EDRG Abroad : Stora, Sweden

EDRG ringers have been visiting the small island of Stora Fjäderägg, Holmön, Sweden to ring since 1994. The island is in the Northern Baltic and is the most northerly island in Sweden. The group has undertaken 17 visits, usually lasting two weeks, two during the  spring, May/June and the rest between mid August and mid October. The group originally went across to Stora prompted by an article in the magazine ‘Twitching’ which later became ‘Birding World’.

In spring there is a wide variety of birds to catch whilst autumn visits gives larger numbers of birds with the widest variety being in early to mid September. Later visits are better for sheer numbers and for some of the specialties like Waxwing, Pine Grosbeak and Coues’ Arctic Redpoll.

Below are a number of maps indicating where the island is.

stora

stora 2 map

stora 3 map

An aerial view shows that the island, which is about a kilometre north to south and about 1.3 kilometres east to west and consists of a series of raised boulder beaches with patches of trees in deeper peaty soils. There is a fringe of mainly deciduous trees around the edges, especially on the eastern side at Svarget and between the Old and New Harbours on the Western side. These places all have net rides. The main netting areas around the buildings and lighthouse are in the largest conifer block known as Forest ( to the north East) and an area along the route to New Harbour ( west) which is mixed woodland known as Inagen, where the old lighthouse staff grew vegetables. These two areas have the lift nets. There used to be lift nets in Svarget but no longer and there was for a few years a giant Heligoland trap to the south of the path to New Harbour. The observatory itself sleeps about 18 is centrally heated and a large kitchen but cooking facilities, whilst modern, cannot cater for that many folk at once. The ringing lab is well provisioned but a little small!

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stora 4 map

Below are some of the net rides on the island. These are elevator (lift) nets which inspired EDRG to use similar designs at their ringing site in the Copse at Ripon Parks.

Elevator nets

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Below are the ringing totals for the group from 1994 to 2081. Please click on the link.

Ringing totals to 2018

Below are more pictures of the island with key landmarks.

 

And here are some of the species of birds that have been ringed at the site over the last 17 visits.

 

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