Tåkern 150510 third and last day

Tåkern 150508-10

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© NF Photos 150510

Today we started with breakfast t 6.00h.  We also took some with us as the morning would be long. No break before lunch at 12.00h. Even I took an egg, fruit and coffee. 

Then we were picked up at 7 for the first nature walk at Svälinge. Here we were divided in two groups. One went straight to the tower and the other one followed a longer path along a ditch to the tower. There was some obstacles, in form of fences,  to overcome during the walk. 

The water filled ditch functions as a water regulator to Tåkern.  It regulate the water level in the Tåkern and empties in Lake Vättern.  It was a nice walk along the water with reed on the other side and with forest and wetland on the side we walked. Lots to see and hear. Some migrating birds already here singing in trees and reed. But rarely seen.

Sedge warbler, (Sävsångare) singing in the reed

Finally we arrived at the birding tower. The highest one around Tåkern. It seemed rather old too. 

From the highest deck it was a really great view. And those who came here first did not seem to want to leave :) And, of course,  a group photo was taken. 
Western marsh harrier ( brun kärrhök) with prey to the right

Lots of reed here as well so the clear water was rather distant. 

At 10 we left for Naturrum Tåkern where we were for a while yesterday. Today we was lucky as it was some birding event and we were shown a banding session. 

One is Sedge warbler,(sävsångare) The other I´m not sure. Quite different in size. 

Then we got the tour in side the main building and also a movie from the area. One quite unique thing they have is a selection of small wood carved birds. One for every bird ever sighted in this area. And it is a woman creating them. The guide seemed very proud of them. So far 276 species has been seen here. A little more then a hundred breeds here. For Shadow shot!

Lunch at 12, the same place as yesterday. Now the sky started to darken and people choose to sit inside. 

At 13.00h we were picked up for the last tour. 

This time to the town Vadstena.  The same place I visited on my way down. We were to look for a rare gull, swallows and a Black redstart (svart rödstjärt) that seem to nest on the roof of the castle. And we found all of them. 

A Glaucous gull (vittrut) has been staying in the little harvor for a couple of weeks. 

A great day. Now back to the hostel for cleaning the room and get back on the road. Direction - home!

O, I almost forgot, our group was also interviewed of the local radio and TV station. I did see some of it on TV too. TV news  I´m actually seen in the first scene but only from behind, with a yellow backpack. If you are interested. this is my native language spoken.  :)  At Vadstena Castle.

The entry to Tåkern Naturrum

Sky Watch Friday
Image for Shadow Shot Sunday is the wall with 276 wooden birds :)


Tåkern 150509 exploring the area

Tåkern 150508-10

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© NF Photos 150509

Today we gathered at 6.30, before breakfast, for a walk in the gardens and the surrounding area. To watch and listen to the morning music of nature. It was a beautiful, sunny, morning. Blooming spring flowers, new arrivals of birds and a fresh breeze from lake Vättern. And nobody could suspect we were 48 women walking around. A great way to start the day.

But there were more things then bird too look for. Like cottages burried in flowers. Forgetmenots to be exact.

After breakfast the bus picked us up and we headed out to explore Lake Tåkern and the National Reserve.

Our first stop was at the Ramstads bridge to look for birds of prey and what else would be there. It was a good view point for both raptors, swans, geese and smaller birds. Lots of bird song could be heard in the reed. This swan seem to say, look out,
I´m coming your way.

After that we drove to a place called Bankängen (Bank meadow). We were hoping for Eurasian curlew  (storspov) but we did not see any. It was probably a little too early for them to have arrived yet. But it was a nice walk and I found other things to capture on camera.

As people have a habit of eating a lot it was now time for lunch! So we headed for Tåkern hostel where we ate in the beautiful gardens.

From the hostel, done eating, we could chose weather we wanted to walk to Naturrum Tåkern or take the bus. I think most of us walked in the reeds and meadows. Most of the time the path was on narrow boardwalks as it was very wet. We heard Bearded Reedling but did not see it. But we did see a Red Kite. It was a nice walk in the reeds.
Svanhals äng

Along the road there was also stations for children to investigate the lake and it´s inhabitants.

