Wednesday, 22 July 2015

A bit smaller, a bit creepy crawlier

It has been all too long since I wrote in this blog. I will now try to better myself. So what have I been doing? I have been occupied with photo, trying to learn. My family  got a new camera for me and I can now take much better pictures.  A cyber friend told me a long time ago that she liked pictures of insects so I figured  i will start with the little crawling friends. I can tell you it is not easy to take good pictures of these small creatures

My absolute favorite is this Picture I took with a simple mobile camera for some years ago. I didn't discovered the Picture until I enlarged it and found this little fellow inside a crocus

My absolute favorite is this Picture I took with a simple mobile camera for some years ago. I didn't discovered the bee until I enlarged it and found this little fellow inside a crocus He is so detailed.

This summer I have practiced a little more taking pictures with my SLR. My husband and I drove out to the coast outside Malmö where the butterflies dancing in the sunlight caught my attention

This is a Blackthorn or what we would call a Peacock Eye. I spent half the summer trying to capture a good enough  picture Every time I saw one it  flapped away to some place where I couldn't follow.

This is a small tortoiseshell on a beautiful dark  purple lilac and in July I caught one on the pretty strongly fragrant Philadelphus
When chive blossoms the bumblebees will happily gather nectar from the flowers. I like bumblebees because they are so peaceful. They take care of their daily work without irritating anyone. However, it is best that they are on the look out for the big hornet who lives under the eaves. If he gets hold of them he'll have them for lunch
Down by a lake, I saw these wonderful blue dragonflies. I do not know if it is a myth or truth that they only live one day fully developed, but if it  is true, perhaps we should reassess our own aging
                             Last but not least of all I wish you all lots of Love his summer

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The Stork is back in Sweden's southernmost province Skåne.

All photos are taken by me with my Cannon IXUS. You are welcome to use my pictures but please, when and if you do, do not pass them on as your own. Put my name Multicultural Gittie  on them with a reference to my blog. Thank you!
Once upon a time the white Stork was a common bird in Skåne, but with modern effective agriculture draining the wetlands making place for more farmland, the stork could no longer feed its young and became extinct.
When I was a child the stork was long time gone from Sweden, but on Swedish chocolate there was a picture of a Marabou Stork. I asked my father about the bird and he told me about the white stork that once was common in Skåne. My father told me that the last breeding pair was seen sometime in early 1950s and had since then disappeared from Sweden
This summer when I was out following a red Kite I accidently came across a stork peacefully looking for food in a meadow close to the town where my sons live. My heart started pounding as I slowly crept after it with my camera. I got some nice pictures


                                 If you look at his legs so you can see clearly that he is ringed
In 1989 a breeding program with imported stork started, called “The Stork project” The
goal is to regain a viable, migratory tribe of white stork in Skåne. You can read more about the Stork Project at

A couple of weeks later that same summer I came across another stork in the outskirtsa of a little town close to where I live.  I really had a “storky” summer. If you compare their black markings you'll see that there are small differences

I heard the other day on QI with Stephen Fry that it was thanks to a German stork that flew back from Africa with an African spear still attached into it, that made people realize that birds actually migrated all the way to Africa during winter. This was some time in the early 1800s Pre to this there were all kinds of theories about birds hibernated during winter by throwing themselves into the sea You can see a picture of the speared stork at

I can not help but think of the stork That flew with his spear from Africa to Germany. Birds are amazing creatures. I just hope That non of "my" storks will be pierced by a spear when flying to their winter destination

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The last day of 2013

I just want to say Happy New Year to everyone and take the opportunity to tell you about my dog Taffy who turns 10 years this last day of the year in 2013. He had  salmon and meatballs at the table with us.

Now we are closing all the blinds so he will not se the fiereworks. Take good care of all animals and you will have a good 2014

Thursday, 20 June 2013

My winter bird garden



Taking photos of my birds

All photos are taken by me with my Cannon IXUS. You are welcome to use my pictures but please, when and if you do, do not pass them on as your own. Put my name Multicultural Gittie  on them with a reference to my blog. Thank you!

