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A Report from

Tripreport South Sweden 27-30 December 2000,

Remco Hofland


Having heard about the many Pine Grosbeaks Pinicola enucleator that were moving south in Sweden in the autumn of 2000, we decided to try our luck on this beautiful species. Through e-mail, Pierre Unge, our contact from last winter, informed us about the species in southern Sweden this winter.

Wed 27-12-00

We left The Netherlands in the night of 26-27th December 2000, and drove to Puttgarden, Germany. There we met with the other four participants of the trip. We took the 4.55 a.m. boat to Rødbyhavn, Denmark, and drove via Copenhagen and the new tunnel and bridge to Malmö, Sweden. Then we drove north, and arrived at Skummelövstrand (the site of the Great Grey Owl) at about 9 a.m. Since last June the bird moved several km's north, but near the campsite between Skummelövstrand and Mellbystrand the bird was located within half an hour, and watched from nearby as it took three mice by surprise. The afternoon was spent looking for an immature Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus that had been seen in the area between Morups Tånge, Glommen and Varberg. This bird was not found by us.

Since it got dark at around 3 p.m. we drove back to Malmö and checked in at the Formula 1 Motel (about 35$ per three-persons room). In the evening we met with Pierre Unge, who provided us with detailed maps for interesting bird sites, including the area around Nymölla and Tosteberga, where Pine Grosbeaks Pinicola enucleator had been seen the last couple of weeks. Weather on the 27th was cloudy and rather cold, especially at the coast where we had some wind. Some snow fell while at Mellbystrand.

Thu 28-12-00

Early morning drive to Nymölla, where four Pine Grosbeaks had been found already by some Danish birders, in the berries under the pine trees just north-east of the big factory. After enjoying these beautiful and very tame birds, we drove to Tosteberga, some three km's to the south, where we birded some more in the afternoon. Evening was spent at the Fyledalen valley, the area southwest of Tomelila, where many Red Kites Milvus milvus spend the night. Spent the night at Malmö. Weather still cloudy and cold.

Fri 29-12-00

Early morning drive to Källstorp, where we had to search for 45 minutes in the snow-covered birch woods for the Hawk Owl Surnia ulula. After finding and enjoying the bird, we drove to Grönby in our search for Golden Aquila chrysaetos and White-tailed Eagles Haliaeetus albicilla. We were very pleased with the great views of both species between Grönby and Näsbyholm. Afternoon was spent near Vombsjön. In the evening, our companions drove to Copenhagen, while we stayed in Malmö for another night. Weather cloudy and cold, with snow at Källstorp.

Sat 30-12-00

In the small town of Bjärred, just north of Malmö we searched for the 100+ Bohemian Waxwings Bombycilla garrulus that were reported there the previous day. We found only three of them. In seven hours we then drove back to The Netherlands, by the same route as before (Malmö-Copenhagen-Rødby-Puttgarden-Lübeck-Hamburg-Bremen-Oldenburg-Groningen). Weather partly cloudy, our first sun of the trip was seen halfway Denmark.

In all, we travelled some 2,400 kilometer by car, the northernmost places visited being Varberg (West coast) and Nymölla (East coast).

The following Internet pages are important when preparing a trip into Scandinavia:

Bird news from Skåne / Skania (southernmost province in Sweden) is updated (almost) daily on . Bird names are stated in English and Latin. Swedish pager news, available almost immediately, is found on . First comes the national news, and then the regional news (Regionallarm). The name of the province is stated, then the place and the number of birds involved. Unfortunately, all info is in Swedish. More Swedish news is found on under 'aktuella obsar'. It is updated about once a week.

Pierre Unge (Malmö, Sweden) helped us in preparing the trip. When he met with us in Malmö, he provided us with detailed maps of most visited sites. His e-mail-addres is


Rob Bouwman                                       Bertus de Lange
Kasper Hendriks                                    Marijke de Roos
Remco Hofland                                      Paul Schrijvershof
Roland van der Vliet                              Laurens Steijn

Great Grey Owl site

Skummelövstrand / Mellbystrand

Take the "E6" from Malmö towards Göteburg. After passing the big ridge called Hallandsåsen you will find an exit to Båstad. Pass that and the next exit is Skummeslövsstrand. Drive through this small village and follow the sign (right) to Mellbystrand.

After about two km there is a small road called "VALLEBERGAVÄGEN" to the right (small white sign by the 'main' road). Follow "VALLEBERGAVÄGEN" (road to Valleberga) 200-300 meters until you find a small road with a speed limit sign which says 30, on the right hand side. Park your car and start looking for the bird. The bird is usually seen in the area close to the campsite in the end of the small road. We saw the bird near the intersection between Vallebergavägen and the road to the campsite.

