LATEST NEWS Today: Thursday 24 January 2019.  Sunrise at 08:14 am. Sunset at 04:27 pm. See also...
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2 November 2018: One week in Cape May (New Jersey, USA)

In behalf of the friendship agreement between four international bird observatories (Cape May, Long Point, Spurn and Falsterbo) we have an ongoing youth exchange program. One of our ringers, Marc Illa, is now at Cape May, and this is his report after his first week there:

Cape May is a fantastic place for migratory birds! The New Jersey Audubon and the Cape May Bird Observatory do excellent work protecting areas and making them suitable for migratory birds as well as they run different monitoring programs. During these days here I have been able to participate in the several projects that they run, but I have been mostly involved in the new bird banding (=ringing) project, that has started this year. A lot of interesting data has been collected this year already, updates can be followed at:

Above I attach some pictures to summarize this week of birding and ringing in Cape May! From left to right and from top to bottom: White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys, Tree Swallows Tachycineta bicolor, Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis, Black-and-White Warbler Mniotilta varia, American Kestrel Falco sparverius, Black Skimmers Rynchops niger and Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata.



27 October 2018: Leach's Storm-petrel at Nabben

The windy days recently have brought many sea-birds onto the west coast of Sweden. Some of them have even reached as far as Falsterbo. Ten Gannets have been sighted as well as a few Pomarine and Long-tailed Skuas and Kittywakes. However the most unexpected one was a Leach's Storm-petrel passing very close to Nabben in the morning of 27 October.

This was the 8:th record of Leach's Storm Petrel at Falsterbo ever. All have been seen at Nabben and only one at the time. The first one was seen on 30 September 1969. The following ones were seen on 1 October 1990, 4 November 1992, 18 September 1997, 4 October 1997, 30 October 1998, 23 September 2004 and finally now, 27 October 2018. There were as most six years between the observations in 1990-2004. Then it took 14 years till the next one...



26 October 2018: Three reports

Three recently published reports are now available in our Publications list:
Migration counts at Falsterbo in 2017
Ringing at Falsterbo B.O. in 2017
Breeding birds on coastal meadows in Vellinge municipality in 2018 (only in Swedish).
We are very sorry for the delay of the reports for 2017, but that's due to circumstances, which are beyond our control.
Click on Publications in the top menu bar or on one of the images below to read.



30 September 2018: Look out - Coal Tits are coming!

Coal Tit (Periparus ater) is a typical irruptive species in southern Sweden. As you can see in the attached graph, the seasonal totals from the Lighthouse garden since the start of the standardised ringing in 1980 are highly variable.
This year (in red) we have already ringed 161 individuals, which is already the 5th best total ever, and it's not even October yet!
Yesterday we had the third best daily total in the standard series ever at the Lighthouse, with 53 individuals ringed, including one adult. Also, six Coal Tits were ringed at Flommen yesterday, where only eight individuals have been ringed before.

It should be mentioned that the ever highest daily total is 306 on 1 October 1975 and the highest seasonal total (1,136) is from the same year. It was (unfortunately) before the standardised era, with fewer nets (8-12 mostly) and less staff (1-2 persons) than nowadays. It's not directly comparable but it tells something - all the same. (Marc Illa, Lennart Karlsson)



26 September 2018: Exciting recovery!

An extraordinary recovery was reported today. It is about a Red Knot <i>Calidris canutus</i>, ringed as first year (1cy) at Nabben, Falsterbo 2 September 2002.
Fifteen years and 301 days later, 4 July 2018, it is recaptured as an adult breeding female on the Taymyr peninsula by Russian ringers, very far north on the Siberian tundra, almost by the edge of the Arctic Ocean (76.05 N, 98.33 E).

The distance betwee the ringing and recovery sites is 4,003 km. The Red Knot has travelled this distance twice a year for 15 years + two single trips. That's 128,000 km in all. The there is the distance between Falsterbo and the wintering area in West Africa, which will almost double the total distance. In summary, the total flight distance of this bird is around eight laps around the Earth. Impressive, indeed!



11 September 2018: Spotted Crake

Today we ringed two Spotted Crakes Porzana porzana at Flommen. Even though the species is not very common here, we get some every season. What makes today’s captures more interesting is that one of them was an adult, which is very rarely caught. Among 58 Spotted Crakes ringed since 1980, this was only the second adult.

The photos below show, today's two Spotted Crakes, the 1cy bird to the left and the adult to the right. The adult has much more grey in its face, a more distinct-coloured bill and a reddish iris colour.



2 September 2018: Bird show!

Today was the last day of the Falsterbo Bird Show! Thank you very much to all the assistants and organizers who made it possible once again! Birds have shown up very well during the weekend, especially today. More than 400 birds of 31 species were ringed at the two ringing sites.

