The woodpecker’s situation

11 03 2013

“And it was cold and it rained so I felt like an actor”

– Five years, David Bowie

It was snowing when I woke up yesterday or, more precisely, there was some snow coming from somewhere.  There were not many things to do, so Stephen and I set the feeder and just wait for the birds to come. Sophie had already advised us that birds seem to prefer sunflower’s seeds, but the only seeds we had did contain only a 40% of sunflowers. Therefore, our fail in attracting birds was fur from being our fault.



The time went on so slowly, such slowly that, even it was still snowing, I encouraged myself to go for a walk. Ulrik had seen 2 black woodpeckers in a nearby forest and this seemed to be a good target for a boring afternoon. As soon as I got to the forest, I heard one of the woodpeckers which suddenly appeared drumming in an already drummed branch. The bird showed well, actually better than all the black woodpeckers I had seen before in the Pyrenees. It was cold and it snowed so I felt like another frozen birch upon a whole forest of them, but the woodpecker still showed well.

Dryocopus martius

Today started in an opposite way. The sky was blue and there were plenty of both blue and great tits feeding around our feeder. I went for a walk, again to the black woodpecker place, where I could increase my Swedish list with goldcrest and stock dove. After a fast plate of crappy spaghetti, I had energy enough for pedaling to the harbor, where amazing things are supposed to be. What I couldn’t expect was to find most of the water inside of the harbor totally frozen. However, I got good views of a red-breasted merganser in the only still-liquid pool.

frozen harbor2 frozen harbor Mergus serrator

Some goldeneyes (mainly males) and eiders were also around the harbor, but they seemed to be unable to rest in the same place for more than 5 minutes. If they can’t put up with frozen water, maybe they should go south… I know quite a lot of birders that would welcome them with open arms. By the way, it’s true that I am here just since last Thursday, but in my opinion these birds are impressive. I bet they would seem as impressive for me even in june…

Bucephala clangula Somateria mollissima2

Already in the way back, I stopped to check a huge flock of greenfinches, but, intead of my desired redpoll, I only managed to see 2 bramblings. What is amazing here in Falsterbo is that many birds are just migrants. While seeing the (probably) migrant bramblings, a (probably) migrant winter wren did call and a flock of (more probably) migrant European starlings landed in a nearby field. All those birds winter here but in low numbers, so (in addition to the goldcrest I had seen in the morning) they may be new arrivals.

Fringilla montifringilla

For making me even busier, 2 white-tailed eagles (an adult plus a… an immature) flew over. My last white-tailed eagles had been even before my last whooper swans, so I enjoyed them till they disappeared inland.

Haliaeetus albicilla

When I was already close to home, I heard a hawfinch calling from a tree which was almost in our garden. The bird was set just in the top of a poplar, always a nice bird to see. The trees around our house seem so good for migrants actually, I expect something really good up there sometime during the spring… At least for now, already with Stephen and Ulrik, we enjoyed a nice male lesser-spotted woodpecker feeding or building the nest or whatever, just in a couple of meters from us. I used to see this species but not in a such a short distance and of course not while hearing the black woodpecker calling from the same forest than yesterday.

Dendrocopos minor




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