    BACK AT FIRST LAKE, c15 KM NORTH OF VITTANGI AT 67º 48’ 20N  21º 37’ 26E

    The sun finally decided to put in an appearance so we stopped to watch the Waxwings again but were soon distracted by a Wryneck. It perched in a roadside pine for c10 minutes, mainly stretching and preening. Cuckoo singing. Female Brambling collecting food for young.



    Goldeneye (f + b/6). Redwing (2 singing mm). Arctic Tern (29) perched on a wire or rope over the lake just in front of our tent. Common Sandpiper. White Wagtail. Swallow.


    Sunday 4 July 2004
    Vittangi > Ainiasjärvi > Kiruna > Torneträsk > Abisko National Park, Lappland
    Cloudy and cool.

    Highlights: Red-throated Diver, Whooper Swan, Waxwing, Bluethroat, Rough-legged Buzzard, Ring Ouzel, Snow Bunting, Willow Grouse, Brambling and Spotted Redshank.


    1200h. Redpoll, Yellowhammer, Willow Warbler and Chaffinch singing. Arctic Terns and Common Sandpiper calling.



    1300-1325h. Mire with running water and lake with reeds and emergent bushes. Waxwing (4) feeding on aerial plankton, flying out over the lake in big loops before returning to the same bush. Whooper Swan (1). Wood Sandpiper (3-4). Yellow Wagtail carrying food for young. Brambling and Willow Warbler singing. Pied Flycatcher (m). Reed Bunting (2 singing mm). Siskin (m) perched close by and more passing overhead. White Wagtail. Common Crossbill overhead. Redwing. Another four single Waxwings noted on the drive towards Kiruna.


    ALTTAJÄRVI  67º 49’ 14N  20º 33’ 35E

    1345-1400h. Red-throated Diver and Goldeneye showing well on the lake. Brambling and Willow Warbler singing. Fieldfare, Siskin, Common Gull, Common Sandpiper, and Magpie also noted.



    1505-1535h. Lake and mire surrounded by stunted birch cover and a rich herb layer. Rough-legged Buzzard low overhead. Bluethroat (2 singing mm). Brambling (4 singing mm). Whinchat singing. Reed Bunting (2 singing mm). Yellow Wagtail (3+). Arctic Tern (2). Redpolls passing. Goldeneye (3). Common Gull. Redwing. Fieldfare. Meadow Pipit. Spotted Redshank and Wheatear observed slightly further along the road in another boggy area.



    Bramblings abundant in the area – singing males and also a flock of 10+ in birch scrub around the bridge over the rapids.  Willow Warbler singing. Raven overhead. Woodcock roding at 1850h.


    AbiskoView of Tornetrask from NjullaAbisko



    1830-0045h. Hill walk, first through some boggy birch scrub then some sodden alpine grassland and finally on to bare scree, rock, snow and ice. Wheatears fairly common. Many Bramblings singing in the birch zone of the lower slopes. Willow Warbler nest found in the ground in a dry tussock surrounded by boggy terrain. Male bird observed taking food to the incubating female. Raven (3-4) overhead most of the way up. Nasty mosquitoes were particularly troublesome here. Cuckoo singing. Willow Warblers singing. Tree Pipits. Several displaying Woodcock including two birds together at one point. Meadow Pipits song-flight on the hillside above the tree line. A stunning male Snow Bunting singing at the edge of the first major patch of melting snow. Ring Ouzel (m) disturbed from a crag – flew lower down revealing its distinctive silvery-plumaged wings. At least six Golden Plovers in the area around the peak. Good close views of another male Snow Bunting at the top – hopping around a few metres away. Mountain Hare (Lepus timidus) also here. Redshank in a marshy melt water around the lochan between Njulla and Slåltatjåkka. On the walk down after midnight a female Willow Grouse was observed feeding in sprouting shoots in an area recently exposed by the thaw just above the birch tree line. Later a male was heard calling/singing – sounding just like a Red Grouse. Many Fieldfares singing in the birch scrub lower down and what appeared to be a large, loose, communal group of singing Redwings. The thrushes were not singing when we started the ascent in the early evening but, in contrast, the Bramblings were much less vocal now. Redpolls common. Back down at the ski-lift centre there were many Fieldfares singing together in a colony around the car park.