I started to feed the birds one winter because I felt sorry for my self. When I looked out I saw some poor hungry birds in the snow and I started to feel sorrier for them than for myself. Once I had gone down that road I was hocked. I do admit that I tend to spoil “my” birds so much that I think I'm now mentioned in Le guide rouge de Michelin for birds. Well, the award they give me makes me feel that way. I went from feeling sorry for the birds to feeding the birds to taking photos of birds. The more I learn about birds the more interested I get.

High above my garden a red kite hovers. She makes me happy every time I catch sight of her. Don't ask me why, I just feel happy and I just want to be up there with her. The older kites sometimes stay during winter but the younger ones migrat to the south of France. Wise decision in my opinion. You can go down to Falsterbo in the south of Sweden  late in autumn and if you are lucky you will see the large raptor migrations. A magnificent sight. Unfortunately they don't have a reliable time table you will need luck.

When the snow lies deep, it happens that a overwintering raptor attempts a loop around my elderberry tree, where I feed the small birds, in hope of catching a sparrow or two. Once one of my woodpeckers came close to being eaten .

I have a number of woodpeckers that come to my elderberry tree. If the food is low they come knocking on my window. Their favourite is also the butter balls. Something they don't love is each other. If they meet in or around the tree, they start fighting. It was in such a moment that it nearly went really bad. A sparrow hawk became aware of their fight and tried to take advantage of the situation. They did, however escape him this time.  I was kind of glad although I could feel bad for the sparrow hawk for missing his dinner.  I managed to get two of them in the same picture. One can tell them apart by their different markings The one who is eating is totally unaware of the other one at the moment.



People often get mixed up when it comes to sparrows.  Common sparrows in Sweden are the House Sparrow and the Tree Sparrow. The House Sparrow has a grey head and no cheek marks and this is why we call it a grey sparrow in Sweden. The Tree Sparrow has a brown head and a dark spot on its cheek. It's called the Willow Finch in Sweden. The  House Sparrow was the most common bird but it is decreasing rapidly. Here a Tree Sparrow and a House Sparrow in the same picture.

One day I spotted a Long-Tailed Tit in my elderberry tree.  I felt so happy and I ran in to get my camera, but when I came out it was nowhere to be seen. Standing there with my camera in my hand I spotted an odd bird in the tree. It looked a bit pale and well, a bit snotty nosed. I couldn’t quite fathom out what it was. The bird was shy and hid behind the branches but I managed to take some pictures of it and it turned out to be a female crossbill

Another sweet Tit in my garden is the Marsh Tit. In Sweden we call it a Juniper Tit. It's very like the Willow Tit but the Marsh Tit has a much smaller black bib under its chin. Marsh Tits love peanuts. Be were careful not to give them the salty peanuts because salt is very bad for them.

The Blue Tit is one of the most common bird in Sweden and yet it's my favourite among the small birds. After feeding them during the winter, they become almost tame. They fly in around my head and nags at me to hurry up. You can almost here them say: Hurry up we're so hungry. Favourite foods among Blue Tits are my home made butter balls with bird seeds and they don't say no to a little spaghetti with grated cheese either.


Not quite as tough as the Blue Tit is the Great Tit, but the Great Tit is a real clown.  They can sit on a branch and spin around and do tricks and they really seems to have fun. The Great Tits song has changed, probably to drown out the traffic noise. Great Tits seem to reduce in numbers. I don't really know what caused it.

 Another brave bird whom I love is the Nuthatch, he easily stays in the tree when I come and fill up their food supplies. When he has stuffed himself and filled his beak with seeds then he flies, almost always in the same direction, every time. Once when I stood and watched him he almost hit me when he flew off. I think he lives in the neighbour’s maple tree. I have seen two in the tree at the same time. I think they are a pair.  


A bird who appears in flocks during winter is the Yellowhammer... The mostly enjoy various seeds and prefer to eat on the ground or on a table where the seeds can be scattered. They are a bit larger than the Tree Sparrow. During winter the male and the female are similar in colours, but sometimes you can see a very yellow bird that almost looks like a parakeet in the flock. One would think that it could be a European Serin but it’s as large as the others so I think it's just variations within the flock. Not a very good picture but they are hard to photograph because the whole flock will fly away at the slightest movement.

