Dates: 23-28 April 2019
Located on the Baltic Sea in Uppland, Sweden’s capital city of Stockholm is the starting point of this exciting tour. Mid-April is an excellent time to look for woodpeckers, grouse and owls in the forests of the region. Previous tours have produced Great Grey, Ural, Tengmalm’s and Eurasian Pygmy Owls, as well as Three-toed Woodpecker, Gyr Falcon and four species of grouse.
We will also visit the mountains of central Sweden, giving a good chance of more northern specialities such as Siberian Tit, Siberian Jay, Northern Hawk Owl and both Willow and Rock Ptarmigan.
We will drive from Stockholm-Arlanda international airport to Västerås – a very good place to see Great Grey Owl. It is the southernmost known regular breeding site of this species. As evening falls, we will also get the chance to see Eurasian Pygmy, Tengmalm’s and Ural Owls. The next day brings an early start, as we head to Uppsala to search for grouse and woodpeckers. Black Grouse will be displaying at the forest edge, while Western Capercaillie, now at the height of its breeding season, will be displaying in the pine woods. With luck we will also see Hazel Grouse – trusting its camouflage plumage – slowly walking away through the dense undergrowth of the forest. For the woodpeckers we will focus mainly on Three-toed, but we will also look for Grey-headed and Black Woodpeckers. Other species we might see are Common Crane and Whooper Swan. In addition, both Common and Parrot Crossbills are regular and there is even a small chance of Two-barred Crossbill.
After the morning session we will drive to the mountains in the province of Härjedalen in central Sweden, near the border with Norway. During our stay here, there is a good chance to see both Willow and Rock Ptarmigan and we will scan the Swedish skies for Golden Eagle and Gyr Falcon. Another two typical boreal species of the taiga occurring here are Siberian Jay and Siberian Tit. If there are enough small mammals in the area there should also be a range of owls present, including Northern Hawk Owl. This beautiful owl can be seen and heard at dusk.
After our visit to the mountains we drive back to the Uppland region. Here we will try again for any remaining owls – it is a good place for Ural Owl and other forest birds. If there is enough time, we will also head to the east coast, where we can see Osprey and White-tailed Eagle. There is also the chance of species such as Long-tailed Duck, Black Guillemot and Velvet Scoter, and there are often divers along the coast. We will then head back to the airport and say goodbye to wonderful Sweden.
This tour is operated for Birdwatch and BirdGuides by Birding Breaks (registered with the Chamber of Commerce in Amsterdam under licence number 54226104). The price includes all accommodation and food on a half-board basis, as well as expert guiding; international flight, lunches, drinks, gratuities and personal expenses are not included. For further information, reservations and full details, please call the company on 0031 20 77 92 030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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