LATEST NEWS Today: Tuesday 15 October 2019.  Sunrise at 07:39 am. Sunset at 06:09 pm. See also...
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7/8 ESE 12 m/s +13,1 °C +9,9 °C21 km 1008,8 hPa
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1 October 2019: Finches!

One minute of today's fantastic migration of finches (419 000) filmed at Nabben by Björn Malmhagen.




23 September 2019: Autumnal equinox

During the last couple of days, the strong westerly winds that have been blowing for the last weeks have finally started to drop. This allowed some very nice migration mornings, with a full set of typical late September birds but also, still, several long-distance migrants that are usually not seen regularly at this time of the year. In this sense, while we are still ringing several Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus, Willow Warblers Phylloscopus trochilus, Lesser Whitethroats Sylvia curruca and Pied Flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca. Simultaneously, we have started to catch some Winter Wrens Troglodytes troglodytes, European Robins Erithacus rubecula, Common Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita and Goldcrests Regulus regulus.


Sparrowhawks Accipiter nisus have been very abundant (2,790 the 18th, 2,234 the 19th…) and we have also had the first wave of Common Buzzards Buteo buteo (1,201 the 19th), including the first few Rough-legged Buzzards Buteo lagopus. A Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga attempted to migrate the 19th. Another rare raptor species, Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus also made an attempt to migrate the 22nd. Both will very likely be seen again.

The duck migration is still strong with very good numbers, remarkably 16,540 Common Scoters Melanitta nigra were counted the 18th, by far the highest daily total day ever. Among other species, Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis have also arrived in big numbers all of a sudden, with more than 5,000 already foraging in the peninsula and more than 5,000 more have already migrated the last two days.



11 August 2019: Visitors from Lebanon

Since one week we have Sama and Bahaa with us all the way from Lebanon. They are part of an exchange program with the so-called Bird Camp initiative, which has been running in Azerbaijan and Lebanon since 2015. The aim of this project, run by OSME and BirdLife Sweden, is to involve young people in those countries and raise their interest in bird conservation. Ottenby Bird Observatory is also having visitors for the same reason, Racha and Omar, which have also been chosen to go on this trip by the Society for Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL).

Sama and Bahaa show great interest and curiosity when taking part in the work of the observatory and in birds in general. They have improved their knowledge of birds a lot during this first week and hopefully they will have a lot to bring home to their classmates back in Ras al Matn, at the mountains of Lebanon. We are very happy to have them here and are also happy to learn about life of a teenager in Lebanon! We have a lot to learn from each other. (Emil Lundahl)



14 June 2019: Irruption of Painted Lady Cynthia cardui

This spring it has been hard to miss the invasion of the butterfly Painted Lady. It’s a species that can’t survive the winter in Sweden or even Europe, which means that the ones we see here now are migrants from northern Africa and sometimes from central Asia.

Already in late March the first reports of impressive migration came from Eilat, Israel and from Crete. The number of butterflies migrating depends on the occurrence of favourable winter rains in northern Africa and the Middle East. The rain provides ample access of suitable host plants (thistles and others) and successful breeding leads to great numbers of butterflies migrating north. How far they reach probably depends on the amount of suitable winds.

The butterflies seem to mate all along the migration journey and the individuals seen in late summer/early autumn are the next generation. In autumn migration towards south is seen. Movements between Iceland and the Sahara have been recorded and these individuals have crossed more than 1 000 km over open sea!

The Painted Lady is a fast and able flyer occurring on all continents except the Antarctica and South America.
Reference: the Swedish Board of Agriculture (partly)



12 June 2019: The Starlings of the Lighthouse Garden – where are they and what are they doing outside the breeding period?

Where do the Starlings from Falsterbo winter? Do they migrate or do they stay all year round? Perhaps they are partial migrants, which means that some individuals migrate while others stayin their breeding area during winter? We know that some Starlings are wintering on the Falsterbo peninsula every year. However, we don’t know if those are (part of) the local breeding population or not.

Therefore, Arne Hegemann from the Biological Institution at Lund has started a research project aiming to shed a light on this mystery. The first step was to ring all nestlings that fledged this year in the Lighthouse garden (99 ind.). Except for the traditional aluminium rings they were also ringed with white colour-rings on which there is a three-digit number starting with 1. Two adults also got a radio-transmitter, making it possible for us to see how long they stay on the peninsula.

So - if you see a Starling with a white colour-ring, please try to read the inscription and send your observation or report it to till or



12 June 2019: Breeding birds at Landgren's holme 2019

On 10 and 18 May, breeding birds at Landgren's holme, Skanör, were counted from a 20 meter high skylift. The first count gave 548 nests/pairs of 14 species. In the second count, the number raised to 605 nests. After that complementary counts from ground level were made and some new nests were added.

Three species were counted in three-digit totals: Pied Avocet 232, Black-headed Gull 220, and Sandwich Tern 104. All three showed an increase in numbers but most impressive was the increase in Sandwich Tern. We were quite happy last year when we har d12 pairs breeding, attracted to the site  by a ten decoys.


