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Falsterbo is Sweden's premier migration watchpoint and lies on a peninsula in the far south-west of the country only 20km from the Danish island of Sjælland. It is most famous for raptors which pass through in huge numbers with more than 1,000 per day regularly recorded.
In addition to raptors other migrants include seabirds, waders and waterfowl, as well pigeons and a wide range of passerine species with more than a 100,000 birds per day recorded passing through.
More than 340 species have been recorded at Falsterbo including 30 raptors with Eurasian Sparrowhawk and European Honey Buzzard, Rough-legged Buzzard and Common Buzzard the most numerous. Regular but in hundreds rather than thousands per season are Red Kite, Marsh Harrier and Hen Harrier, Osprey, Common Kestrel and Merlin. White-tailed Eagle and Golden Eagle, Montagu's Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Northern Hobby and Peregrine Falcon occur regularly in small numbers and species such as Greater Spotted Eagle and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Pallid Harrier, Black Kite and Red-footed Falcon are almost annual.
Very rare raptors have included Egyptian Vulture and Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle and Booted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Eleonora's Falcon and Gyr Falcon.
Other migrants include Red-throated Diver and Black-throated Diver, and Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe and Slavonian Grebe. Great Bittern and White Stork are scarce but regular migrants and Black Stork is almost annual. Winter and passage waterfowl include Bewick's Swan and Whooper Swan, Barnacle Goose, Brent Goose and other geese with occasional records of Lesser White-fronted Goose and Red-breasted Goose.
All the regular northern European ducks occur with rarities such as American Wigeon, Red-crested Pochard, Steller's and King Eiders and Surf Scoter also recorded. Spotted Crake is regular and hundreds of Common Crane move across the peninsula from mid September to mid October.
All the regular north European waders occur on passage with scarcer species such as Kentish Plover, Temminck's Stint, Broad-billed Sandpiper and Red-necked Phalarope all regular. Rarities among waders recorded here have included Oriental Pratincole, Greater Sand Plover, American and Pacific Golden Plovers, Red-necked Stint, White-rumped, Pectoral Sharp-tailed, Marsh andTerek Sandpipers and Long-billed Dowitcher.
All four skuas can occur but Great Skua is the rarest and all the regular gulls are common with occasional records of rarities such as Pallas's Gull, Laughing Gull, Sabine's Gull, Iceland Gull and Glaucous Gull. Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern and Little Tern are common and joined by regular Caspian Tern and Black Tern, sometimes also White-winged Black Tern in autumn and Common Guillemot, Black Guillemot and Razorbill can be seen through most of the year.
The second half of October is the peak time for pigeon migration with thousands of Wood Pigeon and Stock Dove passing through. Black Woodpecker can occur all year but there is a clear movement in September-October which is also apparent in Great Spotted Woodpecker and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Long-eared Owl and Short-eared Owl can all be seen throughout the year but also occur on passage and Tawny Owl is probably resident. Tengmalm's Owl occurs as a rare but regular migrant usually in October-November and Barn Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Northern Hawk Owl and Eurasian Pygmy Owl have also been recorded.
Passerine migration begins in August with hirundines, pipits and wagtails but reaches a peak in October with the mass movement of hundreds of thousands of finches, the majority being Chaffinch, Brambling and Greenfinch but also large numbers of Linnet. Most of the breeding passerines of Scandinavia pass through in good numbers along with a variety of scarce and rare species. Among the scarcer passerines regularly seen here are Horned Lark and Bohemian Waxwing (Oct-Mar), Richard's Pipit (Sep-Oct), Tawny Pipit (Aug-Sep), Red-throated Pipit (Sep-Oct), Citrine Wagtail (Sep), Greenish Warbler (May-Jun), Pallas's Warbler (Oct), Yellow-browed Warbler (Sep-Oct), Penduline Tit (Aug-Oct), Golden Oriole (May-Aug), Nutcracker (Sep-Nov), Two-barred Crossbill (Aug-Oct) and Parrot Crossbill (Oct-Nov).
Although known primarily as a migration watchpoint, the Falsterbo peninsula has a range of breeding birds including Great Cormorant, Mute Swan and Greylag Goose, Common Shelduck, Northern Pintail, Garganey and Northern Shoveler. Common Eider and Red-breasted Merganser. Breeding waders include Oystercatcher and Pied Avocet, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Common Snipe and Common Redshank. Arctic Tern and Little Tern also nest here as well as several gull species including Great Black-backed Gull.
Birds you can see here include:
Red-throated Diver, Black-throated Diver, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Great Cormorant, Great Bittern, Grey Heron, Black Stork, White Stork, Mute Swan, Bewick's Swan, Whooper Swan, Taiga Bean Goose, Tundra Bean Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Barnacle Goose, Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Greater Scaup, Common Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Common Goldeneye, Smew, Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander, European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Red Kite, White-tailed Eagle, (mainly Oct-Nov), Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Rough-legged Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle, Golden Eagle, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Merlin, Northern Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Grey Partridge, Common Pheasant, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Crane, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Eurasian Dotterel, Eurasian Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Sanderling, Little Stint, Temminck's Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Ruff, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Eurasian Woodcock, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Red-necked Phalarope, Pomarine Skua, Arctic Skua, Long-tailed Skua, Mediterranean Gull, Little Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Caspian Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Little Tern, Black Tern, White-winged Black Tern, Common Guillemot, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Feral Pigeon, Stock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, Tawny Owl, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Tengmalm's Owl, European Nightjar, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Green Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Wood Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Shore Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Richard's Pipit, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Rock Pipit, (rare W), Blue-headed Wagtail, Citrine Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Bohemian Waxwing, Common Wren, Dunnock, Eurasian Robin, Thrush Nightingale, Bluethroat, Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Northern Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, (scarce Su), Marsh Warbler, Common Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Barred Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Greenish Warbler, Pallas's Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Bearded Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Common Treecreeper, Penduline Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Great Grey Shrike, Common Jay, (rare W), Common Magpie, Spotted Nutcracker, (rare W), Eurasian Jackdaw, Rook, (rare W), Carrion Crow, Hooded Crow, Northern Raven, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Siskin, Eurasian Linnet, Twite, (rare W), Northern Redpoll, Arctic Redpoll, Two-barred Crossbill, Common Crossbill, Parrot Crossbill, Common Rosefinch, Common Bullfinch, Hawfinch, Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting, Yellowhammer, Rustic Bunting, Reed Bunting
Late August to October is the best time to visit Falsterbo with the greatest variety of species in early to mid September but the the highest numbers in late September and early October.
History and Use
Areas of Interest
There are a number of good viewing points on the peninsula but the best are possibly the Falsterbo Canal, which is good for raptors, further west at the heath at Ljungen and the lighthouse and Nabben close to the very tip of the point. In periods of easterly winds Skanor Harbour is a favoured area.
Access and Facilities
Falsterbo is situated about 25km south of Malmo and easily reached from there by road.
Content and images originally posted by Steve
In autumn this has to be one of the best birding sites in Europe. Anything can happen - the raptors are the highlight but depending on weather and timing there can also be waders, passerines, seabirds... and no two days are the same.
- Superb autumn birding in a great location
- Can get a little crowded, but this is easy to avoid