“I like cycling, the idea of getting fit while moving around”
– Lennart Karlsson
It was cold when we woke up on yesterday, so we decided to cancel the ringing. Even it was unkindly early, we enjoyed our breakfast and our daily look at some birding blogs just as if we didn’t want to go back to bed again. For a while, it coincided that both Stephen and Ulrik were reading my blog at the same time. This historical moment deserved a picture.
I wake up (Round 2) completely disoriented, I just didn’t know if it was still Thursday, but I had been repeating that I would visit the Canal for the last 5 days and it was the moment to keep my promise. After a quite long cycling to the southern end of the canal, I was finally able to sit and relax enjoying a good combo of northern ducks. A large flock of tufted ducks were feeding around the breakwater, with some (at least 5) scaups among them. Probably, some of that tufted ducks would had been in the pools if they had not been frozen for the last week. Anyway, it’s always nice to scan a flock of whatever in order to find something different. To share this feeling, you can look for 3 of the scaups in the picture below.
Of course, the canal was also almost completely frozen, but the small parts that were not, were plenty of life. Goosander, smew, goldeneye, red-breasted merganser, great-crested grebe… I enjoyed specially the smews. I had previously seen only a female at Llobregat Delta, 2 years ago, but this sighting has nothing to do with seeing a flock of them (including 2 drakes) set in the ice.
A drake red-breasted merganser was coupled with a female goosander, kicking out the other goosanders and following her till the end of the world. I wouldn’t imagine their progeny…
The northern part of the canal was quieter, but even though I was able to add some stupid things to my Swedish list. This point seems the only within the whole Peninsula were there are coots and little grebes, at least in this season. A grey heron also flew over when I was trying to take pictures of a color-ringed black-headed gull. It was a bird from Copenhagen, not too much interesting.
Now that I was already in the canal, I could cycle for a few more kilometers and reach the bay north of Höllviken. Ulrik had seen some twites and the northern shore of the inner part of the Peninsula seemed interesting when we had passed throw the day before. Indeed, it was plenty of wigeons, teals and swans. I managed to spot my first 15 Bewick’s swans among a flock of both mute and whooper. The landscape was stunning as always… I think I will miss the ice when the spring had already come. Or maybe not. I don’t know.
I had not reached the northernmost point yet when 4 twites overflight me. They landed in a vast wasteland, where there was nothing but snow and some old-fashioned machinery. Well, actually they were not as old-fashioned, but it seems so if I put the picture in b&w.
I walk to the point where the twites had landed and suddenly I realized it was plenty of them. I just sited down in the hope that the restless flock would move in my direction. After some flights, they landed only 10 meters from where I was and I could finally enjoy them properly. The flock was composed by around 100 birds. Some of them still showed a bright yellow bill, but some others had already some grey tones.
In the way back home, I heard a flock of hawfinches, some of them singing from the top of a birch. This species is always obliging, so I stopped pedaling and look at them throw my bins. Among them, there was a brambling and 3 mealy readpolls, another longly-awaited species. I feel I am learning each day, getting used to see these species and hear them calling. This is probably the best engine I could have to keep pedaling.