    Top of NjullaLezah watching the Mountain HareView form Njulla

    Monday 5 July 2004
    Abisko National Park > Torneträsk > Rautas > Dundret > Gällivare, Lappland
    Blue sky, little wind, cool.

    Highlights: Little Bunting, Bluethroat, Arctic Tern, Willow Grouse, and Golden Plover.


    Woke up to hear Dunnock, Brambling, Willow Warbler and House Sparrows singing. A few Green-veined Whites (Artogeia napi adalwinda) active.


    TORNETRÄSK  68º 19’ 02N  19º 10’ 52E

    1100h. 16.1°C. Bluethroat, Brambling, Redpoll, Reed Bunting and Willow Warbler singing. The lack of sun and butterflies on this trip was partly relieved today with a Pale Arctic Clouded Yellow (Colias nastes) along the roadside. Resembles a Green-veined White more than the other Colias species. Several more further along the road. No sign of any Northern Clouded Yellows (C. hecla) with which it is believed to hybridise with. Arctic Tern, Redwing, Common and Black-headed Gulls also noted.

    Lapland RoadTornetraskTornetrask


    TORNETRÄSK  68º 15’ 36N  19º 28’ 58E

    1135h. Another stop further east along this very long lake. Found a Bluethroat’s nest with at least three chicks (three heads) on the ground in the base/roots of a birch sapling. Both male and female adults observed bringing beakfulls of three to four green larvae back every couple of minutes. The green (a geometrid moth) caterpillars, probably Mottled Umber (Erannis defoliaria) were everywhere in plague-like proportions, stripping the birches of their leaves and crawling everywhere, even over the main road and up our legs! Another Bluethroat territory a short distance across the road where a male was singing away. Goldeneye (6ads, f + b/3). Willow Warblers and Redpolls common. Willow Grouse calling from birch scrub over the road. Common Gulls circling. Reed Buntings singing. Green-veined Whites.


    RAUTAS  67º 59’ 42N  19º 52’ 49E

    1245-1245h. Stopped to take a photograph of the river at the sign ‘Västra Rautäsalven: Alit Suorri’. Next to a parking area/rough ground there was a rather unassuming swampy area with dwarf willows and birches between the main road (E10) and the railway line. On stepping out of the car I heard a Little Bunting singing away from this area. Good views of the bird singing from the top of the tallest birch in the area. Appeared to be advertising two song types: both short, high-pitched, fairly tuneful notes mixed with some rough notes. Also heard giving a sharp, short, high-pitched “zip”. Pair of Bluethroats feeding young in the same patch. Fieldfare, Brambling and Willow Warbler singing. Common Crossbill (8) flew into some birches and began feasting on the profusion of moth larvae. ‘White-face’ type darter Leucorrhinia rubicunda.


    DUNDRET, GÄLLIVARE  67º 05’ 33N  20º 34’ 15E

    1930-2230h. Walked up Dundret hill under heavy cloud and drizzle. Redstarts (2 prs) found on the birch-covered slopes. Bluethroat, Brambling, Redwing, Fieldfare and Willow Warbler conspicuous. Meadow Pipits displaying above the tree line. Wheatear (3). Golden Plover (4) around the plateau. Walked for several kilometres around the upland area, finding nothing but a few Reindeer. Back down at the foot of the hill a Woodcock was displaying.



    Woodcock roding. Hooded Crow nesting.



    Tuesday 6 July 2004
    Gällivare > Muddus National Park > Jokkmokk > Sorsele > Vojmån, Lappland
    Rained continually through the day, easing to showers at night.

