Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Upland Sweden 23-30 May 2018

A fantastic trip with Naturetrek, Daniel Green and Tim Melling. Blue skies the whole week, with little wind, led to unseasonably high temperatures and a recent rapid snowmelt. The fine weather meant a very successful trip from the ornithological point of view - many highlights - 7 Owls including a family of Hawk Owls and an incubating Great Grey Owl, also a Tengmalm's Owl peeping from a treehole and an obliging Pygmy Owl - 2 confiding parties of Siberian Jays - and displaying waders on the tundra in southern Lapland, always a highlight for British birders who normally see these birds in subdued mode, on passage or in winter. Long-tailed Skuas were also patrolling the tundra having recently arrived. Raptors included a Golden Eagle Rough-legged Buzzard on the nest, and newly-arrived Honey Buzzards, and passerines included many singing Bramblings, and Lapland Buntings in summer plumage - as well as Pied Flycatchers everywhere taking advantage of the abundant insect life. Not forgetting singing Bluethroats and lekking Great Snipe in the mountains! All set against a beautiful forested landscape, a mixture of conifers and freshly-leafed birches, and the wonderful long evening twilight at these northern latitudes (we reached as far as 62,30' north). A brilliant week.

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