Next stop on the Swedish trip was Öland, an island off the southeast coast. We were there because Jögge was teaching at Capellagården, the school begun by Carl Malmsten in the late 1950s. http://www.capellagarden.se/

here’s a view of some of the gardens


gardens at capellagarden

What a place, Öland. We only saw bits & pieces of the southern half of the island, but that was enough to be really captivating. I went with Masashi, Madoka and Fuku to see some of the island while Jögge was teaching. One stop was Gråborg, remnants of a ring-fort that might date from the 6th century. It was rebuilt in its present form in the middle ages. http://www.spottinghistory.com/view/783/graborg-castle/


Gråborg 2


There is also a fragment of an early church on site.

church ruins at Gråborg

Next stop was to Himmelsberga, a great museum about life on Öland. (a quick detour to see the sea first, while we waited for the museum to open).




Fabulous buildings and furnishings. The best open-air museum of the trip. http://www.olandsmuseum.se/

Our hosts for some of our time on Öland were Carl-Magnus Persson and his wife. Carl-Magnus taught furniture work at Capellagården for I think 40 years! He trucked me around the island and showed me more sights than I can keep track of! A quick stop to see one of the many standing stones on the island – I forget the story of this one, other than some knucklehead-Viking types brought this stone to the island to mark the grave of someone – probably Odin, it’s almost always Odin. The whole place is made of stone! 

me & stone

The island is home to the Stora Alvaret, a huge limestone plain – we walked some in there – May is the time to see it, I’m told. Then it’s hoppin’ with nesting birds, and blooming with flowers.    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stora_Alvaret

stora alvaret

Then we went all the way down to the southern tip, where no matter how hard Jögge protested, I got to do some birding. Back when we left Sätergläntan, we stopped at Vesa Jussila’s and he lent me a scope & tripod. Second bird I saw on this outing was a northern Lapwing – a bird I had never seen. I was so excited, but Jögge and his wife Nina were un-moved. Lapwings nest near them, they’re very common. The next day I saw a flock of about 50…

lapwing Juvenile
Falcon, looks like peregrine, but I remember it being kinda small

We made the climb up Långe Jan, the lighthouse near the southern tip of the island. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A5nge_Jan  Astounding birding here. Here’s part of the view:

view Långe Jan

I wanted to stay on Öland for the rest of my life, but my family was back in Massachusetts. Next stop was Stockholm for a couple of days, then home. Stockholm pictures next time.

We stayed at http://www.gammalsbygarden.se/ It couldn’t have been better. Some views from an early morning walk:

be careful
glad I wasn’t driving

early morning walk

Birds as far as I could see in both directions, with a scope – so there were a lot of birds.

all birds as far as I could see



4 thoughts on “Öland

  1. Hi Peter
    Good to see you caught up with some birds (unlike Spoonfest) in Sweden.
    For me the falcon is Falco tinnunculus our common Kestrel, a female.
    Your pic’s of Sweden remind me of the north of Scotland, hardly surprising.

  2. As a fellow (though non-hardcore) birder, I share your joy in the travel opportunities. I try to get at least a few hours in with my binoculars every time I have a teaching gig someplace new. I was just moments ago looking at my options for a trip to Brasstown NC this Christmas, and hoping that the weather will permit some binocular time in the Great Smoky Mtn Natl park. So many new birds!

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