    Highlights: Hazel Hen, Capercaillie, Waxwing, Parrot Crossbill, Willow Tit, Common Crane, Whooper Swan and Merlin.


    1130h. At least six Willow Tits found around the site, but no Siberians! Pied Flycatcher (pr) and Fieldfare noted.


    MUDDUS NATIONAL PARK: SKAITE  66º 46’ 20N  20º 06’ 27E

    1515-1745h. About 1 km from the Skaite car park, a female Capercaillie and two chicks were wandering down the single track road. Allowed fairly close approach before they disappeared into the pine forest. Redstarts were the most vocal birds in the area. Walked about 2 km along the Màkoskårsa trail. Redstart (3 prs). Brambling and Willow Warbler singing. Waxwing (4+) in the large open scots pine area near the start of the trails – the birds mainly flycatching in the canopy. Several Parrot Crossbills observed with many Crossbill sp. flocks flying over. White Wagtail at the bridge over the river. Willow Tit (4+). Walked the first 500 metres of the Muddusàlven trail when I heard a brood of Hazel Hens (Hazel Grouse) calling, immediately followed by at least six chicks exploding off the ground and up into the lower branches of the pines and spruce. Tree Pipits calling. Weasel (Mustela nivalis) and Wood Pigeon along the single track road back to road 45.


    ARCTIC CIRCLE AT JOKKMOKK 66º 33’ 08N  19º 45’ 34E

    Swallow and Common Sandpiper noted while stopping for obligatory tourist photographs.


    SMALL LAKE ALONG ROAD 45 AT 65º 57’ 51N  19º 36’ 14E

    2040h. Goldeneye (f + b/4). Raven on the ground. Hooded Crow and heavy rain.


    LARGE BOG BY ROAD 45 AT 65º 39’ 47N  19º 13’ 13E

    Approximately 2 km north of Akkavare. Common Crane (pr) c75 metres from the road on the right-hand side (south bound).



    Whooper Swan (pr + b/2).



    Woodcock roding. Another Woodcock near Storuman.



    2305h. Merlin over the birch scrub c1 km north of 64º 47’ 34N  16º 47’ 20E

    Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) over the road here.



    Wednesday 7 July 2004
    Vojmån > Stromsund > Gadded > Stora Blåsjon > Stekkenjok, Jämtland > Vilhelmina > Dorotea, Lappland
    Cloudy, very cold, wet and windy around Stekkenjop.

    Highlights: Long-tailed Skua, Lapland Bunting, Rough-legged Buzzard, Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Black-throated Diver, Bluethroat, Waxwing, Little Gull and Brambling.


    0230-0400h. Fieldfares abundant.



    Fieldfares abundant along the roadside – more seen in this area than anywhere else in the country.



    Black-throated Diver (pr) out on the lake, c30 metres from the roadside at Leipikvattnet 64º 56’ 10N  14º 12’ 54E. Also a Yellow Wagtail here. Meadow Pipits. Scaup (m) at 65º 01’ 40N  14º 19’ 54E. Redpoll. Willow Warbler singing from dwarf willow and birch scrub. Raven. Yellow Wagtail. Parked by the waterfalls/rapids at 65º 02’ 55N  14º 19’ 42E. Ringed Plover – territorial behaviour on a tundra-like area with sparse vegetation. Bluethroat (m). Wheatear (f). Meadow Pipit. Fieldfare.


    Globe Flower (Trollius europaeus)StekkenjokStekkenjok Rapids


    STEKKENJOK  65º 05’ 57N  14º 27’ 07E

    1400-1600h. Barren tundra-like plateau with marshy, rocky hollows containing pools. Two large lakes or old opencast mining pits. Biting cold wind. Snow on the ground. Walked over the bridge, turned right and explored the pools then walked to the start of the hill on the far side of the road. Meadow Pipits common. Found a female Lapland Bunting on a lichen-covered rock. Tried to whistle it in when the male flew in and landed just a few metres away from me on another rock. A further three pairs of Lapland Buntings found in the area. Several pairs of Ringed Plovers plus a flock of 12. Common Gull. Fieldfare. Wheatear. Redshank (pr). Ruff (1). Golden Plover (1). A Long-tailed Skua hunting over moorland slopes of the hill and over marshy areas around the pools. Spent most of the time hovering like a Kestrel. Two pairs of Common Sandpiper on the river. A male Long-tailed Duck in smart breeding plumage on a tiny pool surrounded by emerging sedges/rushes.

