Bird watching trip report


The company will send me for a firefighting course. I chose to take the course end of May Yet another Smiley on hoping to get some nice spring/ summer weather.

They wanted to send me to another course as well, and I could choose a course in Gothenburg in the beginning of May as I wanted to see the Crane Dance and end of April is too late for the Crane action.

I sent an e-mail to Naturum Hornborgasjön and I got a statistic over the Cranes at the Lake Hornborga/ Hornborgasjön. And in mid April there are still chances to see the Crane Dance. And as I will be there in the middle of the April I was thinking about the Black Grouse and Capercaillie Lek.

I finished with the Black Grouse and Capercaillie Lek and I planned for a stop at Tiveden on my way south to Gothenburg to do my first course.

My Guide

Natur Guide Tiveden

My Guide showed me around Tiveden and I finally got to see the Great Grey owl. He showed me some of the very nice nature reserves in the area. I did Tiveden National Park by myself


Thai Airways flight TG 950
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Intl   -   Copenhagen Kastrup
                                                   Terminal: 3
15Apr2019 01:20                       15Apr2019 07:40
  Thai Airways flight TG 951
Copenhagen Kastrup   -   Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Intl
Terminal: 3
02Jun2019 14:25              03Jun2019 06:00

Land transportation

• Rented car
I rented a Volvo from HERZ. It will not work using public transportation to travel between the different birding spots located in the wilderness


I will spend my nights at Hamgården Nature Resort Tiveden. A very nice place where you take care of your self.

Hamgården Nature Resort Tiveden

Weather / climate

Sweden in April and May, could be summer and it can be winter, or anything in between.In the South I hope to have sunshine and the summer in good progress. I will be in the middle of Sweden to watch the Crane Dance and the Capercaillie Lek and the Black Grouse Lek.

The lek is going on until May but they usually give up watching when the the soil has thawed after the winter and the swamp turns from hard to water and it is not possible to be there any more. So yes, I have ordered thermo underwear for my nights in the tent.

And coming to Skåne and Öland I might be lucky and I can walk around in shorts and shirt. But it can as well be winter and I need to pack a lot of clothes this time.

Weather in the spring

Visiting in the spring time and you really need to pack a huge bag. In the morning it is below zero so I have packed full winter equipment, parka jacket, warm hat and gloves. And of course warm socks. In the late morning you will have to change the winter clothing to “spring” clothing, a wind breaker.

If it is sunshine the temperature is easily reaching 20°C at lunch time and that can easily be almost 30°C. If you have a car it is no problem, just keep everything in the car and change as the day proceeds and you ae ready for any weather changes you will run in to.

Middle of Sweden - Climate & Temperature
Pictures from

Middle of Sweden - Climate & Temperature - Click picture for full size picture
Pictures from


Canon 5D Mk. III and Canon 5D Mk. IV
Canon EF 28-300/3,5-5,6 L IS USM
Canon EF 70-200/2,8L IS II USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens
Canon Speedlite 600EXII-RT flash
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II
Panasonic HC-W585 video camera

Sound recorder
ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder

References/Resources Excellent page, but in Swedish only

Visit the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and choose between Swedish and English

Naturum - visitor centres in nature - A naturum is a visitor centre with activities and exhibitions, located at several of NaturumSweden’s national parks and nature reserves. Here, you will be welcomed by friendly, knowledgeable staff who will answer your questions and guide you through the area’s sights of interest.

List of Swedish National Parks (With information about every park in English) from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, click HERE. Information about Tiveden. Where to stay and what to do

National Parks of Sweden
Länsstyrelsen i Örebro
Länsstyrelsen i Örebro In Swedish only Excellent page, but in Swedish only

Natur Guide Tiveden

ebird - Find birding hotspots with bird checklists from all over the world

Avibase - is an extensive database information system about all birds of the world, containing over 25 million records about 10,000 species and 22,000 subspecies of birds, including distribution information for 12,000 regions, taxonomy, synonyms in several languages

Cloudbirders - Read birding trip reports from all over the world

Fatbirder - Linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see their sister site: WAND

Fatbirder is a fantastic web page with information from, I think every country in the world. My first stop when I plan for my bird watching trips. There is information about locations and guides, well, pretty much everything you need to know. Sometimes this is the only place I need to visit to plan my trip.

BirdingPal - find a birding Guide around the world


And the web page you cannot live without. I have been around the world looking for birds. I usually have a Guide, but sometimes it is not possible to find a Guide. So, well, I have lost count onhow many times I have had help to ID birds at BirdForum. Joining this forum have been very very good for my bird watching experience. is the place to learn about the worlds climates with more than 4000 locations documented. Each aspect of the climate is represented using colour enhanced tables and professional graphs so that data can easily be compared by switching between locations in different tabs in your browser.