The red blob on the map is where the bird was last seen.

(At the time of writing (3/1/00), it was last seen for certain on 31st Dec. 2000)

Hawk Owl site


Find a place called Landskrona (40 km north of Malmö) on the map. Some 10-20 kilometers east of Landskrona you will find a place called Svalöv. Drive road "106" north from Svalöv towards Kågeröd. After a few kilometers you will pass a vilage called Källstorp (big signs). Shortly after Källstorp you will find a yellow (?) sign which says "Källstorps gård" (Farm of Källstorp). Take the right turn and follow the gravel road 1.9 kilometer, after which you find a wooden information board right of the road. Park your car, go through a wooden gate right of the road and follow the fence 200 meters until there is a hole in the fence on the left hand side. Start looking in the birches. It will take you 40 minutes to go to Malmö from Källstorp.

Pine Grosbeak sites


From Malmö follow the road to Kristianstad / Kalmar. About 15 kilometer past Kristianstad you will find the turn-off (right) to Nymölla. Take that turn and enter this small village. You will see a big factory on your right hand side. Take the first right turn past the factory: after about 500m you will cross a railroad. Park your car at the parking on the right hand side just before the railroad. The Pine Grosbeaks frequent the small pine tree forest at the opposite side of the road. We saw the birds in the berries at the far edge of the forest. When they keep quiet, and especially when they are hiding in the top of a pine tree, they can be very hard to find. Seven birds have been seen here throughout Nov and Dec 2000.


In the village of Nymölla, there is a road going south towards Tosteberga. Take this road, and after about 4 kilometer there is a (small) pine tree forest on your left hand side, opposite farms called 'Hultagården' and 'Norregård'. In this forest, seven more Pine Grosbeaks have been seen. One of us saw an adult male in the hedge of the house just north of this forest. Probably a good site for the birds is a vast area of berries north of the forest: when we were there there was a hunting party, so we didn't go into the area.

(At the coast just east of the pine forest, two White-tailed Eagles were seen).

Golden and White-tailed Eagle site

Grönby / Näsbyholm

Follow the highway past the airport of Malmö towards the east (and the town Skurup). Past the turn-off to the airport is a turn to the right "Grönby". Take this turn, and after about 500m take the right turn at an intersection. After about 2.5 km there is a small lake on the right hand side, where 5 White-tailed Eagles were seen by us. A first-winter Golden Eagle was seen together with two White-tailed Eagles above the forest left of the road, just 500m past the intersection.

Continue on towards (Norra) Grönby and keep left. About 5 km east of Grönby is a village called "Näsbyholm". On the poles of the power-lines north of this village, Golden Eagles are seen regularly. We saw a total of three Golden Eagles and 10 White-tailed Eagles in the area.

Other birding areas

Glommen harbour is a nice, small fishing harbour, with lots of large gulls around, either in the harbour or on the beach and rocks just south of it. We saw a third-winter Glaucous Gull here.

The Vombsjön / Krankesjön area holds Red Kites and normally also lots of ducks, geese and swans (not while we were there since the Krankesjön was frozen, and the fields were covered in snow). White-tailed Eagles should be around, as should the occasional Golden Eagle. We saw a Great Grey Shrike here.

The (E) coast at Landön and Tosteberga is rocky, with small rocky islands. There are mixed forests nearby, and meadows with big groups of Taiga Bean Geese. The White-tailed Eagles (up to 30 stay in the area, and are most easily seen when leaving the surrounding forests in the morning) are fed regularly near the small harbour at Landön. Occasionally, Golden Eagles are seen here.

Fyledalen is a small river valley, created by the 'Fyleån'. It has rather steep sides, aligned with big trees (oak and birch among others). This is the place where a two pairs of Golden Eagles breed, which also stay in winter. This is also the place to be for large numbers of Red Kites, that sleep here communally.  White-tailed Eagles might also spend the night here. Mornings are probably best, because the birds of prey can be seen when they leave the trees, in daylight. A local birdwatcher told us last winter that no less than 300 Red Kites come here every evening! This time we saw a group of about 35 birds, in the trees west of the bridge, near the large concrete block next to the road.

To get to Fyledalen, follow road no. '19' for about 7.5 km NE of Ystad (situated at the south coast). 1.1 km after Tomelilla (and the bridge crossing the Nybroån) take the turn towards Lyckås. One arrives at the southern part of Fyledalen. Keep on driving until Lyckås' castle and follow the 'Fyledalen' sign. The southern part can be viewed from the road, about 900 m N of Lyckås' castle, where there's an opening in the trees. Eagles and kites prefer the eastern part, especially when there are westerly winds. Three km past (N of) Lyckås, where the road crosses the river towards Tomelilla, is a concrete plate on the left hand side. The view from here is excellent. This is also the place from where we watched the Red Kites. To see eagles, it is probably best to be there early in the afternoon, or in the morning.