    5 KM FURTHER NORTH FROM STEKKENJOK  65º 06’ 16N  14º 32’ 58E

    Rough-legged Buzzard soaring over an area of sparse birch woodland and a male Scaup on the lake here. No sign of the female – possibly sitting tight. Willow Warbler singing.


    A FEW KM ON  65º 04’ 56N  14º 37’ 49E

    Goosander on the lake here. Brambling (m) and Hooded Crow.


    Stopped for coffee at the impressive river rapids here.


    LAKE NEAR LÖVNÄS 64º 54’ 14N  15º 51’ 36E

    Black-throated Diver close to the shore. White Wagtail chasing insects.



    Goldeneye, Arctic Tern, Brambling, Redwing, White Wagtail, Hooded Crow, Common Gull, Fieldfare, and Magpie noted.


    MALGOVIK FÅGELTORN (bird tower) 64º 37’ 37N  16º 23’ 24E

    1915-1940h. Marsh and open water encompassed by birch and pine. Black-throated Diver (pr). Wigeon (f + b/5). Mallard (f + b/1). Little Gull (1). Arctic Tern (4+), one pair with b/2 on a half-submerged trunk. Adult terns bringing fish and feeding/dropping them without even landing. Wood Sandpiper calling from the top of a birch. Curlew (pr). Dunnock and Willow Warbler singing. House Martins abundant. Swallow. Swift. Redpoll. Common Gull (4). Black-headed Gull (34). Fieldfare. Hooded Crow. Wood Pigeon. White Wagtails. Also a few Sand Martins.


    ITVATTNET JUNCTION ON ROAD 45  64º 31’ 03N  16º 45’ 45E

    Waxwing perched on a roadside telegraph wire at the edge of a spruce wood.



    Stayed the night here. The owner told us that it had rained nearly continuously here for the past two weeks! Brood of Willow Tits found. Chiffchaff singing. Several Fieldfares. White Wagtail. Redwing singing through the night.


    Thursday 8 July 2004
    Dorotea > Lake Ånnsjön > Östersund, Jämtland
    Overcast and cool.

    Highlights: Broad-billed Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Whimbrel, Black-throated Diver, Red-throated Diver, Common Scoter, and Velvet Scoter.


    Species noted on the drive: Kestrel, Fieldfare, Magpie, Hooded Crow, Swift, Swallow, Black-headed Gull, White Wagtail and House Martin.


    JARPEN  62º 20’ 33N  13º 26’ 35E

    Black-throated Diver (pr + chick) viewable from the large bridge over the river/lake here.


    LAKE ÅNNSJÖN: ÅNN AREA  63º 19’ 24N  12º 32’ 14E

    Small pool with two hides: Teal (pr + b/6). Tufted Duck (5mm + 4ff). Water Rail calling. Willow Warbler singing. Goldeneye (f). Mallard (f). Pied Flycatcher (m). Hide overlooking a bay in Lake Ånnsjön: Common Scoter (2mm + 3ff). Goldeneye (5). Tufted Duck (5). Canada Goose (2). Wood Sandpiper (2 visible). Several Arctic Terns and Common Gulls. House Martin. Swallow. Willow Warbler singing.



    Adult Redwing with a recently fledged chick. Yellow Wagtail. Tree Pipit. Brambling. Willow Warbler. Meadow Pipit.