Arriving at the Naturrum Tåkern, Glänås, we saw more open water and then ducks, terns and other waterfowl. Not to mention the center itself. It was cool to check out the design of the buildings and towers.

Naturrum Tåkern was built from the reed surrounding it. That´s why they are weathered and grey to the color. I did take a quick look inside. But we will ahve a Grand Tour tomorrow so I went out looking for whatever birdlife there was. It was not as much as I expected it to be. The usual sucks, swans, terns and  few raptors.

A view from the birding tower. The boardwalk we walked is seen to the left in the image.

At 16,00h we were back at the hostel for a break. I fell asleep.

Then we took a walk by the lake to get to the restaurant where we had dinner.

During the time we ate the weather turned grey and it started to rain. So when we left for the evening session, listening for night singing birds it, rained. Some of us stayed in the bus during the session, the others positioned themselves below the deck for cover. Birders are a hardy bunch :) Sorry, to dark for images at that time.

Back at the Hostel around 22.00h and everyone went to bed. Last day tomorrow with an, as usual, early morning.

Seen from the tower some young people taking a break. Same place we did but this looks very romantic. :)

Tåkern on NF Photo

Our World Tuesday   WATW   GOOD FENCES


Tåkern 150508 trip to Tåkern first day

Tåkern 150508-10

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© NF Photos 150508
Today I´m going to meet with a lot of woman. We have a network of female birders called "Rapphönan". Rapphöna is the Swedish name for Grey Partridge. (the word höna means hen in English, meaning woman only) It is a network that will make it easier for woman birders. It started a few years ago and now groups are popping up in many areas. What I am about to attend is a trip arranged by the main group. With woman from all parts of the country.

One reason for me to attend is the fact that I was born not far from this place, a town named Linköping,  but haven´t been there since childhood.

Tåkern is close to one of the largest lakes in Sweden. Vättern. It was restored a few years ago and a new visitor center was built. It was built of reed harvested from the lake. Tåkern has the largest reed area we know of  in Europe.

Well, I left my home after lunch. I wanted a good time to get to the hostel where we should meet.  It would take me about two hours to get there. First the drive was not that fun as they rebuild the road to those narrow fenced types and I hate driving in them. They say it is safer but I doubt it. 

When I got to the town Vadstena they were working on the streets too. I was redirected. That turned out to be good. I spotted the old Vadstena Castle. As I was early I decided to stop and take a look. So I was wandering around studying the castle trying to remember what I learned in school. They were, of course, restoring the castle too. Everytime I visit a castle they seem to work on them.

Finally I went on and headed for Borghamn hostel. I drove in Östergötland farmland now. We used to say "it is flat as a pancake" it is visible in the image.

I arrived at the hostel in late afternoon. Got my room and a bed and went out to explore. They have a lovely little pier with stony beaches and crystal clear water. I took a lot of shots of the waves before I went on to take a look at the meadows. 

The stony beach of Lake Vättern.

The little harbor at the hostel. Below.

At 18.00h we all met for dinner. 48 woman in all. Lots of talk and info. I know a few of them since before. 

After dinner we headed out on our first tour. First stop was a lookout over Vättern. 

We spotted a few swans and ducks on the water. 

To the right of this place was a house where a famous woman, Ellen Key, once lived. She had a very steep garden. I noted the setting sun glowing in the waves hitting the rocks.

Second stop was Alvastra Kloster ruin. The ruins of  a monastery for nuns. It was getting dark so we mainly listened for birdsong and was looking at the ruins. Finally we made a short stop in a reed area to listen to birdsong. 

Then we drove, a small dirtroad on Omberg, following the shore of Vättern back to the hostel for a nights sleep. As usual on birding trips it will be an early morning. 

Driving on Omberg with the sunset over Lake Vättern

Sky Watch Friday   COTW

Tåkern on NF Photo