PYGMY OWL, Photo: Graham Catley
Photo: Graham Catley
Pygmy Owl

Spring long weekend, April

Enjoy quality birding in Taiga forest and wetlands around Svartådalen – The Black River Valley of Västmanland. Magnificient birds like Owls, Woodpeckers and Grouse are the focus of this trip.
We offer close encounters with Ural – and Tengmalms Owls on ringing excursions, that also provide good photo opportunities. Great Grey– and Pygmy Owls are seen totally in the wild, hunting at sunset over small meadows in the forest.
Woodpeckers drum in early mornings – six species if you´re lucky – with Three-toed– and Grey-headed as the jewels in the crown.

Look at the species list and the ”About the birds- pdf” and you´ll see what more to expect. Check "When to see the bird?" thoroughly and you´ll know when is the best time for the species most important to you.

Day 1
Arrival: 14:50 to Västerås Airport
Meet & greet stop with coffee/tea and sandwiches over Slavonian Grebes in small wetland area by Ängsö castle.
Black- and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Osprey also frequent the area.
Before sunset we put ourselves in position to await the Great Grey Owls evening hunt. An unforgettable experience that often provides breath-taking views on these stunning and obliging birds.
As Woodcocks rode and the forest choir of thrushes and Robins is quieiting down, Pygmy Owls appear to announce their territory.
Naturally we look for Moose along the way back to the B&B.
Dinner & Night at Fläckebo B&B.

Day 2
Breakfast at B&B
Morning visit to lake Ösjön with Black-throated Divers, chance of Nutcracker, Capercaillie and Hazel Grouse and some nice Butterflies like Camberwell Beauties, Holly Blue and Green Hairstreaks.
We pay a visit to the winter feeding station where Crested–, Willow–, Marsh– and Long-tailed Tits still might appear, together with Nuthatches of the white-bellied Scandinavian race.
We continue down to the Black River Valley and its rich wetlands to enjoy good scenic views, a nice outdoor lunch and to look for the locally breeding White-tailed Eagles, flocks of Bean Geese, Smew, and other wildfowl.
Raptors like Hen Harrier, Rough-legged Buzzard and Merlin are on passage through the area and winter-visitors like Great Grey Shrike and Golden Eagle might linger on.
Picnic lunch with a view.
Ural Owl ringing excursion with close encounters with Ural Owls. In April we ring incubating females, in May it´s time to ring the chicks before they leave the nest. Meanwhile the parents often appear, sometimes aggressively and close. Moments of good photo opportunities.
Dinner at Fläckebo B&B
Pygmy Owl or Eagle Owl evening-excursion.
Night at Fläckebo B&B.

Day 3
Early rising for Woodpecker Morning with Three-toed–, Grey-headed–, and Black Woodpeckers.
Ringing of Tengmalms Owls, breeding in nestboxes. Excellent opportunity to get really close views and to photograph these charming, little owls.
Black-throated Divers, Capercaillie and Goshawk breed in the area, as do Woodlark and Parrot Crossbill.
We enjoy the breakfast outdoors and get back for lunch at the B&B around noon.
Afternoon Siesta.
Relaxed evening excursion around the beautiful wetlands of Svartådalen with drumming Snipes and singing Curlews.
Dinner & Night at Fläckebo B&B.

Day 4
Early forest morning with leking Black Grouse on a large bog with breeding Common Cranes, Osprey, Wood– and Green Sandpipers.
In the surrrounding forest Crested– and Willow Tits, Crossbills and several species of Woodpeckers including Black– and Grey-headed appear frequently.
Transfer to airport
Departure at 15:00 from Västerås Airport.

The journey is a collaboration between BirdSafarisweden and Karlmark Travel. (Karlmark Travels holds the travel warranty insurance that covers this trip)

CAPERCAILLIE, Photo: Magnus 
Photo: Magnus Martinsson
Photo: Mike Read
Lesser-spotted Woodpecker
GREAT GREY OWL, Photo: Stefan 
Photo: Stefan Oscarsson
Great Grey Owl
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE, Photo: Michael Bergman
Photo: Michael Bergman
White-tailed Eagle
SLAVONIAN GREBE, Photo: Torbjörn 
Photo: Torbjörn Arvidsson
Slavonian Grebe
Photo: Glyn Sellors
Three-toed Woodpecker
BLACK WOODPECKER, Photo: Glyn Sellors
Photo: Glyn Sellors
Black Woodpecker
TENGMALM'S OWL, Photo: Graham Catley
Photo: Graham Catley
Tengmalm's Owl
URAL OWL, Photo: Jonas Lisper
Photo: Jonas Lisper
Ural Owl

Species list - pdf
What to bring - pdf