The most interesting birds were two Hawfinches (Coccothraustes coccothraustes), 30 Whinchats (Saxicola rubetra) – which is the second best daily total ever(!) and one Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana). We were very pleased to be able to show the latter at a guiding!



27 August 2018: IBOC 3 is on its way!



4 August 2018: Good start of the ringing season

Many birds and no cancelled efforts characterizes the intro of the autumn ringing season. At Flommen it's even the highest total during the period 21-31 July. During these eleven days, 738 birds have been ringed, which is 108 more than the previous highest (630 from 1989). Many species like for instance Sedge Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Common Whitethroat and (even) Willow Warbler show totals well above their averages for July. One of the few showing totals below average is Reed Warbler.

Also at the Lighthouse, it has been fairly good: 281 ringed birds is the 7th highest for July in the series. Redstart, Icterine Warbler Lesser Whitethroat and Common Whitethroat were ringed in mubers clearly above average while for instance Willow Warbler is a bit below average.

There are several possible reasons for this outcome of the first eleven days. One is a good breeding season, another is earlier start of migration and a third one is the high presence of aphida in the reeds.
We will know a bit better a month ahead from now, when most long-distance migrants have left.



24 July 2018: Paddyfield Warbler!

Today we ringed the 7th Paddyfield Warbler Acrocephalus agricola for the Falsterbo Bird Observatory. It was caught on the very last net-round in the Flommen reedbed. The bird was aged as a 2cy female, according to plumage, iris colour and brood patch.
Previous individuals were ringed in 1962, 1990, 1992, 1998, 2003 and 2006. Four of these were caught at Flommen reedbeds in early August (and one in early September). The 2006 bird was caught at the Lighthouse during the spring season (10th June). Today's Paddyfield Warbler was really a nice sursprise, just at the beginning of (hopefully) a promising season!



10 June 2018: Born in the 20th century

A few days ago we received some recoveries of birds ringed at Falsterbo from the Ringing Centre. Among them was a Little Tern, ringed at Nabben 23 July 2000 and controlled at a breeding site on Sealand, Denmark 23 May this year, 17 years and 304 days later.

This is a new age record for Little Terns ringed in Sweden. It was aged as 3cy+ when ringed, which means that it was born in 1998 or earlier and very likely it has reached its 20th birthday (at least) by now.

We've only had five recoveries of Little Tern bfore this one. Four of them are from nearby sites while the fifth was found (dead) in Morocco, 2,888 km from Falsterbo. The previous oldest Little Tern was found five years after ringing.



12-13 May 2018: Breeding birds at Landgrens holme

Saturday morning 12 May, the annual count of breeding birds at Landgren's holme was carried out, as usual from a sky-lift (18 m high).There were new all-time-high grand totals for both nests and species: 436 nests and 13 species. Two new species, Sandwich Tern and Common Tern were recorded. Black-headed Gull, Arctic Tern and Little Tern were all counted in new all-time-high numbers.
Here is the result (pairs/nests):
Mallard 6, Common Eider, Oystercatcher 5, Pied Avocet 210, Ringed Plover 3, Northern Lapwing 3,
Common Redshank 15+ (difficult to spot in the grass), Blackheaded Gull 137, Common Gull 2, Sandwich Tern 8, Common Tern 1, Arctic Tern least 21 and Little Tern least 22.
Some additional nests may be hidden in the vegetation and even some additional species, like Shoveler, which has been spotted on the islet, but so far there is no evidence of breeding.

The number of Pied Avocets (210) is a little bit below the two previous seasons (2016: 244, 2017: 240) but still a very good number. Black-headed Gull has doubled its numbers compared to 2017. Four species of breeding terns is also an exclusive record!

Some pairs of Northern Lapwing and Ringed Plover already have chicks, while Pied Avocets and terns will have their chicks hatched within a week or two

The electric fences are working with full effect and no tracks of mammal predators have been observed for a long time. A few Jackdaws are trying to steal an egg or a chick at times but especially Little Terns are eager to chase them away.
Let's keep our fingers crossed for the predators to keep out of the area and the weather to be warm and dry during the hatching period. (Mikael Kristersson



5 May 2018: The Kestrels
Unfortunately, there seems to be no breeding Kestrels in the box on the Falsterbo Lighthouse this year. Lately we haven't even seen any Kestrels around. Thus we will close the link immediately.

This is the second time since 1990, when the nestbox was mounted, that no breeding has taken place. The nfirst time was in 2013. , in two other years, 2002 and 2017 no chicks have been hatched. However, all in all, 124 young Kestrels have been flying out of that nestbox over the years.