Species and number of nests counted 2019 compared to 2018:

 Species 2019  2018
 Mallard 10 6
 Shoveler 1 0
 Common Eider 1 1
 Oystercatcher 5 5
 Pied Avocet 232 210
 Ringed Plover 2 3
 Northern Lapwing 4 3
 Redshank 15  15
 Black-headed Gull 220 137
 Common Gull 1 2
 Sandwich Tern 104 12
 Common Tern 2 1
 Arctic Tern 8 21
 Little Tern 22 22
 TOTAL 605 438

The breeing area is a cattle grazing area surrounded by a 4 km long electric fence in order to keep out four-legged predators. However almost all birds breed on th islet itslef, where they are protectad by anothe electric fence. These arrangments have worked superbly well all season with Mikael Kristersson as the supervisor. Without his enthusiasm and endless work it hadn't been possible.



30 April 2019: Half-time spring 2019
At mid-ringing-season (30 April) spring 2019, we had ringed 3,030 birds unevenly spread on 40 species. It is the 4th highest half-time total in the series of standardised ringing, now running in its 40th consecutive year.
More half the total are Robins (1,844) which is also well over the reference number for the whole season (1,073). Five species (Winter Wren, Dunnock, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Goldcrest) were ringed in three-digit totals. One of them (Willow Warbler) is a long-distance migrant wintering south of the Sahara, while the other four are migrating within Europe. Two other long-distance migrants, Redstart (25) and Lesser Whitethroat (50), arriving early in the season reached rather high first-half totals.

Fewer than normal were species like Blackbird, Great Tit, Chaffinch and Greenfinch. Maybe the passage of these partly took place before the start of the season 21 March. Maybe Firecrest also should be included, since we “only” have ringed 10 (so far) this season.

The one and only rare species during the period is a Ring Ouzel ringed 7 April, which is the earliest ringing date ever for this species. Then there have been some “seldom ringed at Falsterbo in spring species”: Mallard, Wood Pigeon, Wryneck, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit and Hawfinch. The number of Coal Tits is more than twice the previous highest, maybe an effect of the irruption last autumn.

We made a comparison of first half-time results vs second half of the season during 1980-2018. During the first-half, mainly species migrating within Europe are ringed, while during the second-half, mostly long-distance migrants are ringed. There is a tendency that first-half numbers increase. Indeed, during the last nine years more birds were ringed in the first-half. Possible reasons for this are that Species migrating within Europe are increasing in numbers but also the earlier arrival of some long-distant migrants (like Willow Warbler). Correspondingly second-half numbers of all migrants have decreased, but steeper than the increase (see graph below). This may depend of earlier arrival of all migrants but also on the decrease of long-distance migrants like Willow Warbler, which is by far most common of the long-distance migrants and thus affecting the numbers in a noticeable way.

The blue linear trendline show the increase of the first-half totals from on average ca 1,750 in 1980 to ca 2,200 in 2018. The orange linear trendline show the second half numbers and the decrease is somewhat steeper: from on average ca 2,500 in 1980 to only ca 1,200 in 2019. This is a reduction of more than 50 %...



18 April 2019: Full activity at Landgrens holme

Mikael Kristersson reports:
After a long period of cold winds from the Baltic Sea, the weather has changed into a more spring-like fashion. At Landgrens holme, there is now full activity.

Some early arriving Pied Avocets were spotted on the islet already 11 March. Since the the numbers have been slowly increasing and during the last few days more than 400 have been sighted. This equal to the number of breeding pairs in 2017 and 2018

The Sandwich Tern decoys have proved useful again and upto 48 "real" Sandwich Terns have been attracted to the spot. Also, 150-200 Black-headed Gulls have contributed to the number of "white dots" on the islet. Today (18 April) the first Little Tern arrived.

Early breeders like Mallard, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover and Northern Lapwing already have eggs while Pied Avocets probably will wait another week.

The inner electric fence around the islet is on full power since a couple of days ago. Since yesterday, also the 4 km long outer electric fence is on. This is very important since tracks of Badger, Wild Boar and Fox have been seen in the area.



5 March 2019: Update

We have now checked all scientific species names in our list and updated those with new names. Quite a lot of species have new names, more often only the genus has changed. For example, among tits, only Great Tit now belongs to genus Parus. Among waders, the genus Calidris has got a couple of new members like Ruff and Broad-billed Sandpiper. There are also some species that are renamed to a previous name like Greenfinch , which now is Chloris chloris again.

We have not changed the systematic order (yet). We are waiting until the Ringing Center has decided to change.



2 March 2019: No winter!

When using the meteorological definitions of seasons at our latitudes, it's autumn (after summer) when the average 24-hour temperature is between zero and +10 degrees C. The autumn of 2018 started in late October and lasted all the way to the latest date (14 February). The change into winter needs an average 24-hour temperature below zero during five days i a row. Then it's winter from the first of these five days and onwards.

This did not happen after 14 February this year. Instead there were seven days in a row with average 24-hour temperatures between zero and +10 degrees C. This is the definition of spring. So - the spring 2019 started 15 February and there is no chance to rename it to winter, no matter what weather we may get.
Certainly, this is a rather inflexible set of definitions. However, it's quite sensational to get a missing season.



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Last modified: 2019-10-02, 18:23.
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