Morning has broken, like the first morning. Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird / Lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon. The blackbird is a special bird. He looks so stunning with his black feathers and yellow beak. And he has a beautiful voice. The Blackbird is a nice guest at the bird table. A little apple or maybe some grapes and he will be grateful. The worst thing is that he likes to eat my grapes in the summer as well, but how can I get angry with him for that?

I don't discriminate when it comes to which birds may eat at my bird feeders. I love to see how the poor Magpie constantly feels compelled to steal. He probably often gets shooed away from bird tables and I think that's a shame. Magpies are friendly funny animals to deal with. So far, he is terrified every time he sees me. But he can not help but to have a look from behind the fence and see if I possibly forgot some food there. I don't think he really understands that the food I put out is for him. In the picture he has just been stuffing his beak with as much bread as he can get away with.

 When the Chaffinch starts showing up at the bird table I feel the winter depression loosing its grip. I can actually get really happy. It means that spring is coming. Some male Chaffinch do stay during winter but I never see them until very early spring. They usually find the dining table, but they always start with eating on the ground what other birds have dropped.

When the Starlings come you know spring is just around the corner.  Ok, you can still get some more snow and some starlings can also get the stupid idea to stay during winter, but when a flock of 15 Starlings turn up at the same time you know they have just flown in from some place warmer. Two such flocks came to me early in the spring and it was two very hungry birds. Problem was that the shops started to run out of bird seeds so I had to cook for them. Butter balls and spaghetti went like butter in the sun.

And there came a spring even after this dreadful winter. And now its summer and a wonderful summer it is. I'm starting to take pictures of all the summer gusting birds that make that amazing journey to the Nordic countries where the sun hardly sets and the food is great. I just stand here and say welcome to these amazing creatures

Friday, 17 May 2013

Spring begins when the Cranes dance

Hornborgasjön in Sweden April 13, 2013.

All photos are taken by me with my Cannon IXUS. You are welcome to use my pictures but please, when and if you do, do not pass them on as your own. Put my name Multicultural Gittie  on them with a reference to my blog.

 A colleague from work asked me if I was interested in a visit to Hornborgasjön together with her and her wife, who also is a colleague of mine. Hornborgasjön is a famous Swedish lake where the cranes come on a yearly basis in the early spring. They fly nonstop from Germany and half way up through Sweden to participate in the yearly dance. It's a four-hour drive up through Sweden from where I live. I have often wanted to go there but never been able to do so. This would be the first time in my life that I had the opportunity to visit this famous lake at springtime, just at the right time, when the young cranes gather to dance. 


 We had a nice drive up to this very beautiful place but where were the cranes? Of course a lake is a big place and when we first came up we followed the signs and came to a nature centre. This was actually a good thing there was a lot to read and learn about the lake and a nice place to sit down and eat our delicious lunch while looking at black-headed gulls, geese, swans and other waterfowl.

 At the centre we were shown the way to the correct location where the cranes come for their yearly dance. It was just a short drive away from the centre. At first we saw the older cranes who keep their distance from the actual dance. It’s like when teens come to a music festival and the adults linger close by.

At this very day there were over 10 000 cranes at the lake and more than 2 000 whooper swans of different varieties.

At the center they told us that there have been cranes at Hornborgasjön since time immemorial. To stand there and see these huge numbers of birds was an incredible experience. The experience struck onto strings deep inside my body. It is said that birds descended from dinosaurs, and when you stood there and watched the birds and felt them and heard the sound of them, well it felt as if you were taken beyond time and space to a time that has long since disappeared.
The cranes just continued to arrive like at a Heathrow Airport for birds though much more environmentally friendly.
The singing has already begun and the sound is as intense as a hard rock band. Here's a trio that has begun warming up for tonight's exercises.
And even a whooper swan gets heated up. Even though he will not take part in the dance of the cranes he feels the excitement in the air.
Most of the dance take place in the evenings. Unfortunately we could not stay as long as we wanted to because we had a long drive back home. We did manage to see a little crane dance before we had to leave
It gets a little more intense and one wonders if one of them will fall into the lake
They can do high leg kicks and somersaults when the heat is really on, but it was a bit to early for that. However they had the courtesy to offer me a small kick
It was an absolutely wonderful day. On the way home we visited my colleague's brother and we were treated to a lovely dinner. It was really a nice day.