30 April 2018: Half-way

The first half og the spring seasomn has passed. All in all 1,877 birds have been ringed, equal to one bird above the half-time average number for 1980-2009. At the same time last year, 2,571 birds were ringed and perhaps that's why it feels alittle empty this spring. However. April 2017 and 2018 were very much alike with 1,679 and 1,641 birds ringed respectively. It was March 2017 that made the difference.

A look at the numbers for each species shows that Wren, Dunnock, Blackbird, Song Trush, Chiffchaff, Firecrest and Chaffinch are more numerous than both the half-time avreage and th average for the whole season. On the other hand the number of Robins has only reached a little more tha 50% of the half-time average. All species mentioned above are short/medium distance migrant and their migration period will soon be over.

Long-distance migrants are at the beginning of their migrating period. So far , Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap are ringed in numbers well above the half-tim average. Willow Warbler, on the other hand, has only reached about 70 % of the half-time average. Other species of long-distance migrants like Common Whitethroat, Wood Warbler and Pied Flycatcher have been ringed only occasionally.

The first Lesser Whitethroat was ringed already 10 April and the first Common Whitethroat on 19 April, both being the earliest ever ringed at Falsterbo.

No rare birds have been ringed so far. Firecrest is hardly a rare species after having ringed 28 of them (so far) this spring. In that aspect the two House Sparrows ringed this spring are much more uncommon. In the standardised ringing scheme (since 1980), House Sparrows have occurred only nine times, latest in 2013.



29 April 2018: A new windshield at Nabben

A new windshield has now been built at Nabben. It was financed by Vellinge Municipality and Falsterbo Golf Club and thus it is a nice present to migration counters and visiting birders.



9 April 2018: The return of the Sandwich Tern(?)

In the early 1900s there was a large colony of breeding Sandwich Terns at Måkläppen, just beside an even larger colony of Black-headed Gull. Last summer a flock of around 30 Sandwish Terns incl. fledged young were attractedto the Black-headed Gull colony on Landgren's holme in Skanör. Would it be possible to get Sandwich Terns breedin here? "Let's try", said Mikael Kristersson and then the Bird Observatory bought ten Sandwich Tern decoys made of wood.

On 5 April the decoys were placed on Landgren's holme, forming a small colony. This morning (9 April) Mikael and Göran Walinder were looking at the decoys , when Göran suddenly said: "Hey, one of the decoys is moving around!"
It was almost too good to be true!

And it didn't stop there. Only a few hours later there were two Sandwich Terns and when P-G Bentz arrived to take photos, there were six! In the afternoon there were still four Sandwich Terns on the islet, probably two pairs, judged from their behavoiur.



3 March 2018: The Kestrel nestbox from new angles

After 28 years the old Kestrel nestbox on the Lighthouse was lifted off and replaced with another one, built by Robert Nobel, owner of the Wildlife Garden company. The new box is slightly larger than the old one and it's possible to easily close the front and open a part of the back, for example if you want to ring the chicks.

Of course, there will be Kestrel-TV, just like before - and more, since we now have TWO cameras! Like before, one of them will be attached in front of the nestbox on a somewhat longer pole than before. This camera shows video day and night. The other camera is attached inside the nestbox and shows the interior, but only in daylight.
All of it will be streamed on YouTube, initially in 8 seconds interval per camera.

So, all is set, now we're only waiting for the actors - the Kestrels. Click on "Kestrel-TV" above to take a look!



28 February 2018: Scanian-Siberian winter (or: Don't count your chickens...)

We had already noted that the winter of 2017-18 started on 5 February and ended ten days later. By then we had already had five days in a row with temperatures above zero and so it's spring! The weather, however, does not care about meteorological definitions and since 23 February, the weather has been anything but spring-like.

A stable high-pressure far away over Northern Scandinavia caused a strong, north-easterly stream of ice-cold arctic air. While passing across wide areas of open sea-water the air closest to the surface gets warmed up by the water and also gets more humid. The warmed up air rises and creates fast-growing clouds, which will then produce the heavy snow-showers we have seen lately.

The strong winds caused the snow to drift, which built up enormous piles of snow in som places, while others were practically free from snow.

The wind reached gale force at times and with an air temperature 7-8 degrees below zero, the wind chill makes makes the temperature feel twice as cold. You should certainly not go out - but what about the birds...?
Those who can fly away in search of a better place...

...others hide in shelter from the freezing wind (and hope for the best). The situation is especially hard since some spring migrant already had arrived.

The last time we had a situation like this was in November 2010 and it was the start of a very long winter.
The forecast for the next week shows temperatures above zero from Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully, this is correct, not least for the well-being of the birds, as this will also allow us to continue some out-door work, which has been delayed for a week.
All photos above were taken by David Erterius.



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Last modified: 2018-11-11, 01:38.
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