Collins Bird Guide

The Collins Bird Guide is a field guide to the birds of the Western Palearctic.

Its authors are Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney, Dan Zetterström and Peter J. Grant, and it is illustrated by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström (with two plates of North American passerines contributed by Larry McQueen). It has been described as "undoubtedly the finest field guide that has ever been produced", and "the last great bird book of the 20th century".

It was originally published in Swedish and Danish in 1999, and in English in hardback in the same year, and later in paperback. A large-format English edition has also been produced, as has a German and Dutch edition. The first edition was translated to 14 European languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch and German.

A second edition, revised and enlarged, was published in January 2010. A series of updates and corrections were made in 2015, with no change to the edition number.

The cover of the first edition, in all formats, depicts a barn owl. On the second edition, this was replaced by an arctic tern.

Collins Bird Guide
Cover of the first edition
Fair use,

Eleven pages of introductory material are followed by the book's main content: 366 pages of text and colour paintings. The text for each species gives brief status notes, followed by a section detailing identification, and concludes with a section on voice. Accompanying most species accounts is a small colour map showing breeding, wintering and migrant range.

The guide is also available as a paid-for app, for iPhone and Android devices. The app includes all of the text and images from the print edition, as well as audio recordings. Additional data can be bought separately; the first such package being a set of distribution maps for 271 species, from the British Trust for Ornithology's Bird Atlas 2007–11.

All versions cover Europe, North Atlantic islands, much of North Africa and the Middle East.

Most of the species covered in the main part of the guide are regular breeding, wintering or migrant species in its area of coverage, although some vagrants are also included. There are additional sections giving brief accounts of (a) vagrants and (b) introduced breeding species and species recorded only as escapes.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Many bird watchers around the world know this book simply as “The Svensson”

Naturum - visitor centres in nature


Map over Sweden with all the naturum marked. Illustrator: Hans Sjögren.
Click HERE for bigger map

A naturum is a visitor centre with activities and exhibitions, located at several of Sweden’s national parks and nature reserves. Here, you will be welcomed by friendly, knowledgeable staff who will answer your questions and guide you through the area’s sights of interest.

All naturum visitor centres offer guided walks and demonstrations, slide-shows and theme nights. You will also find literature and multimedia here to immerse yourself in. In addition, there are brochures and information boards offering tips on beautiful nature trails and footpaths.

The nature experience starts at naturum
At naturum, you can learn almost everything there is to know about the region’s plants, birds, insects and animals. You can also learn about the cultural history and geology of the area as well as people’s relationship with nature and their impact on it. Information about the area’s national parks and nature reserves and why we need to protect and take care of our nature can also be found here. Join us on an activity in nature!

Opening hours and programmes
All naturum are open during the summer and many are open most of the year. Special demonstrations for school classes and other groups can be booked throughout the year.

Discover Sweden’s national parks

The map shows the locations of Sweden´s 30 national parks
Click HERE for bigger map

There are 29 national parks in Sweden. Find more information about each national park in the alphabetical list on Swedish Environmental Protection Agency´s web page, click HERE.

Places to visit


Tiveden, Sweden´s Southernmost wilderness. Moose safaris, beaver safaris, owls calling, wolf safaris, birding experiences such as the Capercaillies and Black Grouse lek


Tiveden is a forest in Sweden, throughout history notorious for its wilderness and dangers; historically a hiding place for outlaws.

Within it, the Tiveden National Park has a designated area of 20.3 km, a comparatively small and arguably the most inaccessible part of the forest. It was established in 1983, and administratively belongs to the municipalities of Karlsborg and Laxå.

The name is very old and disputed. -Ved is cognate to English Wood and the first part of its name, Ti-, either means "god" or refers to the god Týr. Tiveden separates Närke from Västergötland, and was formerly a frontier between the Geats and the Swedes.

The national park area has never been inhabited, but there are several ancient remains of human activities such as worshipping grounds and sacrificial sites.

The old forest border between Swedes (Suiones) and Geats.
Blue = Tiveden
Green = Tylöskog
Red = Kolmården
By Wiglaf at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain,

Details of Tiveden locatio
between lakes Vänern and Vättern
Demis map server

The forest has small lakes with red waterlilies. When they were discovered they provided the European varieties of red waterlilies that are in cultivation. The folklore tale of how this became goes as follows:

At the lake of Fagertärn, there was once a poor fisherman who had a beautiful daughter. The small lake gave little fish and the fisherman had difficulties providing for his little family. One day, as the fisherman was fishing in his little dugout of oak, he met the Nix, who offered him great catches of fish on the condition that the fisherman gave him his beautiful daughter the day she was eighteen years old.