    Lake AnnsjonNataholmen, Lake AnnsjonLong-eared Owl Lake



    Tower overlooking a waterlogged sedge marsh and bog. Black-throated Diver (3 prs). Common Scoter (2mm). Goldeneye (f + b/6). Wigeon (b/4, b/2, b/3). Grey Heron (3). Arctic Tern (20+). Velvet Scoter (m + 2ff). Black-headed Gull. Common Gull. Red-breasted Merganser (f). Red-throated Diver (2 prs). Whimbrel (1). Yellow Wagtail. Scaup (f). Wood Sandpiper (2) mobbing a Fox carrying off a tern chick. Golden Plover (2 prs). Snipe displaying. Redshank calling. Ruff (1 visible). Cuckoo (m). Great Tit (2).



    A great little area although most breeding waders remained hidden in the vegetation most of the time. Red-necked Phalarope (3mm + 1f) swimming manically around in not too dense broad-leaved weeds/open water – like clockwork toys. Red-throated Diver (pr). Another bird flew in later. Several pairs of Arctic Terns nesting. Two nests with two chicks and two nest with single chicks. Several Redshank and Lapwing. Black-headed Gull (c20). Hooded Crow overhead, chased off by the adult terns. Tufted Duck (2 prs). At least two Broad-billed Sandpipers in the area – birds appeared to be quite active, flying back and forth (nesting) nut rarely showing for long before disappearing into the vegetation. Golden Plover. Reed Bunting (m). Male Teal in eclipse plumage. Redwings singing. Tufted Duck (2 prs). Two Grey Herons overhead.


    Friday 9 July 2004
    Alebosjön, Söderhamn > Ledskär > Färnebojärden, Uppland
    Partly cloudy, sunshine, mild.

    Highlights: Long-eared Owl, Common Crane, Black-throated Diver, Lesser Whitethroat, Red-backed Shrike, White-tailed Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Hobby, Osprey, Temminck's Stint, Little Gull, Garganey, Common Rosefinch, and Marsh Tit.


    Several Woodcock seen. Fox (5, inc. 3 cubs). Common Buzzard and a dead Badger.

    Stopped to photograph a lake at 0035h, not sure where… 62º 57’ 14N  15º 05’ 25E.

    A Long-eared Owl flew over the lake then right over my head before following the course of the main road through thick forestry.


    ALEBOSJÖN, SÖDERHAMN  61º 24’ 59N  16º 59’ 00E

    0430-0530h. Large lake beside a service area on road E4 southbound. Common Crane (1). Black-throated Diver (3). Goosander (1). Red-backed Shrike (f). Grey Heron (2 o/h). Reed Bunting singing. Tree Pipits displaying. Great Spotted Woodpecker ( 2 chicks). Lesser Whitethroat (pr). Jay (pr + b/5) raiding the refuge bins. Garden Warbler (pr). Common Gull. White Wagtail. Black-headed Gull. Great Tit. Common Sandpiper. Redwing singing. Blackbird. Siskin. Hooded Crow. Common Sandpiper. Chaffinch.



    Raven. Commic Tern (3 juvs) over the river near Soderala, Hooded Crow, Swift, Starling, House Martin, Wood Pigeon, Swallow, Blackbird, Fieldfare, White Wagtail, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Black-throated Diver (2), Yellowhammer, Whinchat, Jackdaw, Grey Heron, House Sparrow, Magpie, Marsh Harrier near Karlholmbruk, Wood Pigeon, Coot, Mallard and Skylark.




