Tag Archives: Hotspot

Sweden – Skåne – Falsterbo

Somewhere a little closer to home for my second blog on “hotspots”, Falsterbo peninsula, Skåne, Southern Sweden.

Falsterbo peninsula is located at the south-western tip of Sweden in Vellinge Municipality in Skåne County. Falsterbo is mostly known as a holiday destination where people go to spend their summer vacations, however the peninsula is also one of the best, if not the best bird migration routes in northern Europe.

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Fasterbo Lighthouse – Winter 2013

Every autumn about 500 million birds migrate across Denmark and southern Sweden, mainly towards the south-west, but this is obviously dependant on the wind direction. On good days you may see hundreds of thousands of birds passing. I am lucky that if there are strong westerly winds, the birds will often get blown off course and migrate over my house in eastern Denmark. I have had the pleasure of watching large flocks of Common Cranes and Honey Buzzards flying over in the last few years during this autumn passage.

Common Kestrel

Common Kestrel – Falsterbo, Skåne, Sweden

The birds tend to follow the south and west coastline of Sweden and the Baltic Sea is the first major hurdle the birds have to cross on their southwards migration route, and hence Falsterbo is the last strip of land before the journey over the sea to northern Germany. By gaining altitude the birds try to complete this part of their precarious journey as fast, safe and efficient as possible. Migrating birds do not fly over unknown or perilous areas unless they have to.

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Fasterbo Peninsula – Winter 2013

Birders and photographers from wide-and-far come to enjoy the natural phenomenon, but the highly is clearly the migration of the raptors. Great numbers of Honey Buzzards are one of the earlier mass migrating raptors, followed by Eurasian Hobby and Osprey. Harriers migrate in different patterns, with Montague’s usually being the first to leave the northern breeding areas, these are followed by Marsh and then Pallid and Hen (Northern) Harriers. Later during autumn, Common Buzzards and Eurasian Sparrowhawk make up the bulk of migrating raptors. Peregrine Falcon, Common Kestrel and Merlin tend to migrate over a longer period. During the final moments of autumn and the onset of early winter, the “big guys” start to move, with more Red Kites, Golden Eagles and White-tailed Eagles on the move. There are also often throughout the whole migration period a few surprises, including such delights as; Booted Eagle, Greater and Lessor Spotted Eagles, Black Kites, Imperial Eagle, and on very rare occasions a vulture!

There are many more species to mention, but I will leave the passerines and waders for another day and another blog.

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Fasterbo Peninsula – Winter 2013

If you would like to know more about Falsterbo and especially birding of photographing here and in the surrounding area then click on the following link:



Borneo – Rainforest Discovery Centre

I plan to post a number of articles on “hotspots” where I have been on my travels, the first one is of a great place in Northern Borneo, Malaysia which is world class when it comes to birding, and is within walking distance of the world famous Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. I have set up a new page on the blog to link all of the hotspots in one centre location. Enjoy, there will be more to come!

I am lucky to have been here a few times, and trust me I see something new on every visit, and still I have “dipped” on a few sort after species. A good reason to return I suppose.

The Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) has evolved out of a local environmental education centre in 1996 into one of Sabah’s most popular sites for visitors and locals alike, especially though for visiting birders.

It is a within the famous Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, home of the orang utans at the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre (SOURC) as well as in the wild, and only a couple of hours from Gomontong Caves and the Kinabatangan River, both famed for is ecology.

Rainforest Discovery Centre - Borneo

Rainforest Discover Centre – Sandakan, Borneo

The best part of RDC though is the 800-metre Rainforest Discovery Train and the trails on the canopy walkways, three at the last count. The 147m long, 28m high canopy walkway and the three canopy towers let you see the rainforest the way an orang utan sees it. For birders there are more than 300 species of birds here, including the rare Bornean bristleheads, Black and crimson pitta, Blue-headed pitta, Giant pitta, Black hornbill, Rhinoceros hornbill, Ruddy kingfisher and much, much more.


Green-crested Lizard – Rainforest Discover Centre – Sandakan, Borneo

Although the main purpose of the RDC still remains as an environmental education centre for students and teachers, it has been open to the public for a number of years now. since August 2007. If visiting SOURC then it is a must to also visit the RDC.

If you are planning a trip to Borneo and want to visit this or other area’s of natural beauty then contact a local friend of mine, one of Borneo’s top birders, CK Leong at borneobirds.com A great guy and an amazing birder.


Orang Utan – Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre – Sandakan, Borneo

Note, all proceeds from ticket sales (small charge) are used to sustain the centre.