Posts Tagged 'Sweden'

Olof Rudbeck

Some plates from den svenska ornitologins fader. Olof Rudbeck the Younger (1660-1740), sometimes Latinized as Olaus Rudbeckius junior, is considered the father of Swedish ornithology. He was also one of Linnaeus’s teachers (whence Rudbeckia). While visiting Sverige recently, I was gifted a sumptuous reprint of Rudbeck d.y.’s Svenska fâglar. It’s a wondrous tome; I’m struggling to translate bits for my own edification. The plates are usually contrasted with earlier illustrations, mostly woodcuts, done by others, as in the case of this Ruff, which certainly stands on its own.

And now, because we live where we live:

Birds, Flowers, Castle

Winding down with the reports from our trip to Sweden. Here’s Buskskvätta. Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra).These white flowers were everywhere.Anemone. It was a very good year for them, people said.My first ever cranes in the wild! Here’s Grus grus, the European Crane, known as Trana in Swedish. There was a pair nesting in the distance. One also flew across our bow as we rode on Lake Vänern in the good ship Jim.While on the water, we also saw an enormous Osprey nest, which has obviously been used for generations. It has to be protected in breeding season from egg collecting assholes, still evidently a problem there. And here’s a Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava), Gulärla, one the far side of Läkkö Slott.The said slott.

Whose Woods?

In Sweden, the woods belong to the red wood ants (Formica). They build large mounds, are essential forest managers, and aren’t afraid of taking on bigger critters.A young Kopparödla or Slowworm (Anguis fragilis) is being taken down. (Movie)
Duncan takes a closer look at one of the mounds. This was the last we saw of him…

Swedish Snapshots


Such beauty in the world! And such baseness! There was good news from Ireland this week, when one of the misogynist whips of what was once the state church was tossed aside, yet the U.S. still suffers under the brute nastiness of the Orange Demagogue. The American gestapo is wrenching children from their parents and nearly 1500 children have been lost in this terrorist bureaucracy. Children are being physically abused & psychically tortured. Some have been released to pimps. I have little doubt that it will soon be revealed that these children are being raped and prostituted by federal goons themselves — corrupt agents of what that vile fundamentalist Mike Pence grotesquely calls the most “pro-life” administration ever, the scum of the earth empowered by that piece of shit Trump.

Here’s a Google document list of resources to help fight for decency, compiled by an acquaintance.

Even More Swedish Birds

Ladusvala. (Barn) Swallow (Hirundo rustica).This is most common species of swallow in the world. The European subspecies H. rustica rustica is very much less rufus underneath than the New World H. rustica rythrogaster and has a longer tail.Here’s another profile that should look familiar.The Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea).Nötväcka.Whooper Swans at distance, through a window just after 5 a.m. sunrise. Cygnus cygnus or Sångsvan.We run into these on this side of the Atlantic because of the infernal pet trade. Carduelis carduelis, the European Goldfinch. Steglits.

Mammal Monday

Sciurus vulgaris.I think it’s ice-cream…

More Swedish Birds

Skata. Magpie (Pica pica).Makers of massive stick nests.Björktrast. Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris). Like one of our fledgling Robins (T. migratorius) on steroids.And speaking of thrushes, the Common Blackbird (T. merula). Koltrast: the Swedish national bird. Cue “blackbird singing in the dead of night” — our Robins start up around 4 a.m.Kaja. Jackdaw (Corvus monedula). On the balcony of our hotel room…Very much roof and chimney birds, these chirping corvids.
We — my British birding co-conspirators and I — think this is a Chaffinch nest. Note all that moss and lichen; looks rather like a hummingbird’s nest, but much larger, of course.


Black-headed Gull, Common (or Mew) Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, and European Herring Gull. (A single click will make this picture larger.)Lesser Black-backed and Herring comparison. Yellow legs versus pink legs, in addition to the size and wing color. Some outtakes.

Mammal Monday

This European or Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus) was as big as most of the dogs in Göteborg. We were surprised to see it on a backstreet one evening. I think some of the locals were, too. The species has been expanding its range in Sweden.Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris).Like our Eastern Greys, which have become invasive in other parts of Europe, these are very active in parks. Eastern Cottontail back on the homefront, in Prospect Park last week.

Svenska fåglar

Större hackspett. Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major). That belly! Spotted in Göteborg’s Slottsskogen park.Sädesärla. White Wagtail (Motacilla alba). Spotted everywhere.Knipa. Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). These are females, and if you look closely you’ll see they’re banded. They were in the zoo’s pond. Others were seen in Göteborg’s canals, as well as on lake Vänern.Bofink. Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) male. Omnipresent.Reprise.Back almost a week now (!) from a week-long trip. More pictures and tales to come!


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