Back from Västmanland
I am now back from three days in Västmanland, a county in the middle of Sweden. I went back to the same area that I visited in the start of June last year.
The mission in Västmanland was exactly the same as last year and that was to work with the Great Grey Owl and the Black Tern. I choosed to stay for three days in Västmanland as I wanted to give myself better opportunities than I gave myself last year and that was why I extended this year’s trip with two extra days.
I went earlier this year as I don´t have the possibility to go later in the season due to trips to Norway and Hungary. Still I thought this would be a good time of year, but if I look in the rearview mirror I might have to reconsider next year’s trip, as I certainly will go back. The weather was okay during the trip if you only consider the light, but it was cold and windy which made the days less productive than I had hoped for. The temperatures stayed just over zero during the nights and my two morning sessions at the hide at Asköviken were completely different.
Video: Displaying Common Redshank
The first morning was much warmer and the activity was therefore higher with many displaying birds like Wood Sandpiper, Common Snipe and Common Redshank. The second morning was more or less dead with ice in some of the ditches around the hide. The same evening was also cold, but at least I got to see the Great Grey Owl then.
Once in three wasn´t what I expected, but I understand that there is lots of prey for the Owls this year and that might mean easier to find prey near the nest site. Still I must say I am fortunate as I know other people that visited the site that didn´t see the Great Grey Owl.
I also understand that an Ural Owl has been seen around the Great Grey Owls normal hunting field and that means a tough competitor that might push away the Great Grey Owl.
The Black Tern was a dead end for me this year. I didn´t see a single bird, but I know where they are and I could have seen them thorough my binoculars when I visited the small lake. You surely will find them in Västmanland, but they haven´t gone to their normal sites and I suspect that is due to the cold temperature and that they are waiting for higher temperatures to start the breeding season.
All in all this was a less productive trip, then I would have liked. I got a couple of keepers, but none better than last year if I only speak of my two-folded mission.
Please enjoy the gallery from Västmanland.