Annette’s brother Mike and Kathleen his wife visited from Canada in late August. They are eager birdwatchers, so we drove to Öland.
The Ottenby Bird Observatory on the southern tip of Öland is a mecca for birdwatchers. It was founded in 1946 and bands about
20,000 birds each year. Thousands of birds stop at Öland on their way north in the spring and then back south from late summer.
The lighthouse Långe Jan. It is possible to climb up the stairs of the lighthouse to get a good view of the area.
The low lying land and shallow waters make it perfect stopover for migratory birds,
especially shorebirds. This picture was taken from the lighthouse in August 2007.
There are many birds, and many seals. Sitting among the gulls is a great black backed gull Larus marinus.
Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo are very common and there are several thousands in the area.
There are also plenty of bird enthusiasts and photographers Homo sapiens, and very impressive optical instruments.
One of several blinds for birdwatchers.
Large flocks of eider Somateria mollissima.
Mute swans Cygnus olor, the most common swan of Sweden.
Just off the south tip of Öland, a favorite for mute swans, with plenty of food in the shallow water.
Naturum an educational centre with a small shop. The Swedish Ornithological Society has a bigger shop in Stenåsa on the east coast.
It has a large selection of guides to birdwatching in many countries and a good range of equipment. http://www.naturbokhandeln.se/
The exhibits give information about the migratory birds that pass southern Öland.
Bird houses that were on sale inside. Some are for special birds, like the first three on the left.
The first is for solitary bees, the second from left for butterflies, and the third from left for bats.
There were many seals. Naturum has a telescope that you can use to look at the seals. One can phone Naturum to ask if there the seals are around.
Two seal cubs playing on the right.
One of many smaller birds that visit. This one is a green warbler Phylloscopus nitidus, one of the most common warblers on the island.
A gold crest Regulus regulus
A juvenile black headed gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus.
Sandpipers and spotted starlings.
A curlew (?)
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Barnacle geese Branta leucopsis
There were many fallow deer Dama dama a little further inland.
New antlers with shedding of the skin cover.
We also met many cows and grazing sheep. Grazing animals are essential to maintain the open meadows.
A bird watch tower, next to a gate. Large areas are closed between 1 April and 31 August, to protect nesting birds and young seals.
One of several signs showing the walking paths.
The King’s stones from an Iron Age burial field.
Field muchroom Agaricus camprestis. There were many growing around the King’s stones.
Öland has many wooden windmills.
Field of clover on Stora Alvaret, the limestone plain that covers about a quarter of Öland.
Eketorp, an Iron Age fort, closed for the season in mid-August, but one can walk in and look. A new main entrance portal is under construction.
We were very lucky to be able to join the Öland ornithological society walk to observe waders.
A flock of feeding dunlin Calidris alpina.
A flock of common ringed plover Charadrius hiaticula.
Ruffs Philomachus pugnax in flight
Ruff. Pose number one.
Ruff. Pose number two.
Waders in flight.