The desperate fisherman agreed and promised the Nix his daughter. The day the girl was eighteen she went down to the shore to meet the Nix. The Nix gladly asked her to walk down to his watery abode, but the girl took forth a knife and said that he would never have her alive, then stuck the knife into her heart and fell down into the lake, dead.

Then, her blood coloured the waterlilies red, and from that day the waterlilies of some of the lake's forests are red.

— Karlsson 1970, 86

The animal life is scarce, but the forest houses a substantial population of western capercaillie.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

• Tiveden National Park
• Kvismaren Nature Reserve
• Sörön Nature Reserve

Tiveden National Park

If you pass through Laxå driving along highway #E20 you will be surprised. Suddenly there is a roundabout and you leave the highway, turn right if you come from the south. It is about 39km from the roundabout to Tiveden National Park.

Tiveden National park
To find Tiveden National Park

Tiveden National park
Easy to find Tiveden National park

Tiveden National park
Easy to find Tiveden National park

Tiveden National park

Tiveden National park
Last turn in to the gravel road

Tiveden National park
Follow the gravel road until an intersection

Tiveden National park
Go straight for the main entrance and turn right for the Vitsand Entrance

You need to turn 4 times between the roundabout and the gravel road leading to the national park. Right - left - left - right. No worries, there are big signs so it will be very hard to miss. On the gravel road it is about 10km to the main gate. After 5 km you reach an intersection. From there it is about 5km going straight to the main gate.

Turn right and you reach the Vitsand Gate and there are a big parking area. It is a very well maintained national park. Trails with good marking and easy to follow with signs so you know the distance and directions to the destination. All trails have different colour codes so it is easy to stay on the trails.

There are picnic tables and fire places for BBQ at the gate.

Tiveden National park
Boarder to the national park at Vitsand

Tiveden National park
Easy to find your way around the national park

Tiveden National park
Fire place for BBQ

Tiveden National park
Colour coded trails

Tiveden National park
Colour coded trails

Tiveden National park
Colour coded trails

Tiveden National park
Main Gate

Tiveden National park
Main Gate - BBQ and picnic area

Tiveden National Park map, click HERE, Swedish only.

Kvismaren Nature Reserve

Kvismaren is one of central Sweden’s most important breeding grounds for wetland birds. It is also an important resting-place for many birds migrating during spring and autumn. Today the area is included on the UN list of valuable wetlands.

The nature reserve is situated about 14 km southeast of Örebro and approximately 14 km east of Kumla. The nature reserve can be reached from several different directions. There are signposts from road 52 between Kumla and Odensbacken and on road 207 between Örebro and Odensbacken. The main entrance is at Öby kulle, in the centre of the nature reserve.

Kvismaren Nature Reserve
How to find Kvismaren Nature Reserve

Coming from north on highway E20 and you can take the road #207, but then you have to drive through the city of Örebro. So continue a wee bit more south and leave E20 and get on road #51.

If you drive north on highway #20 you exit at road #52 and continue until you see the signs to Kvismaren Nature Reserve. You only need to turn one time, a turn to the left and there are signs.

Kvismaren Nature Reserve
You reach the bridge across Kvismare Kanalen

Kvismaren Nature Reserve
You reach the bridge across Kvismare Kanalen

Öby Kulle

Kvismaren is a large area with many observation points, paths and bird towers. Öby kulle is the focus of the area, with toilets, barbecue and an information hut that is usually manned during spring weekends.

Many water snakes and vipers can be seen at Öby kulle when they emerge from their hibernation holes deep in the hill. This occurs on the first warm spring days when the ground has thawed.

Öby Kulle is world famous for its snakes and there are warning signs at the bridge. There are parking areas and a bird hide and one bird watching tower. Coming from the north and the parking is on the left hand side before the bridge. You park the car and walk to the bird watching tower.

If you cross the bridge you have to turn right and there is a parking and a hide / watching platform. And it is a perfect picnic place as there are tables on the look-out terrace. For bird watching it is OK, but for pictures, not so good as you are very far away from the birds. But I really recommend a visit just to have a look at the beautiful area.

Kvismaren Nature Reserve
Parking at the bird hide / watching platform

Kvismaren Nature Reserve
Board walk to the bird hide / watching platform

Kvismaren Nature Reserve
The bird hide / watching platform

Map and iformation from Länsstyrelsen, IN ENGLISH! Click HERE

Sörön Nature Reserve

Sörön nature reserve, whose impressive oak and elm forest attracts many bird species and songbirds that breed in holes. A good time to visit Sörön is during the spring, when there is a carpet of wood anemones.

The areas that are grazed today were formerly cultivated. There are many traces of the old cultivation landscape, such as foundations of buildings, earth cellars, stone walls and cairns.

