The last few days

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The collecting at Ottenby is nearing the end, as we’re leaving for Gothenburg on Monday. We’ll go past Nordens Ark and the bird rehabilitation center outside Gothenburg next week, and then go to Jönköping to celebrate my sister’s 30th birthday.

We’ve reached 1474 birds searched, though this number includes some dead birds from the freezer. Robin Erithacus rubecula has rapidly become the most numerous bird searched, with a full 239 birds searched (16.03%), though only five have had lice. The dead birds have included some new species for Sweden, I believe, including some of the first Ricinus I’ve ever collected in Sweden, and several different species of lice from a Grey Heron Ardea cinerea.

Tonight, both Heidi and I will hold presentations about lice for the staff here. I will hold a general introduction to lice, talk about how lice spread and how birds combat lice, and then round off with my thesis defense talk, while Heidi will hold her talk about evolution of body size in parasites.

I did get my 300th bird species in Sweden though. I’ve got five new species for Sweden since I came back this summer, though only two were actually entirely new:

296 – Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea (Getterön; had seen in Turkey before)
297 – Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla (Ottenby)
298 – Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala (Ottenby; had seen in Turkey before)
299 – Pallid Harrier Circus pallidus (Ottenby; had seen in Turkey before)
300 – Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis

Tomorrow we’ll probably have some sort of thank-you dinner, as we leave at around nine on Monday morning.

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