I teamed up with Jules Bell today who was in town and we headed for Årnestangen. As usual there is always a lot of excitement and as you walk the 40 minutes out to the end of the peninsula with the uncertainty of whether you will actually see anything of note. Today we were not to be disappointed though. On the way out the sound of calling Cranes (trane) and a high flying migrating Marsh Harrier (sivhauk) helped keep the excitement levels high as did a Red-throated Pipit (lappiplerke) that flew up calling in front of us although when we got to the end and scanned the mud banks I was initially disappointed as there seemed to be hardly any waders. However as is usual here if you give it some time then waders just seem to pop up. In the end we had 6 Temminck Stints, 4 Little Stints (dvergsnipe), 40 Dunlin (myrsnipe) and a few others. One Little Stint gave us something to work with as we initially found it long range and it seemed too large for a stint and quite long necked. We started working through the possibilities before it eventually flew closer and showed it was “just” a Little Stint but a particularly large individual.
Raptors were the real highlight of the day with a total of 6 different Marsh Harriers seen including an adult female with a hanging broken leg that has been around for about 3 weeks. We also had numbers of Buzzards (musvåk), Ospreys (fiskeørn) and Sparrowhawks (spurvehauk) plus singles of Peregrine (vandrefalk) and Merlin (dvergfalk), with the later hunting Meadow Pipits (heipiplerke) around us.
A very strange spectacle was 4 Willow Tits (granmeis) that flew out at the end of the peninsula in a migration attempt but stopped and tried to land on the observation platform with one actually brushing against Jule’s face.
By Svellet there are thousands of geese congregating now mostly Barnacle (hvitkinngås) and Greylag (grågås). Quite where there geese come from is unknown to me as they do not seem to be part of the local breeding populations and the Barnacles at least could at least come from the southern Swedish population.
Today’s pictures are of that old favourite, Red-backed Shrike (tornskate) but are this time rather good I think.