Jump to content

OK, let's see what turns up - BY 2021


Recommended Posts

Soukous

It seems like an age since I last posted here.

Family obligations managed to eat up the last part of August and the first 10 days of September. What with a wedding in Germany and then recovering our car from Gotland (I'll let you look that one up :P) I had little time to call my own.

Our son had decided that he wanted to go to the most remote university he could find - probably to keep his parents from visiting too often - but he needed our car to get all his belongings there, even then they only just fit in. ( I remember riding the National Express coach when I started college with everything I owned in a sports bag)

 

After leaving him a respectable amount of time to unpack and settle in (24 hours) we flew ( 3 flights - more time in airports than on planes) up to Visby to recover our car.

 

Of course as this may well have been the only time we will visit Gotland, we allowed ourself a few days to have a look around. It's not a big island, you can drive from top to bottom in 2 hours and from one side to the other in less than 1.

At the end of August, Gotland is all but deserted. The summer holidaymakers have departed and the roads are blissfully free of traffic. Sadly, for the most part, it was also free of birds.

I'd tried to find out as much as I could about birding on Gotland but information was sparse.

A local birding company wanted $30 - sorry that should have been 430 -  Euros for a 1 day birding tour. When I told them I though that was expensive they ceased communication.

I did find though, a wonderful trip report from a Dutch birder, John van der Woude, who had visitied the southern part of the island in September 2015. From what he wrote I had great expectations.

 

Summer is not the most rewarding time for birding on Gotland, though it really comes into its own during migration seasons. Nevertheless, it was fun to be somewhere new, and there were a few species to capture.

 

If I had been looking for Goosanders, then all my Christmases had come at once as there were several of them on every stretch of water. Shame they were not really on my list, but the clear Baltic waters and wonderful light made them irresistible subjects.

 

Goosander

 

Goosander

 

Goosander

 

The little harbour near our son's cottage was an overnight stop for growingnumbers of Canada Geese and Greylag Geese, neither of which excited me. I did spot one newbie though, a Scaup with her chicks.

apparently I didn't. It is a Tufted Duck :(

 

Sjalso, Gotland. September 2021

 

Scaup

 

Now, I am sure there will be those who think this is a Tufted Duck rather than a Scaup. You may well be correct. The white patches are not very distinct, but it does have a high forehead and no tuft.

 

Scaup

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Soukous
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 486
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Soukous

    222

  • Galana

    81

  • PeterHG

    30

  • Kitsafari

    22

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

It seems like an age since I last posted here. Family obligations managed to eat up the last part of August and the first 10 days of September. What with a wedding in Germany and then recovering

One of the things that my research did turn up is that Gotland is one of the very best places to see White-tailed Eagles and Golden Eagles. Apparently there are 55 pairs of Golden Eagles and 45 pairs

Anyway, enough of that, time to get back on track with a very stuttering BY.   This next one is definitely a record for me. Not a record I particularly wanted but a record nonetheless.

Posted Images

Galana
11 minutes ago, Soukous said:

Now, I am sure there will be those who think this is a Tufted Duck rather than a Scaup.

:):)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous

The next one is not very exciting, except for the fact that we never see them at home.

 

#128 - Hooded Crow - Corvus cornix

Gotland, Sept 2021

 

Hooded Crow

 

A drive across to the East side of the island produced no birds of interest.

A little further north proved better. Asunden is an island on the north east coast linked by a causeway. The island itself is a nature reserve and once again was home to gathering numbers of geese.

 

There was also a flock of Golden Plovers in the shallows.

 

#129 - Golden Plover - Pluvialis apricaria

Asunden, Gotland. Sept 2021

 

Golden Plovers

 

Golden Plovers

 

Golden Plovers

 

Despite patient (by my standards) stalking, they would not let me get close.

 

Once they had flown to a new spot further along the shore I noticed this chap poking around.

 

# 130 - Spotted Redshank - tringa erythropus

Asunden, Gotland. Sep 2021

 

Spotted Redshank

 

he also flew off when I tried to get closer

Spotted Redshank

 

but returned a short while later

 

Spotted Redshank

 

Spotted Redshank

 

and that was it for the day.

