Falsterbo is an outstanding place to enjoy massive bird migration in autumn. The main factor behind the large concentration of migrating birds to the Falsterbo headland is its geographical location, being the south-westernmost part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. About 500 million birds leave the Nordic countries every autumn. The majority of these migrate to south-west, the direction from which their ancestors came. How many of these that pass Falsterbo is unknown. The standardised counts carried out every autumn at Nabben, the south-westernmost tip of Falsterbo headland, give total numbers of between one and three million birds . This, however, represents but a fraction of the true number as most birds pass too high above or too far away from Nabben to be seen by the observer(s), or during the night. How   shall   I   describe   this   to   my   friends   at   home,   so   they   understand   it?   Is that    possible?    Probably    not.    Very    likely,    you    just    have    to    experience    it yourself!   These were some of the comments tour members made after a memorable morning at Nabben. We had for hours been surrounded by thousands and thousands of birds rushing to their winter quarters. It was like standing in the middle of a fast-floating river, made up of birds instead of water. And they passed so close, that we had to put away both telescopes and binoculars, because we had no use of them. More than half a million birds passed that morning.
There have been a lot of memorable days during the earlier tours; of large- scale migration as well as of rarities. Migrating daily totals of 471,400 Chaffinches/Bramblings, 83,000 Siskins, 70,000 Eiders, 68,100 Wood Pigeons, 9,300 Blue Tits, 8,050 Song Thrushes, 3,468 Sparrowhawks, 2,702 Buzzards, 2,360 Jays, 1,900 Linnets, 1,400 Cranes, 1,109 Stock Doves, 335 Mistle Thrushes, 331 Gold Finches, 303 Red Kites, 203 Parrot Crossbills, 53 Marsh Harriers, 41 Merlins and 15 Two-barred Crossbills are some of the numbers we have enjoyed. Lesser White-fronted Goose, Red-breasted Goose, King Eider, Great Northern Diver, Sooty Shearwater, Greater Spotted Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Eleonora’s Falcon, Great Snipe, Pectoral Sandpiper, Pomarine Skua, Ring- billed Gull, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Eagle Owl, Calandra Lark, Horned Lark, Richard’s Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Water Pipit, Siberian Stonechat, Desert Wheatear, Yellow-browed Warbler, Hume’s Leaf Warbler, Radde’s Warbler, Dusky Warbler, Siberian Chiffchaff, Red- breasted Flycatcher, Rustic Bunting and Little Bunting are some of the less common birds we have observed, many of them on several occasions.
The most exciting, however, is to leave Stensoffa in the morning without knowing what to find during the day. Which is the most promising site(s) to visit? Will it be a good migration day at Falsterbo, or is it a better idea to go looking for staging birds, and in such case where? The total number of bird taxa recorded during earlier tours amounts to 293.