Wednesday, October 7, 2015


During last month I have got almost no time at all to sit and write something. Among the amount of stuff I could post about, these birds deserve a place in the first one.

Raptor migration is Falsterbo is always very exciting. Numbers of many species are just impressive, Sparrowhawks (Accipiter nisus) for instance.
While working on the standardised ringing scheme in Flommen reedbeds, we trapped some Sparrowhawks in a extra net placed close the one of the very few bushes on the area. It turned out to be quite succesful!
First-year (EURING 3), the commonest age class so far.
Second-year (EURING 5) female, in active primary moult.
But the best bird we trapped was another raptor species, that was only the 6th ever trapped in Falsterbo Bird Observatory: a Merlin (Falco columbarius).
The last one to be trapped was in 2011, when Stephen was in Falsterbo for first time. Actually, he just came for a visit when we got the Merlin!
First-year (EURING 3) male
That was a very nice bird, but even more surpsised were coming in the next days. 10th September was actually a very nice day. Early in the morning, during the first netround, we trapped an unexpected Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) in the reedbeds!
That is the earliest record ever in the Falsterbo peninsula, being the previous record at 13th September. Hours later, we found another Tajgasångare in the bushes close to our ringing hut!, and actually, Jonas Ekwall found a third individual that afternoon!!

The best was yet to come. Back to the station, we went for a walk around Falsterbo Park with Josefina. As is usual by this time of the year, many first-year Hobbies (Falco subbuteo) fly around, hunting dragonflies. They can actually be seen at close range sometimes!
We were saying it would be very nice to catch one... but of course it was difficult. A few minutes later, while walking through a quite dense part of the park, we suddenly heard a Falcon screaming behind of us. A big Falcon landed with a prey on the feet like 30 metres far from us. The first thing that attracted our attention is that the other bird, the supposed prey, was still alive and it was actually another Falcon!
A quick look with the binoculars revealed they were two juvenile Falcons, a Peregrine (Falco peregrinus) and a Hobby (Falco subbuteo). The Peregrine had clearly hunted the Hobby, but the latter was still alive and fighting to survive. Without almost no hopes for it, we started running to try to catch them. And we trapped them by hand.
First-year (EURING 3), unsexed. There's some overlap between
both sexes in Hobby. 
First-year (EURING 3) male. Sexed on measurements.
The Hobby (Lärkfalk in svenska) was the 7th ever ringed at Falsterbo Bird Observatory, and the Peregrine Falcon (Pilgrimsfalk in Svenska) was actually the first ever ringed!!!, and also the species number 200!! Could anything be better??

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