The wetlands also contain several unusual plants species that thrive in the nutrient-rich environment, such as lesser bullrush, mare’s tail, water soldier and sweet flag. The area is also home to many types of dragonfly. Every year, around 200 bird species visit the area. Many of them are rare, but a few more or less regular visitors are red-footed falcon, great reed warbler, corncrake, common quail, great snipe, turtle dove, Savi’s warbler, Lapland bunting, white-tailed eagle and peregrine falcon.

Kvismaren is an important resting place for migrating birds such as cranes and geese and on autumn evenings large flocks fly into the area to spend the night. It is almost primeval, and a magnificent spectacle to hear and see thousands of birds coming in to land at dusk.

It is a few minutes’ drive from Sörön Nature Reserve to Kvismaren Nature Reserve. When I was there they did some construction on the bridge just before reaching Sörön Nature Reserve and we had to make a d-tour and this added 10 minutes to the trip.

Sörön Nature Reserve

Sörön Nature Reserve
Signs to find Sörön Nature Reserve

Sörön Nature Reserve
Leaving the road and it is a gravel road until the Nature Reserve

Sörön Nature Reserve
Leaving the road and it is a gravel road until the Nature Reserve

Sörön Nature Reserve
First parking after having passed the farm

Sörön Nature Reserve
The last stretch of gravel road to the last parking lot

Sörön Nature Reserve
Parking lot at the nature reserve

I was there two times and I heard the Tawny owl both times. I could also hear the Eurasian bittern. Never saw any of the birds, and we never spotted the Black Woodpecker that I had come to see.

I never got to see the Black Woodpecker but there was plenty signs of the bird as they like to peck the bottoms of the trees.

There is a trail taking you around the nature reserve and it is about 2.1 km long. I can really recommend a visit to the Sörön Nature Reserve. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the bird song.

Bird checklist

I never use any bird lists, but since I try to make it in to Cloudbirders. A very helpful site when planning your birding trips. But they ask for a bird checklist, and if I use their service, of course I want to contribute as well. My two first bird watching trip reports was rejected by Cloudbirders.

So I started to take ideas from the reports I found on Cloudbirders. So I have started to use bird lists, eBird generate one for me and I can post it on Cloudbirders. I will post my birds on eBird and on my different “BIRDS THAT I HAVE OBSERVED” pages.

Check lists can come in handy to find out the local name of the bird etc. And Avibase have a list with pictures and sounds, excellent!

So I will post bird checklists here and if my Guides provide me with checklists I will also post them here.


Avibase - Bird Checklists of the World

Västergötland bird checklist from Avibase, click HERE This covers Tiveden

Avibase is providing you with bird checklists from all over the world. And I´m impressed by their web page. Select country and area and you get the bird checklist. Like the PDF files I got from Avibase on the links above. You also get the checklist with pictures and sounds.

The best part is that you get the local names of the birds and the online checklist gives the names in English plus the language you have selected. But it seems like the PDF cannot handle some alphabet.

For example the Japanese language so it is blank in the PDF checklist. But it worked excellent with Swedish. But you get them in the local language on the online version.

Bird list

See My eBird checklists and the DAY TO DAY report in the itinerary below.

1 May 2019, my eBird checklist from Tiveden National Park, click HERE

2 May 2019, my eBird checklist from Tiveden National Park, click HERE

2 May 2019, my eBird checklist from Great Grey Owl Area, Örebro, click HERE

3 May 2019, my eBird checklist from Tiveden National Park, click HERE

3 May 2019, my eBird checklist from Kvismaren Nature Reserve, click HERE

3 May 2019, my eBird checklist from Sörön Nature Reserve, click HERE

3 May 2019, my eBird checklist from Great Grey Owl Area, Örebro, click HERE

4 May 2019, my eBird checklist from Tiveden National Park, click HERE

4 May 2019, my eBird checklist from Sörön Nature Reserve, click HERE

4 May 2019, my eBird checklist from Great Grey Owl Area, Örebro, click HERE

5 May 2019, my eBird checklist from Tivedstorp, click HERE

And you can visit my list of “Birds I have seen in Sweden

My eBird checklists can be found HERE


Click on the links below for daily bird watching results:

1 May 2019: Bird watching at Tiveden National Park
2 May 2019: Bird watching at Tiveden National Park - Look for the Great Grey Owl
3 May 2019: Bird watching at Tiveden National Park - Look for the Great Grey Owl
4 May 2019: Bird watching at Tiveden National Park - Look for the Great Grey Owl
5 May 2019: Bird watching at Tiveden National Park before driving to Gothenburg
Next adventure: Bird Watching Trip Report - Öland

Bird watching trip report




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