Birding Sweden (Take 1 – Hawk Owl Winter – Swan Spring & Take 2 – Owls & Skuas and the Year of the Lemming) – By Malcolm Rymer | DVD | Aug 2012 |

Publisher’s Overview:

Birding Sweden, Take 1 has been put together from material collected during several trips to Sweden, where the author visited various regions during different seasons. This DVD gives a general overview of Sweden and its wildlife, and then looks at winter birding, introducing birdlife which has adpated to cope with the rigours of the Swedish climate. Amongst species covered are the hawk owl, a couple of eagles, the grey-headed and white- backed woodpecker, the nutcracker and more. “Swan Spring” depicts the change of seasons and checks out the scores of summer breeding birds streaming into the country from March through till late May. In early summer, after first birding the Svartadalen region of Central Sweden, the attention shifts to the uplands of Southern Lapland. This part features, amongst others, woodpeckers, northern owls, including the iconic great grey, gyr falcons, arctic and black terns, phalaropes, and numerous upland breeding waders.


1. Introduction (1:55)

2. An Overview of Sweden (9:49)

3. Wildlife in Sweden (6:36)

4. Filming Locations (2:45)

5. Winter Birding 1 – A special place in the forest (16:58)

6. The White-backed Woodpecker (5:51)

7. Winter Birding 2 – Hawk Owl & Eagles (15:17)

8. Springtime in Svartådalen
9. Early Summer (9:30)

10. Peckers & Owls (7:48)

11. Fulufjallets Nature Reserve (7:03)

12. Siberian Jay (4:32)

13. Flatruet Plateau – Southern Lapland (11:20)

14. Willow &.Black Grouse (5:19)

15. Storsjon Reserve (5:00)Publisher’s Overview:

Birding Sweden, Take 2 has been put together from material collected during several trips to Sweden, where the author visited various regions during different seasons. The birding adventures continue in the uplands beyond Flatruet Plateau, where Slavonian grebes and a great snipe lek are covered. After this the author treks into dotterel country before returning to the Svartadalen region of Central Sweden. The next visit, a little later in mid-summer, takes the viewer to Ammarnas and the wildlife of Vindelfjallen Nature Reserve of Central Lapland. This visit coincides with the best lemming year in several decades resulting in a productive breeding season for long-eared and short-eared owls, Tengmalm’s, hawk owls and long-tailed skuas. Bluethroats, Lapland buntings, old squaws, and velvet and common scoters are other species, which feature prominently in the account. A visit to a Sami (nomadic reindeer herders) summer camp is one of the highlights of this trip.

After this, attention shifts back to Central Sweden in the Autumn, this time to witness the pre-migrational assemblies of geese, waterfowl, and cranes. This part features barnacle geese, a flock of 68 of the globally-endangered lesser white-fronted geese, the gathering flocks of bean geese, and the sights and sounds of up to 16,000 cranes before their onwards migration into Extremadura.


1. Introduction (3:41)

2. Slavonian Grebes on the Village Pond (5:38)

3. Expedition Great Snipe (7:29)

4. Dotterel Country (7:24)

5. The Great Grey – The Owl amongst Owls (6:55)

6. Mid-Summer Ammarnas Lapland (14:35)

7. TengmaIm’s Owlets (5:06)

8. The Hawk Owl Family (2:41)

9. Short-eared Owls (5:12)

10. Skuas of the Uplands (14:19)

11. Sami Summer Camp – Geunja (6:39)

12. Autumn – Barnacles Hjälstaviken (5:33)

13. Lesser White-fronted Geese (6:12)

14. Autumnal Highlights (4:55)

15. Bean Geese – Kvismaren (4:31)

16. Season of Mists & ….. migrating Bluethroats (2:50)

17. Autumnal Crane Spectacular / Credits (6:04)

18. Spring into Summer-time – Svartådalen (10:24)Fatbirder View

I am never quite sure where Malcolm’s DVDs fit – they are not quite bird-finding guides not straight travelogues, neither a catalogue of species nor a promotional video. Its hard not to compare them with Dave Gosneys ‘Finding Birds in…’ series yet that comparison is unfair as they do not set out to take you to every birding hotspot in a country nor to show all the special birds of an area. What I like about David’s work is that it is appropriate to his aim… there is no distracting music and, while I am sure he knows what he wants to say to camera it never seems to be scripted. Malcolm does use music and the DVDs have more of a filmic or documentary quality and his voiceovers certainly sound written and rehearsed in advance. I’m not going to carp about that but judge them on what it seems to me to be their aim… bringing one a taste of the wildlife and wild places of the place visited and they most certainly do that.

These two videos show that he fell in love with the place and who would not, on my own brief visit I was impressed with the natural beauty of this lightly populated nation, its vast woodlands, shimmering lakes and exciting uplands. Here be bears and elk, as well as some iconic birds and these DVDs show them up close and personal and stunningly filmed in HD. View them and I guarantee you will want to visit, and what greater praise can there be?


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