Egret heron

When the rare bird alert beeps on your mobile phone you must be ready to drop whatever you are doing and just rush. Last time this happened, the alert was about an egret heron.

The egret is a rather rare sight in Sweden, and especially this time of year when most lakes and rivers are frozen. However, this winter has been fairly mild and rainy, and there are plenty of open water in streams and small lakes.

 

egret 2

 

egret 3

 

egret 4

 

egret

 

 

 

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Waxwings

3 Attac

Snow covers large parts of the country and it’s more Christmassy  now than during the Christmas holiday itself. This is also the time of year when you can see large flocks of the beautiful and “punk” looking waxwing invading trees and bushes, especially in areas with lots of berries like rosehip, juniper and rowan.

1 Waxwings

 

2 Waxwing punk

 

5 Waxwing munchiong juniper berries

 

4 Waxwing and juniper

 

Unfortunately, waxwings are also said to be notorious window hitters. The prevailing opinion is that they become intoxicated by possible alcohol formed in the berries they eat, and thus easier collide with transmissive or reflective surfaces.

6 Wax wing eating rowan berry

 

7 Waxwing with a rosehip

 

 

Here is lookin’ at you, coots!

Not a single dull moment when nature comes alive. On the contrary, it offers a lot of feel-good factors right now. The days are getting longer and lighter (and tomorrow even longer as we are moving the clock forward an hour), the breeding season, nesting and burgeoning budds are underway. Today it’s looking at the rather agressive coots chasing after one another.

Coot Red

 

Coot 1 Red

 

Coots 1 Red

 

Coot

 

Winter at last

After more than a month with temperatures on steady +6 degrees, and when the Christmas holiday if described with a lyric was closer to “green, green grass of home” than “dreaming of a white Christmas”, winter finally arrived last week. And this time, it seems to be staying for a while.

Our nearby lake quickly froze and a light powdery snow did not prevent the true enthusiasts to go cross-country skating after just a few days’ ice. Ourselves, we wanted to be on the safe side and were looking forward to the weekend, but by then more snow had spoiled the fun. Extreme +42° C for those playing the Australian open and extreme -42° C in the northern part of Sweden might show that something is happening to the climate.

Frozen lake

Three skaters

A pale sunshine and some light snowflakes in the air while walking along the lake to the feeding station, provided by Roffe. to fill up the containers with seeds and nuts. Just knowing that the daylight has increased by 1 hr 14 min since winter solstice is revitalizing in itself.

Pale sun

The blackbird, yellow-hammers and tree sparrows seem eagerly waiting for the lunch to be served

Blackbird

Yellow-hammer 2014

Eurasian tree sparrow

Just another Sunday….

Winter still keeps Sweden in a tight cold grip, but despite icy winds and freezing temperatures the days are quiet sunny. This last weekend there were many who took the opportunity for perhaps a last tour on skis or skates.

Skier

Skaters

A blue tit appears to have taken a nap while waiting for spring to come …….

Blue tit taking a nap

……..unaware  of what the sparrow hawk in a nearby tree has in mind.

Sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk