Birding Tour Sweden: Spring "Long Weekend" Birding Adventure 2018

Duration: 4 or 5 days

Sweden’s Taiga forests and wetlands around Svartådalen make for fantastic birding in the springtime. The Black River Valley of Västmanland hosts waves of migrating birds that arrive from late April, the number of species increase around the wetlands and in late May, and even the speciality species become common. Sweden in spring truly boasts an abundance of birdlife and photographic opportunities. Our focus for this trip will be on the magnificent owls, woodpeckers, and grouse species easily seen at this time of year.

On our Birding Tour Sweden, a four-day Swedish birding weekend, we will visit fantastic birding locations in the east of the country in avian-rich Svartådalen and the Black River Valley.

We first visit the wetlands around Ängsö Castle, looking for Slavonian Grebe, and then the Björnön (Bear Island) area in search of Icterine Warblerand Ortolan Bunting. Later we will go on a Great Grey Owl evening trip.

We will visit Lake Ösjön and the Black River Valley, where will look out for Black-throated Loon and perhaps even encounter Spotted Nutcracker or Hazel Grouse. We will continue along the valley, and in its wetlands we will look out for Thrush Nightingale and Common Rosefinch as well as birds of prey, including Eurasian Hobby and European Honey Buzzard.

This tour will also allow us to get close to some of Scandinavia’s owl species when our local guide will take us on a ringing excursion, where we will be able to get involved in the ringing of chicks of Ural Owl and Boreal (Tengmalm’s) Owl, which breed in nest boxes in the area. We will have fantastic photo opportunities and will be contributing to owl conservation. Evening excursions will also be embarked on to see Eurasian Pygmy Owl and Eurasian Eagle-Owl.

In the woodlands around Svartådalen there will be opportunities to observe Eurasian Wryneck and many Woodpeckers, including Eurasian Three-toed, Black, and Grey-headed. Other smaller forest specialists to look out for include Crested and Willow Tits. In the meadows and reed beds that intersect the beautiful wetlands you will watch out for species like Grasshopper Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Spotted Crake, Corn Crake, and Eurasian Bittern. In the waterways and wetlands Black Tern, Common Greenshank, Little Tern, Spotted Redshank, and Ruff will add to an already long birdlist.

We will also visit the leks of the territorial Black Grouse and possibly see Western Capercaillie at sites in the forest. Other species we will watch out for at this time of year are the graceful Common Crane, Wood Sandpiper, and Common Cuckoo, as well as Western Osprey hunting over the waterways.

You may also wish to extend your stay by an additional day for a visit to coastal lagoons close to the Baltic Sea for Caspian Tern, Little Gull, and perhaps the impressive White-tailed Eagle and Montagu’s Harrier in the scenic Eagle Rock area. Hjälstaviken Nature Reserve in the Uppland region may afford you more good views of large wader flocks and perhaps a Red-breasted Flycatcher in the nearby forest.

For however long you decide to visit, one thing is for sure: Sweden will leave a lasting impression on you with its scenic beauty and serenity, and for the fantastic birding encounters you will enjoy.

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