SKÅNE'S ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY 2008. A guide to birdwatching in Skåne, southern Sweden. Skåne's Ornithological Society / Skånes Ornitologiska Förening (SkOF), Box 96, 221 00 Lund, Sweden; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, website www.skof.se. 192 pp. ISBN 978-91-86572-42-6. EUR 25.00.
The Falsterbo peninsula is arguably the most famous birding location of northern Europe. This migration hotspot sits at the south-western tip of Sweden's southernmost province, Skåne, now connected to Denmark by a bridge. Wings over Falsterbo (2004, also by SkOF) was already essential for understanding the autumn migration patterns and for knowing how to divide your time at the peninsula. It also gave a few interesting inland sites nearby. However, with A guide to birdwatching in Skåne, many more inland plus coastal sites are described. Also, its information about the Falsterbo area (seven sites) is sufficient for birding there, although the Wings book remains useful. We happened to be at Falsterbo when the new book appeared in autumn 2008, and gladly bought it at the Fyr, the lighthouse. So we were able to use the duller migration days to explore several inland locations given in the guide, at a one to two hour drive from Falsterbo. Some of these sites, like Vysslemyr, consist of grouse-rich bogs and forests that one would normally expect much further north in Sweden. For us, this was the true revelation of the book. Other sites, like Krankesjön and Ringsjön/Fulltofta, contain a nice gradient from open lake to reed borders to mature oak woodland. Needless to say, these inland sites deserve visits especially in spring or early summer, but even in autumn they can form a welcome break from Falsterbo. They can also be of interest when crossing over from Falsterbo to southern Öland, that other autumn migration hotspot. Apart from the Falsterbo and inland sites, some fifteen other coastal sites are described. All of the fifty site descriptions have a detailed map, directions, a list of the more remarkable species, and observation tips. For the whole province, a map with all sites is provided, plus a table showing the frequency of occurrence of each of the 414 bird species across the year. However, a species index for the whole book is missing, so it requires some effort to find, for example, the sites where grouse species can be found. This guide is to be recommended for any birder going to the Falsterbo area and beyond, and for all those who still think they should ever go there. Sweden is a great birding country, is easy to travel, and is not as expensive and not as rainy as many people still think. JOHN VAN DER WOUDE