    LEDSKÄR  60º 30’ 15N  17º 42’ 26E

    0830-1100h. Scrub around the car park: Garden Warbler singing. Yellowhammer. Fieldfare. Greenfinch. Whinchat family. Pied Flycatcher (pr). Lesser Whitethroat. Starling. Swift. Hooded Crow. Whitethroat singing. Skylark song-flighting. Nuthatch calling. White Wagtail brood. A 300 metre walk through juniper scrub and grazed coastal meadows to the tower overlooking the bay. Cattle grazing in a wet meadow on the shore of a shallow bay in the Gulf of Bothnia and plenty of birds! A warm day with sunshine too. Caspian Tern (18+ inc, 5 juvs). Common Tern (many breeding pairs). White-tailed Eagle (2nd yr). Hobby (1). Spotted Redshank (2). Greenshank (5). Wood Sandpiper (4). Osprey (1). Little Gull (1). Common Rosefinch calling. Garganey (f). Black-throated Diver (1). Temminck’s Stint (2). Oystercatcher (pr). Dunlin (c12). Redshank (6+). Curlew (1). Pochard (m). Arctic Tern (a few). Mute Swan (2prs, b/2, b/1, 20 non-breeders). Greylag Goose (200+). Canada Goose (c30). Grey Heron (21). Goldeneye (20+). Tufted Duck (10+). Great Crested Grebe (3+ prs). Wigeon (6). Teal (c30). Mallard. Ruff (2). Fieldfare. Skylark. White Wagtail (flock of 10). Wood Pigeon. Meadow Pipit. Lapwing (30+). Hooded Crow. Jackdaw. Magpie. Great Tit. Tree Pipit. Lesser Black-backed Gull. Common Gull. Black-headed Gull. Starling. Willow Warbler. Swift. Swallow. Redwing. House Martin. Chaffinch. Reed Bunting. Greenfinch. Ringlets (Aphantopus hyperantus) common. Pearly Heath (Coenonympha arcania) (5+).


    FÄRNEBOJÄRDEN, GYSINGE  60º 17’ 22N  16º 52’ 58E

    Tree Sparrows common around the village – appear to be filling or sharing the ‘commensal of man’ niche of domesticus. Around four or five coming to the picnic table where we were having lunch. In contrast only one pair of House Sparrows were seen with two juveniles. Observed a male House passing a piece of ham to a juvenile which was suddenly snatched from its mouth by an aggressive Tree. Whenever a Tree was nearby during future feeds, the adult House was not keen to let it go to its hungry progeny. At one point a tug-of-war style food-pass ensued. Raven overhead. Jackdaw (two broods). White Wagtail (many fledged young). Swift, Swallow and House Martin overhead. Whitethroat (pr) on the bonfire – feeding young in a nest. Small Tortoiseshell (3+). A snake’s skin found near the lake edge and soon after a dark-coloured Grass Snake (Natrix natrix) was observed sliding off some sun-warmed rocks.



    A small wooded island (c200 x 100 metres) linked by a short road bridge. Nuthatch (2 ads + juv). Pied Flycatcher (pr feeding juvs). Treecreeper (4 inc singing m + juvs). Tree Pipit (3). Spotted Flycatcher (1). Chaffinch (3). Fieldfare (1). Blue Tit (1). Willow Warblers singing. Blackbird (1). Goldeneye (18 ff). Common Gull (o/h). White Wagtail eating a darter dragonfly. Great Tit (brood). Swallow (1). Greenfinch (1). Common Sandpiper (1). Swift (o/h). Grey Heron (1). Common Tern (1). Garden Warbler singing. Banded Demoiselle (Calpoteryx splendens).



    Marsh Tit (1). Nuthatch calling. Wood Warbler. Crested Tit calling. Robin singing. Treecreeper (2). Great Spotted Flycatcher (juv). Spotted Flycatcher. Blue Tit brood. Redwing. Blackbird. Chaffinch feeding juvs. Several Great Tit broods.


    SKEKARSBO  60º 12’ 50N  16º 50’ 53E

    Black-throated Diver (pr + b/1). Redstart (pr). Arctic Tern (10+). Common Sandpiper (2+). Grey Heron. White Wagtail. Willow Warbler. Lesser Black-backed Gull. Common Gull. Swallow. Swift. Wood Pigeon. Robin carrying food for young.