 

Edited by Soukous
Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous
Just now, Galana said:

:):)

 

:rolleyes: go on then, tell me now so I can adjust the numbers

Link to post
Share on other sites
Galana
2 minutes ago, Soukous said:

tell me now so I can adjust the numbers

Well the f Scaup is more grey on the back and I wonder if you have got the forehead crown field mark the wrong way round? Surely it is the Tufty that has the steep forehead. The Scaup is more rounded. Just saying!

Good to see you are back. $30 is not bad for a guide compared with what they ask in  Mull and Outer Hebrides.

E100 in Spain but he did provide the vehicle. But it is always nice to find one's own sightings.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous

One of the things that my research did turn up is that Gotland is one of the very best places to see White-tailed Eagles and Golden Eagles. Apparently there are 55 pairs of Golden Eagles and 45 pairs of White-tailed Eagles on the island so my hopes were high that I'd at least see them both.

 

As it happens, our son's girlfriend has an aunt who has a holiday cottage on the south of the island. We asked if there was any chance we could spend a night there and were delighted when she said we could.

It was very lucky for us.

We dropped off our bags and set out to explore the area. But when we got to the end of the drive I said I'd like to drive to the end of the lane, just to see what was there, as on my map is looked as if it would take us to the coast.

It didn't, the lane petered out at a locked farm gate, so we turned around and headed back up the lane.

 

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a bird alight on the top of a tree in the distance.

golden-eagle-1st.jpg.1a9c00147a6ed07704a306f1fb13ea6c.jpg

 

I'd seen a flash of white on the tail and excitedly announced that it was a White-tailed Eagle.

Then it moved to a differet treetop where it was joined by a second bird and I realised my mistake

 

#131 - Golden Eagle - Aquila chrysaetos

 

Golden Eagles

 

I was so focussed on White-tailed Eagles that I'd forgotten that Golden Eagles also have a lot of white on their tails.

 

The Eagle took to the sky and began to rise on warming air.

 

Golden Eagle

 

Golden Eagle

 

Golden Eagle

 

By now the second bird had joined it in the sky and we watched them getting higher and further away, Then someone said "there are 4 of them". "No way".

 

A look around confirmed that our original pair had been joined by 2 others. Then I noticed that there were yet more specks in the sky and we had no fewer than 7 Eagles riding the thermals out to sea. Too far away to bother with photographs, but thrilling all the same.

 

A look at the map suggested that we might get a better vantage point further up the coast so we piled back into the car and drove around to see if that was the case. It wasn't, as all the birds were now too far away to even count as specks.

Then we saw one coming towards us.

 

White-tailed Eagle

 

and this one was a White-tailed Eagle - a juvenile.

 

#132 - White-tailed Eagle - Haliaeetus albicilla

Gotland, Sept 2021

 

White-tailed Eagle

 

White-tailed Eagle

 

White-tailed Eagle

 

No need to tell you how happy I was at that moment. :D

Edited by Soukous
Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous
14 minutes ago, Galana said:

. $30 is not bad for a guide compared with what they ask in  Mull and Outer Hebrides.

E100 in Spain but he did provide the vehicle. But it is always nice to find one's own sightings.

 

Oops, I meant to write 430 Euros - I would have been over the moon if it had been just 30. But you can barely get a coffee and an ice cream for that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous

I'm struggling to ID this one

help.jpg.210d11cdda87afb611497cfd07ebb9f0.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
TonyQ

A great Eagle sighting!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Galana
49 minutes ago, Soukous said:

I'm struggling to ID this one

What would you like it to be?:)

Could be Whinchat but I am leaning towards Bluethroat.

 

Great first day with the Eagles.

Edited by Galana
added text.
Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous
9 minutes ago, Galana said:

What would you like it to be?:)

Could be Whinchat but I am leaning towards Bluethroat.

 

I'd be happy with either. Don't the black legs make it unlikely to be a Bluethroat?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous
10 minutes ago, Galana said:

Great first day with the Eagles.

 

first and last day :(

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous

Here's another I'm struggling with. I think it's a Finch, but can't find a match

finch.jpg.2a15ded80cf1515fac80a0c8926f6d5f.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous

well, that was just about it for Gotland.