Torekov (NW of Malmö) and the peninsula S of it, Kullen, are said to be good for Black Guillemot. Because of lack of time we were not able to explore these sites this visit.

At the time of our visit, several other birds of interest were around: a wintering male Steller's Eider Polysticta stelleri stayed 500m south of the church of Paskållavik (but it was not seen on the day we were in the area, 28th Dec). At Oskarshamn, a large group of Pine Grosbeaks were seen next to the large building called 'Bilprovningen' (only 9 were seen on the 28th). A Spotted Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes stayed near the small lake at Valje.

Birds recorded by us:

1.       Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Recorded in small numbers at both coasts.

2.       Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Recorded in small numbers near water.

3.       Mute Swan Cygnus olor
Recorded in small numbers in Sweden and Denmark.

4.       Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus
27-12      3 Varberg; 11 at sea, Morups Tånge, just S of Glommen
29-12      5 Vombsjön

5.       Taiga Bean Goose Anser fabalis
28-12       2 over "E66"; 26 Nymölla; 500+ fields just N of Tosteberga
29-12       large numbers of geese, seen flying W of the small lake at Grönby might have been this species; 50+ Vombsjön

6.       Greylag Goose Anser anser
27-12      small groups between Glommen and Varberg

7.       Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis
28-12      18 in the fields just S of Tosteberga

8.       Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
27-12      5 Morups Tånge

9.       Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Recorded in large numbers near water, including both coasts.

10.   Common Pochard Aythya ferina
29-12       1 male Vombsjön
30-12      1 male between Tufted Ducks at Lomma, just S of Bjärred

11.   Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
27-12                   6 Tylosand
30-12      300+ Lomma

12.   Greater Scaup Aythya fuligula
27-12      10 Tylosand

13.   Common Eider Somateria mollissima
Recorded in small numbers at both Swedish coasts, and between Rødbyhavn and Puttgarden.

14.   Common Scoter Melanitta nigra
27-12      4 females at sea, near Glommen

15.   Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
Recorded in small numbers at both coasts, and in the Vombsjön / Krankesjön area.

16.   Smew Mergellus albellus
28-12                   25+ females at sea, Landön harbour
29-12      2 males, 8 females at small lake N of Grönby

17.   Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
Recorded in small numbers at both coasts.

18.   Goosander Mergus merganser
Recorded in small numbers at both coasts, and in the Vombsjön / Krankesjön area.

19.   Red Kite Milvus milvus
28-12                   11 just N of Tomelila, of which three perched at wires; 35+ at dusk in Fyledalen
29-12      5+ in the Grönby / Näsbyholm area

20.   Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
About 8 recorded, all females.

21.   Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
About 5 recorded, including one perched at Bjärred.

22.   Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
27-12      1 over Skummelövstrand

23.   Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
Fairly common throughout S-Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

24.   Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus
27-12                   2 along "E6", Malmö towards Göteborg
30-12      1 along the road next to Copenhagen Airport

25.   White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla
28-12                   2 Tosteberga (probable 2nd and 6th-year birds)
29-12            10 in the Grönby / Näsbyholm area, including 5 in the dead tree and on the ice of the small lake just N of Grönby (one near-adult and another white-tailed bird were seen here).

26.   Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
29-12            3 in the Grönby / Näsbyholm area, including 2 first-winters (possibly same bird) and a near-adult. All were seen in flight.

27.   Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Recorded in small numbers.

28.   Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
27-12                   1 near the birdtower just S of Varberg

29.   Grey Partridge Perdix perdix
27-12      4 flushed at Morups Tånge, just S of Glommen

30.   Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
29-12      heard at Krankesjön

31.   Common Coot Fulica atra
29-12      Several 100's at Krankesjön and Vombsjön

32.   Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
27-12      4 at Glommen

33.   Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
27-12      1 at Morups Tånge

34.   Dunlin Calidris alpina
27-12      1 just S of Varberg

35.   Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
27-12      about 15 between Glommen and Varberg

36.   Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
29-12      1 flushed at the birch forest of Källstorp

37.   Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
27-12      1 Morups Tånge
28-12      3 Tosteberga

38.   Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
About 10 were recorded, e.g. at Malmö.

39.   Common Gull Larus canus
27-12      3 Glommen

40.   Herring Gull Larus argentatus argentatus
Recorded at both coasts.

41.   Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
27-12      1 adult at Glommen harbour

42.   Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
27-12      1 third-winter at Glommen harbour

43.   Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
Recorded at both coasts.

44.   Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus
Recorded in small numbers.

