Reports, with Bird Lists, of our Meetings, Walks and Outings

Birdwatching in Scandinavia
by Terry Bond

Date: Thursday 19 January 2017 at 19:30


Forty people attended this meeting at which Terry Bond entertained and instructed on birdwatching in southern Scandinavia.

Terry made an important point in the opening remarks regarding the relationship between UK birds and Scandinavian birds.  Many species are present in both areas but often with two different subspecies e.g. pied wagtail in UK, white wagtail in Scandinavia, yellow wagtail in UK, grey-headed wagtail in Scandinavia.  Many of our UK winter birds have bred in Scandinavia and migrated to the UK for the winter, e.g. robin, blackbird, chaffinch and fieldfare.  Even species without different subspecies show differences in the two areas, e.g. long-tailed tit with white head in Scandinavia and dipper with black undersides in Scandinavia.  Species not seen commonly in the UK include hooded crow, crane with special government sponsored feeding fields, spotted crake, long-tailed skua, white-billed diver, raucous gull, Stellers eider, bluethroat and Lapland bunting.

The south-west tip of Sweden also offered a special treat during the spring and autumn migrations with up to 30,000 birds of prey passing in 24 hours with many of them roosting for a night in the area.  Terry gave an identi-class on how to differentiate between the various species based on outline shape as they fly over.

A very entertaining story assisted by slides (as opposed to digital images).  The slides could have been brighter and clearer but this did not detract from an excellent evening of birdwatching and storytelling!

Peter Gaines reported on What's About in our area:

  • Dorney Wetlands - Cetti's warbler
  • Dinton Pastures – Brent goose
  • Twyford (Waitrose) – Waxwings
  • West Ilsley – Great grey shrike
  • Moor Green – 20 Goosander
  • Wraysbury – Scaup
  • Burnham Beeches – Brambling
  • Widbrook – 150 Egyptian geese
--- Original Programme Information ---


Scandinavia is a vast region extending over 2,000 miles from north to south.  In the south, there are woods, fields and lakes, this region being on similar latitude to the north of Scotland and Shetland.  This contrasts with the frozen wastes far north in the Arctic.  Most wildlife talks, articles and documentaries tend to focus purely on the far north. Whilst incorporating species from the far north, Terry’s talk more specifically focuses upon the birds, coastline and countryside encountered further south in Sweden and Norway.

Redwing enjoying British berries

His talk also discusses the ways in which several Scandinavian species winter in Britain e.g. fieldfare, redwing etc., or often migrate through Britain e.g. red-backed shrike.



Terry has been a birdwatching photographer for 45 years, lecturing with his own slides for 30 years across England and Wales, and has had various articles and photographs published. He has been a group field leader for many years for various societies (including RSPB), leading weekend and full week trips.  Recently Chairman of a retail group and prior to that an international consultant with a major firm of accountants.