Lighthouse for rare birds
The lighthouse keeper’s garden on the south side of the island Öland is one of Sweden’s best locations for bird watching. Both amateur and professional ornithologists come from far and wide to visit this world heritage site and hone their bird watching skills.
A combination of its position and environmental diversity make Southern Öland an eldorado for both migrating birds and breeding residents. Not surprisingly, Sweden’s main bird watching tour operators are already active in the area. Neither is it surprising that one of Sweden’s most celebrated ornithologists, Christian Cederroth, lives here. Arctic wading birds, ducks and geese stop over here to refuel on their journey to and from the Arctic. All kinds of small, migrating birds also break their journey here and in addition, many species breed in the area.
Segerstad lighthouse is at the most southern point of the island. It’s the best place from which to study migrating seafowl such as geese, grebe, terns and seagulls since they can all be observed at close quarters.
The lighthouse and the lighthouse keeper’s home and garden, were built back in 1883 and are still in use. Courses are run here by Christian Cederroth, a resident of Segerstad since 1994 and a dedicated bird watcher since childhood. With over 62 000 hours of bird watching to his credit, Christian knows pretty much all there is to know about birds.
The courses have different themes and different degrees of difficulty. Beginners learn the basics of bird life and its many mysteries, as well as how to recognize numerous species. Those who already know how to distinguish between a great tit and a montagu’s herrier can start to learn more about migrating birds and birdsongs, or how to distinguish between a common redshank and spotted redshank … which is not as easy as you may think when they show up as gray speckled young.