45.   Stock Dove Columba oenas
28-12      4 over Fyledalen

46.   Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
29-12      2 at the aviary in S Svälov

47.   Hawk Owl Surnia ulula
29-12      1 at the birch forest near Källstorp farm

48.   Great Grey Owl Strix nebulosa
27-12      1 between Skummelövstrand and Mellbystrand

49.   Black Woodpecker Dryocopos martius
27-12      1 over "E6" between Malmö and Skummelövstrand
29-12      heard at the birch forest near Källstorp farm

50.   Green Woodpecker Picus viridis
28-12      1 female at Fyledalen
29-12      heard at the birch forest near Källstorp farm

51.   Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
Singles recorded in most forests.

52.   Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus
27-12        3+ just S of Glommen harbour

53.   Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
27-12         several just S of Glommen harbour and just S of Varberg

54.   Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus
27-12         3 flushed from a garden at Glommen harbour; 15 coming in from sea at Tylosand
30-12         3 at Bjärred, just N of Malmö

55.   Dipper Cinclus cinclus cinclus
28-12      1 at the stream in Nymölla

56.   Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
About 3 were recorded.

57.   Dunnock Prunella modularis
27-12      1 at campsite between Skummelövstrand and Mellbystrand
29-12      several at a feeder in Vomb

58.   Robin Erithacus rubecula
Several recorded.

59.   Blackbird Turdus merula
Fairly common in S Sweden.

60.   Fieldfare Turdus pilaris
Common in S Sweden.

61.   Redwing Turdus iliacus
Recorded in very small numbers.

62.   Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
27-12      1 just S of Glommen harbour

63.   Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
28-12       2 males in a garden next to the Pine Grosbeak-site at Tosteberga

64.   Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Recorded in small numbers in most forests.

65.   Blue Tit Parus caeruleus
Several recorded.

66.   Great Tit Parus major
Several recorded.

67.   Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus caudatus
27-12        About 35 at the Great Grey Owl-site, between Skummelövstrand and Mellbystrand

68.   Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea ssp.
28-12         2 heard at Fyledalen

69.   Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris familiaris
27-12         1 near campsite between Skummelövstrand and Mellbystrand
28-12         2+ in the pine trees N of Tosteberga

70.   Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor
28-12          1 flying over the road near Olseröd
29-12          1 along the road just NE of Silvåkra birdtower, near Krankesjön

71.   Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Recorded in very small numbers.

72.   Magpie Pica pica
Fairly common in S Sweden.

73.   Jackdaw Corvus monedula
Quite common in S Sweden.

74.   Common Raven Corvus corax
28-12       2 at the pine forest N of the factory, Nymölla; several Fyledalen
29-12      15+ in the Grönby / Näsbyholm area

75.   Hooded Crow Corvus cornix
Common in S Sweden.

76.   Rook Corvus frugilegus
Quite common in S Sweden.

77.   Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
Recorded in most agricultural areas.

78.   House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Recorded in very small numbers.

79.   Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Recorded in very small numbers.

80.   Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
Several large groups (of up to 300 birds) were noted.

81.   Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes
28-12        several at the pine forest N of Tosteberga
29-12        6 over the Källstorp birch forest

82.   Siskin Carduelis spinus
Recorded in small numbers.

83.   Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
Quite common in villages.

84.   Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
Several were recorded.

85.   Common Redpoll Carduelis flammea flammea
29-12       2+ Källstorp birch forest

86.   Twite Carduelis flavirostris
27-12       40+ S of Varberg
28-12       40+ in the fields just N of Fyledalen

87.   Pine Grosbeak Pinicola enucleator
28-12        4 (3 first-winter males and 1 female) at the berries in the pine forest just N of the factiry at Nymölla; 1 adult male at the farm just N of the pine forest N of Tosteberga

88.   Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
29-12        1 over the Källstorp birch forest (flight call type B 'weet' Crossbill, cf. track 16 of the CD "Introduction to vocalizations of crossbills in north-western Europe", and Dutch Birding Vol. 22, no. 2 (2000).

89.   Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
27-12         2 Glommen
28-12         small numbers at Tosteberga
29-12         about 50 at a feeder in Vomb

90.   Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
27-12         4 Morups Tånge

In addition, big numbers of Canada Geese Branta canadensis and several Ring-necked Pheasants Phasianus colchicus were also noted.

Recorded mammals:

On 27th, several Seals were seen just S of Varberg; a Red Squirrel was sighted at Tosteberga on 28th; and several Roe Deer were seen in the Grönby / Näsbyholm area on 29th. Three dark grey mice were seen shortly before they were swallowed by the Great Grey Owl at Mellbystrand, on 27th.

Leiden, 1st January 2001

Remco Hofland
The Netherlands

Pierre Unge (Sweden)
cell phone number  (+46) 706210258

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