Friday, 26 April 2013

My beautiful darlings, my red kites

I would like to share some red kite pictures with you. You are welcome to use my pictures but please, when you do, do not pass them on as your own. Put my name on them with a reference to my blog.

I have mentioned earlier that I’m passionate about birds of pray and especially the red kite. I can just stand and look and look at them. Their flight is so wonderfully effortless. They seem to enjoy flying and gliding on the warm up winds. Getting good picture of a red kite is one of my aims in life.

When I spot a red kite I have the habit of throwing my car in anywhere so I can get out and look at them and take picture. I’ll have to stop doing that. I’m so mad that the idea has crossed my mind to have raw meat on the roof top of my car so that I could attract them. I could then  take some good pictures.  Sadly there is something stopping me from doing that. Hmm, I wonder what it is.

I’m always in search of that great wildlife picture, it’s like a drug. When you get that great picture in your aim and something goes wrong, it bugs you for days, but when you get that perfect picture it is better than sex.


My passion for photographing started out with my first mobile phone camera. And from there on I went to a better mobile phone camera to an even better one. After that I wanted a camera. I didn’t want to jump on the system camera train at once. I want to take it step by step so I started reading up on camera reviews.

I wanted a camera with good zoom, good lens, fairly long battery time, no geotaging or face booking. That will only takes battery. I didn’t want it all automatic but I wanted to be able to take pictures in a sequence like 7 frames per second. And my last wish was to be able to do some editing in the camera. I found the Canon IXUS and I love it. I feel I’m learning more and more every day so I’ll hang on to this for a while. You know it is not only the camera that takes good pictures. The one behind the camera has something to do with it as well.

These are the best red kite pictures  I have up until now, but I’m still working on it  


Saturday, 3 November 2012

My beautiful way to work.

I have about 5 Swedish miles to drive to work. That is roughly 31 English miles.

A Lot of my colleagues think that is too far. They can’t understand that I love driving my beautiful road to and from work. Don’t get me wrong I do not like the actual driving, but I do love the rout I drive. Very often I stop at the lake and take some photos. I get to se some beautiful animals. Once I met a fox. He crossed the road and then stood at the side of the road looking at me. I had my camera ready on the dashboard I lifted the camera aimed an shot, well that’s what I thought I did, but no I pressed the button that switches off the camera. I have never forgotten him.



I love this willow tree.

The tree is so beautiful and from here I can take photos of the various birds without disturbing them. I have found that taking photos is the most mindful thing I can do. I get so absorbed with taking photos that I probably could get run over by something with out noticing. I love flowers and I love the sky with clouds and beautiful scenery, but the thing I love the most is wild animals in there natural habitat. I’ve never had the urge to go to Africa, although I must admit I wouldn’t say no given the opportunity. It’s not the exotic I’m after it’s the ordinary; those animals we take for granted and hardly bother to learn about.


One may think that a common bird is easy to photograph but they are not.

Take a magpie for instance, you see them everywhere and think that taking a good picture would be a piece of cake. You couldn’t be more wrong.  A magpie is a very wary bird and is not afraid of a moving car. Oh, but should you stop and roll down the window or open the car door it’s gone. I have yet to take the perfect picture of a magpie and I have understood that doing that takes a lot of planning, like animal pictures often does.  Once or twice you do get lucky. Like this geese chaos that was purely a mistake but turned out quite fun. I was trying to sneak up on them while they were having lunch on a meadow opposite the lake but tripped on something and made a noise and that was it. Remember, I am strictly an amateur


My true love amung birds is the Red Kite

 I can not help it, they fascinate me tremendously. They are intelligent, opportunistic and ruthless scavengers that have come very close to becoming extinct just for those reasons. The kite is also very vulnerable to environmental toxins. Sweden has taken the led to help them recover by feeding them in different places through the hard winter months. Archaeology believes that Kites have been living in Sweden for thousands of years. We now estimate that we have around 2000 couples. In days gone by the kite was a migratory bird and the old people say it came with spring to the south of Sweden around the 20th of March  Now it seems to have changed its habits and only the young birds migrate and the nesting couples stay. 

Below is a link to a very interesting article about the kite project in Sweden. It’s in Swedish but I’m sure you can Google translate it and make something out of it.  

                                        One of my darlings who made me fall deeply in love