An article from Utlängan by photographer Göran Olsson
Staying in the Karlskrona archipelago is good for your health. For me, the best recovery is to be able to spend time alone in nature on one of Karlskrona's most beautiful islands, Utlängan. I go there to refill the energy depots. I do not have my own boat, so I take the archipelago boat out to picturesque Stenshamn, with its small houses, boathouses and guest harbor. Then I just walk over the small bridge out to Utlängan. There I have had the privilege of doing many fantastic nature experiences.
One of these experiences was when I one early morning met three birds of prey, up close. I went furthest out on "Saltstensudden", which is the northeast point on Utlängan. There I sat with my back to a slightly larger rock, with a view of the sea and Ungskär. Dressed in slightly darker clothes so as not to be so easily detected.
Enjoying the first rays of the sun that bring the day to life and listen to the silence.
Quietly, I wait for the right moment. When it comes to photographing birds, it is important to be prepared. For suddenly the moment you have been waiting for may appear. While I wait, I look at some waders looking for food on the beach edge. Then everything happens so fast that I almost missed the moment.
A peregrine falcon puts its claws in one of the waders, a marsh harrier. I quickly pick up the camera and snap some pictures. The peregrine falcon turns and flies straight at me and is probably so surprised by my presence that it loses its prey. That I was about to miss the moment is not so strange as a peregrine falcon is the world's fastest animal. It is said that a scuba diving peregrine falcon can reach a speed of 320 km / h. After a while, the next bird of prey arrives, a sparrow hawk. It hunts a little differently than the peregrine falcon. The sparrow hawk can be hidden to scout, and then quickly move close to the ground in search of its prey. Not quite easy to capture in the picture either, but this one suddenly sat on a rock quite close to me. A moment I quickly captured. Then came a brown marsh hawk hovering. It spotted me and with a few quick wingbeats it was gone. If you are lucky, you can meet many different birds of prey on Utlängan.
Although I like sunrises the most, I also like to photograph birds in the evening light.
The light in the middle of the day is usually a bit harsh, while morning light or evening light is softer and gives in my opinion more beautiful bird pictures. One evening I went to a water collection on northern Utlängan. There were a couple of hours left until the sun would set. Had a sleeping pad with me so as not to get too wet and lay down on my stomach and waited. It took a while, but in the end the moment I was waiting for appeared. Some waders landed nearby. A green-legged and a male rooster began to wade around in the water collection. At first I did not dare to move. Did not want to risk scaring them away. They were only a few meters away from where I was lying in the reeds. But after a while I lifted the camera and snapped some pictures. For about an hour I got up close, experiencing these beautiful waders looking for food in the evening sun. At Utlängan there is also the opportunity to see many different small birds. A few times when I have been to Utlängan, there has been a so-called "impact" of, for example, robins. During the night, hundreds, maybe thousands of robins have landed on the island to refill the energy depots and then fly on. goes, you see robins.
The bird I am most fascinated by is Europe's smallest bird, the Kingfisher. Weighs only five, six grams and is about nine centimeters long. Photographing a kingfisher is a challenge. It is possible to get close as it is quite fearless, but it does not sit still! Restlessly it jumps fast. It's probably the bird I took the most blurred pictures of. But I like the challenge. Another small bird that is a challenge to photograph is the black cap as it is more shy and not at all willing to be in the picture. The same goes for stonewashing. It is quite common on Utlängan. As soon as I approach, it flies a bit away and looks at me a little suspiciously. However, this stoneworm was not as shy. Captured it in the picture one evening on the southwestern part of the island. Here it has caught some food for their cubs. This part of Utlängan has no clear hiking trails but is definitely worth a visit. At the far end of the southwestern cape, I have enjoyed the evening sun and sunset several times, while photographing flying seabirds. Here are some big crows flying by. They fly quite fast and a little anxious. Sometimes the same flock can fly by where I sit several times during an evening.
Many other seabirds also fly by. For example. Eider, mallard, shelduck, wigeon, small crow, teal, fixeider and here is a spoonful that flies by.
So if you feel that you need to refill the energy depots, get a fantastic nature experience and see beautiful bird. I can warmly recommend you to visit Karlskrona's beautiful archipelago and especially Utlängan.
Text and photo: Göran Olsson, photographer, @goransphoton