    CAMPSITE NEAR GYSINGE  60º 17’ 10N  16º 48’ 17E

    Mute Swan (pr). Common Tern, Fieldfare, Common Gull, Siskin and Common Sandpiper visible from the tent.


    Saturday 10 July 2004
    Färnebojärden > Lake Hjälstaviken > Uppsala, Uppland
    Overcast and heavy rain clearing to fine warm weather after 1400h.

    Highlights: Caspian Tern, White-tailed Eagle, Common Crane, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Hobby, Little Gull, Garganey, Little Ringed Plover, Spotted Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Wood Sandpiper, Greenshank, and Ruff.  

    CAMPSITE NEAR GYSINGE  60º 17’ 10N  16º 48’ 17E

    Woke up to heavy rain. Fieldfare, Siskin and White Wagtail noted as we packed the tent up.


    LAKE HJÄLSTAVIKEN, HÅRBY  59º 49’ 31N  17º 21’ 44E

    Caspian Tern (13). Common Crane (11). Wood Sandpiper (100+). Greenshank (14). Spotted Redshank (7). Osprey (1). Garganey (4). White-tailed Eagle (3rd or 4th year). Little Ringed Plover (2). Redshank (4). Dunlin (6). Black-tailed Godwit (1). Ruff (2). Gadwall (1). Little Gull (1). Yellow Wagtail (1). Swift. Swallow. Greylag Goose. Canada Goose. Mallard. Lapwing (many breeding pairs with chicks). Herring Gull (juv/fledgeling). Black-headed Gull (large breeding colony). Starling. Hooded Crow. Tree Sparrow (pair using nest box at the car park). White Wagtail. Raven. Wigeon. Teal. Grey Heron. Great Crested Grebe (8). Coot. Goldeneye. Stock Dove (3). Fieldfare. Blue Tit. Jackdaw. Wheatear (1). Reed Warbler. Curlew. Skylark. Wood Pigeon, Tufted Duck. Shoveler (1). Reed Bunting. Meadow Pipit (3 displaying mm). Yellowhammer singing. Magpie. Ringlets common. Small Tortoiseshell (1). Vagrant Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) and White-faced Darter (Leucorrhinia dubia) dragonflies along the trail.



    Hobby (1). Collared Dove (2). Common Buzzard (1). Magpie. Fieldfare. Hooded Crow.


    Sunday 11 July 2004
    Sunnersta Camping, Uppsala > Stockholm Arlanda Airport > London Heathrow
    Blue sky/few clouds, max temperature 24°C.

    Highlights: Grey-headed Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Green Woodpecker, Crested Tit and Redstart.


    Nuthatch (pr + b/4). Redstart (juv). Green Woodpecker calling. Tree Sparrow. Goldcrest. Great Tit brood. Treecreeper. Crested Tit. Jay (2) mobbed by Blackbirds. Great Spotted Woodpecker (pr + b/2). Greenfinch and Willow Warbler singing. Spotted Flycatcher. Chaffinch feeding juveniles. Blackcap. Fieldfare. Robin. Wood Pigeon. Magpie. Reed Warbler. Common Sandpiper. Common Tern. Blue Tit. White Wagtail. Hooded Crow. Mallard. Goldfinch. Black-headed Gull. Lesser Black-backed Gull. Yellowhammer.



    Street close to the campsite. Goldcrest. Nuthatch (pr + b/3). Siskin. Willow Warbler. A distant Grey-headed Woodpecker was heard calling. Eventually tracked down but extremely difficult to obtain food views of it – not very approachable,  regularly flying long distances at a time. Wood Pigeon. Blue Tit, Hooded Crow. Greenfinch. Magpie. Swift overhead. Jay (brood). Robin. Fieldfare. Great Spotted Woodpecker. Fox.



    Rooks fairly common, Fieldfare, Redwing, Jackdaw, Common Tern, White Wagtail, Hooded Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Magpie, Wood Pigeon and Blackbird. Around 20 Fieldfares on grassy areas around the car hire depot and terminal two.


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