Birds and butterflies in Gotland

Birds and butterflies in Gotland.

Day 1 – arrival.

Arrival to Visby by afternoon flight from Stockholm. Pick up at Visby airport and transport by minibuses 55 km north to small village Fårösund. Ferry 10 min to Broa, Fårö. Short transport to country side hotel Stora Gåsemora. Check in. A short walk down to the sandy beach Sudersand. Dinner with local specialities. Overnight at Fårö.

Day 2 – Fårö.

We will spend the second day on Fårö, the small satellite island to north of Gotland and home of late movie director Ingmar Bergman. This day we will explore a variety of habitats including the Baltic coast, the famous rock formations at Rauks, small lakes, woodlands and wetlands where we will look out for species such as Little Gull, Caspian Tern, Black-tailed Godwit, Garganey, Marsh- and Montague’s Harriers, Hobby, Nutcracker and both Parrot and Common Crossbills. In the southern part of Fårö, at Limmor moor, there is a good chance to see a good variety of raptors including Golden and White-Tailed Eagles. Montague’s harriers is also often seen here. In the woodland close to the moor, Collared Flycatchers are breeding. Common Rosefinches and Thrush Nightingales also breed here. In the dense wood in the northeastern part of Fårö, Avanäset, there’s a chance on Black Woodpecker, Red-breasted Flycatcher and Greenish Warbler. Dinner and overnight at Stora Gåsemora, Fårö.

Day 3 – Northern Gotland.

After breakfast transport to Broa and ferry to Fårösund. First place to explore is Island Furillen. A famous rarity magnet for birds. Furillen also has a very interesting coastal landscape with old pine trees strongly affected by the wind. Between the island and the mainland there is a bird tower where you have a great look over the shallow bay. Eagle owl are nesting in the neighborhood. May we have a chance to get a glimpse? Next area to explore is Hejnum Hällar. This alvar type habitats is known for its great variety of butterflies. More common species are Apollo (P. apollo), Black-veined White (A. crataegi) and Large Blue (P. arion). Species may be seen are Mountain Argus (A. artaxerxes), Geranium Argus (A. eumedon), Turquoise Blue (P. dorylas) and Glanville Fritillary, (M. cinxia). Transport to Västergarn. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Västergarn.

Day 4 – Western Gotland.

After breakfast a morning walk around the fresh water lake Paviken. This lake is a former salt water bay used by the vikings for trade and boat constructions. The birdlife is rich. In the night time you have chance to hear Corncrake, Spotted Crake, Grasshopper and River Warbler, Thrush Nightingale and may be Blyth’s Reed Warbler. In the daytime Caspian Terns regulary hunts over the reedbeds. During day we explore the open wood at Tofta. Butterflies likely to be seen are Apollo (P. apollo), Black-veined White (A. crataegi), Large Blue (P. arion). Possible species are Swallowtail (P. machaon), Mountain Argus (A. artaxerxes), Geranium Argus (A. eumedon), Turquoise Blue (P. dorylas), Purple Emperor (A. iris), Yellow-legged Tortoiseshell (N. xanthomelas) and Glanville Fritillary (M. cinxia). Birds possible at this location include Golden Eagle and Black Woodpecker. Dinner and overnight at Västergarn.

Day 5 – Mid Gotland.

After breakfast a morning walk along the coast around the nice little fishing cottage at Västergarn cottage. In the shallow bay we find a lots of migrating and breeding waders och ducks. Pied Avocets used to breed here together with Ringed Plovers, Oystercatchers and Redshanks. The program for the day is to explore good butterflies area around Vänge (30 min by bus). In the wood there is good chances for the same species we looked for yesterday. When the weather conditions are good, there is an option for a night listening tour round Lake Paviken. Dinner and overnight at Västergarn.

Day 6 – Southeastern Gotland.

Todays main target is the Bath White (P. daplidice) at Stånga. However we will start at Närsholmen, the famous recording place of the movie Offret (eng: Sacrifice). The peninsula is very open, just some strange formed junipers covers the well graced area. Here we will find Gotlands largest colony of Pied Avocets. Regulary White-talied Eagles are hunting fish in the shallow bay Austerviken. In the afternoon we make a short transport to Stångadammarna where we look for grebes. Slavonian, Red-necked and Little should be present. During day we try for the Bath White. Dinner and overnight at Västergarn.

Day 7 – Southernmost Gotland.

Today we have to drive some more kilometers to the southern tip of Gotland. We start with an early breakfast and then head south. Its southerly location means the area is a magnet for migrating birds and so we will also spend some time wandering the surrounding fields, woods and hedgerows in search of a variety of chats, warblers and finches and other birds breeding or tracking their way north. In the middle of the day, Muskmyr is a good spot to observe butterflies and hunting raptors. Both species of eagles should be present. Hobbies are searching for dragonflies over the reed beds. Butterflies species we searching for here: Apollo (P. apollo), Black-veined White (A. crataegi), Large Blue (P. arion) and Swallowtail (P. machaon). As a bonus, the area use to keep some larvaes of The Eastern Pine Processionary (Thaumatopoea pinivora). Before heading back north to Västergarn, we will visit the museum of the world renowned bird artist Lars Jonsson and the beautiful gardens surrounding it. Dinner and overnight at Västergarn.

Day 8 – Last day – flight from Gotland.

After breakfast at Västergarn transport to Visby. This half day you are free to explore the medieval town of Visby at leisure. There is plenty to enjoy from interesting museums to just wandering the picturesque streets and squares admiring the architecture. Do not miss, however, the Visby Botanical Garden which will be in full bloom at the time of year. Afternoon flight to Stockholm.