We had the perfect weekend away planned: a trip north to Varberg, Halland, with a pelagic trip on the Sunday. We were kindly given a lift to and from Varberg by Simon Fors, which meant that on the way up there we could stop off and take a look at a Hoopoe that was near Halmstad. The bird was extremely confiding and, as it fed up and down along a strip of grass behind a building, it wandered within about 15 cm of people's feet. Perhaps not surprisingly, on its right side it has lost a large all of its tertials, most of its coverts and a good chunk of its scapulars to something; cause or consequence of it spending November in Sweden, I'm not sure. The bird was a first-year and looked to have moulted very little with e.g. all crown feathers and apparently all scapulars and all or most mantle feathers still juvenile.

While we were at the Hoopoe, we received a text message from the pelagic organisers to say the trip had been cancelled due to high waves. We had a room booked in Varberg – in the old prison – so we decided to carry on up there and make the most of things. Perhaps there would be some auks or divers in the harbour, or some seabirds passing by.

The prison was surprisingly warm and comfortable, and the whole walled village it was in was worth exploring in the morning.

We checked Varberg harbour but, other than a Weasel along the breakwater, there was very little else of note.

We wandered along to Getterön nature reserve, were we enjoyed a sit down in the Naturum from where we could see White-tailed Eagles, Whooper Swans, and a couple of Smew.

News broke of a Black Duck near Torekov in northern Skåne, so we headed south with a few hours of light left. When we arrived, we found a reasonably large crowd on the beach.

Unable to locate the duck (or any duck) based on where they were looking and where people were pointing, we asked what was happening. They were watching a Water Pipit. The "crowd" watching the Black Duck was 50 m further on...

All four of them. Mind you, it wasn't surprisingly that no one cared too much about the duck. It was distant, viewed into the sun, and thoroughly unsatisfying. Here's a heavily cropped photo taken through the scope at 60x zoom.

Spot the Black Duck.

It wasn't what we'd been expecting when we left Falsterbo on Saturday afternoon: a Hoopoe, a Black Duck, and not a single Little Auk, skua or diver. At least it was nice to have a break from the peninsula for 24 hours and to see a little bit more of Sweden.