“A piece of Provence” makes life easier for the birds

Thanks to the County Administrative Board of Stockholm, and its generous contribution of sunflower seeds, a bit of farmland was turned into a “piece of Provence” at the nearby nature reserve Angarnssjöängen, foremost a bird habitat.

The sunflowers have been a beautiful eye catcher for visitors to enjoy throughout the summer.

Now the flowers have withered. All that remains are the heads packed with sunflower seeds.

Today the field is a sad and dreary sight, but the large crowds of goldfinches and one or two blue tits don’t seem to bother, as they pick the fatty and nutritious seeds from the flower heads. Hopefully the seeds will help them make it through the winter.

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Charmed by a mink

Well, I didn’t post much last year. Or rather, I did write several posts, but very few got posted. The main reason was an annoying unstable internet connection at our countryside cottage where we use to spend 4-5 months every summer. Some days internet worked , but at a snail’s pace, other days not at all.

Anyway, I have decided not to let all them posts all go to waste, so here’s one from last August about the cutest of minks.

It all started when a next door neighbor wrote on Facebook that a mink was strolling around on her pier. We hurried over to her house, hoping the mink would still be there.

It was, and for the first time, at very close range, and with slightly increased pulse, Roffe could photograph a mink in the wild. It seemed completely fearless and posed willingly.

Mink kopiera

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Two days later I suddenly discovered him / it on our own jetty, munshing the fish guts Roffe had left behind for the fox and seagulls after cleaning his catch.

Mink on the jetty 1

 

Even though it’s so cute and you just want to pick it up like a pet and cuddle with, a mink is not an animal you want in your lake. It destroys your fishing nets, eats the fish, and worse, the birds nesting close to the shore and their eggs.

Mink 1

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A northern hawk owl and its prey

Hawk owl

Yesterday’s mission was to find and catch a glimpse of the hawk owl that was reported seen in the area. After two kilometers walk we reached the old barn where the owl was last seen, and we decided to give it two hours to appear.

It didn’t take long, though, until it swept down from the blue sky and landed on the roof ridge.

Hawk owl on the roof

Gazing and preening in the sun for about half an hour, then it suddenly made a head-first dive down into the rough grass and disappeared.

Slowly and cautiously, we approached the place where it had landed. The owl lay still, half hidden in the grass and didn’t seem to notice our presence until the camera began clicking.

Hawk owl in the grass kopiera

The sound was obviously annoying and after less than a minute it got tired of the photographer interfering with its meal, and took off with the prey in its claws, probably a mouse or a vole.

Hawk owl with mouse

 

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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