I had a moment of excitement when i thought I'd got a Kentish Plover, but it turned out to be a juvenile Ricged Plover

Ringed Plover, juv

 

I got just one more tick on an early monring walk.

 

# 133 - Red-backed Shrike - Lanius collurio

Gotland, Sept 2021

Red-backed Shrike

 

Red-backed Shrike

 

 

Edited by Soukous
Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous

To experience Gotland's full potential I will have to make a return visit, maybe combine it with Öland, another island between Gotland and the mainland, which has a good reputation for birding, especially during migrations.

I have to say I was disappointed not to get a better score from Gotland, but the Eagle sightings compensated.

 

My final addition for this little spurt

 

#134 - Great White Egret - Ardea alba

Lower Saxony, Germany. Sept 2021

 

Great White Egret

 

Great White Egret

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous

Something I omitted to mention, and which I shall remedy here.

 

When our son's girlfriend spoke to her aunt to thank her for the use of the cottage, she mentioned that we had seen Eagles and also my interest in birds.

 

"if I'd known in advance i woud have suggested you say hello to our neighbour, he knows all about the birds on Gotland. He's a family friend, his name is Lars Jonsson."

 

Lars Jonsson. Yes, THE Lars Jonsson, one of Sweden's foremost birding experts and a brilliant illustrator. I have a couple of his book on my shelf. (sadly out of print now, but his guide to 'Birds of Europe' used to be THE book to use). If I'd known I'd have been knocking his door down.

Tthe Lars Jonsson museum, which has a beautiful exhibition of his work and paintings is just a couple of miles away and well worth a visit. As well as the paintings they have a great selection of cakes.

Edited by Soukous
Link to post
Share on other sites
PeterHG

Great eagle sightings and photos! I would go with Whinchat for the first and juvenile House Sparrow for the second. That is certainly a neighbour to remember for your next visit to Gotland! I do agree that charging €430 euros for a day’s guided birding is extremely expensive! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous

Thanks @PeterHG

I am happy to pay for guides - and have done so - in areas I do not know but that was excessive. 

 

Thanks for the juvenile Sparrow. It was part of a small 'flock' that behaved in a Sparrow-like manner, but it was the only one I managed to get a picture of.

 

As for the Whinchat, that was one of @Galana's options as well, so that may well be it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
pedro maia

Great eagles shots, always among my favourites.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous
50 minutes ago, pedro maia said:

Great eagles shots, always among my favourites.

 

Thank you. Yes it is always exciting to see Eagles, especially as I have failed to do so on my last 3 trips.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous

As I have 2 calls for this to be a Whinchat, I'll add it - ebc, this year more than ever.

 

# 135 Whinchat - Saxicola rubetta

Gotland, Sept 2021

 

help.jpg.c7892d773a080b943b18114e58ebe85a.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Kitsafari
On 9/14/2021 at 7:49 PM, Soukous said:

Something I omitted to mention, and which I shall remedy here.

 

When our son's girlfriend spoke to her aunt to thank her for the use of the cottage, she mentioned that we had seen Eagles and also my interest in birds.

 

"if I'd known in advance i woud have suggested you say hello to our neighbour, he knows all about the birds on Gotland. He's a family friend, his name is Lars Jonsson."

 

Lars Jonsson. Yes, THE Lars Jonsson, one of Sweden's foremost birding experts and a brilliant illustrator. I have a couple of his book on my shelf. (sadly out of print now, but his guide to 'Birds of Europe' used to be THE book to use). If I'd known I'd have been knocking his door down.

Tthe Lars Jonsson museum, which has a beautiful exhibition of his work and paintings is just a couple of miles away and well worth a visit. As well as the paintings they have a great selection of cakes.

 

 

and you didn't knock on his door to say Hello! ??

 

what a fantastic sighting of the eagles!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Soukous
5 hours ago, Kitsafari said:

and you didn't knock on his door to say Hello! ??

 

If I had found out sooner I may well have done so, but we had already left the village when I found out. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
elefromoz

Wow, 'Golden Gotland", Eagles and Plovers. 55 GE pairs seems a lot for such a small island. Another place to bookmark for the future...

Link to post
Share on other sites
michael-ibk

A fantastic Eagle sighting!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy