3 days northern Härjedalen June 2020
As restrictions concerning Covid 19 had been changed a bit, me and my two friends Claes and Per decided to take a 4 days/ nights trip up to northern Härjedalen. Per has an apartment in Ramundberget so it was easy to organize day trips from here. Day trips may not be the correct word as you need to be in the field very early and very late because of the position of the sun at this time of the year. We started our first day at 03.00 and drove to Mittåkäppen. This mountain is a "famous!" and a popular spot for hiking. The first section is bush and lower trees where you find some typical birds like Brambling, Redpoll, Willow Warbler and at the edge between forest and the "tree boundary", Bluethroat. We had to walk through some snow but it was a great experience as it was very warm and birds were singing all around. We had 5-6 Ring Ouzels here on the way up to the top but I never got close enough for a decent pic.
Our first stop was just before the parking where this beautiful lake is and here we saw a group of Willow Ptarmigans.
I was surprised to see and hear so many Reed Sparrows here (as they are quite common around the lakes and reed where I live). Here the seem to like a more forest like habitat not necessary with a lake and reeds.
At the top we had hoped for Horned Lark and Dotterel but none were to be found. Still a very nice walk and superb views of the Swedish mountains. Me at the top.
The next day we wanted to go to Flatruet which is the most southern road in Sweden that goes strait over a (flat) mountain top. This place is famous among birders to be a very good spot and also with easy access.
You are allowed to walk in some areas here and the reward is some true star birds of this habitat. The most common one is the Meadow Pipit but close by we found several Lapland Buntings.
There are a few small lakes here that normally attracts one of my favorite birds, the Red-necked Phalarope. This year only one pair with a young were found.
Close to this small pond a pair of magnificent Long-tailed Skuas had their nest. The male had a favorite stone where it returned after every hunt. To see see this star bird with the mountains in the back is a true privilege.
On my walk back to the car I bumped in to a single female Rock Ptarmigan which was having a drink in a small creek.
As shore birds are my favorite group of birds I also enjoyed the quite common Wood Sandpiper, which breed with several pairs here as well as the very cute Dotterel.
We came back later in the evening to listen for Great Snipe. Usually not a well known place for this species but this year there had been quite a few reports. We arrived around 10 pm and stayed until midnight. I was not any wind and we heard 7!! different males but never got our eyes on one. Still a fabulous way to end this day.
The next day we ended our trip by doing some walk along the river (lower down) to see if we could catch up something more. This area had lots of the stunning Bluethroat and also several pairs of Yellow Wagtail. I also managed to have a quick swim in the cold water of this beautiful spot.
Sweden is a stunning and great place!!