Markus Tallroth is 37 years old, originally from Scania. Now lives in Isgärde on Öland with his partner and two children. Markus' education is basically a guide/tour leader in adventure and experience tourism. He is the CEO of Naturbutiken (which has just changed its name from Naturbokhandeln) in Stenåsa where Markus started his employment in 2009. He has been a bird watcher since childhood and as soon as there is time, he looks out into nature with binoculars and a camera in top gear. You are spoiled as a bird watcher on Öland. The amount of birds you get to experience on the island is unique in Sweden. No two days are the same when you go out on Öland, you never know what you will come across. Over the years, I have seen 358 different species of birds on Öland, which testifies to the species richness the island offers. There are countless places to bird watch on Öland, but here Markus lists his five favourites!
The bird watcher advises on his best viewing spots!
Öland's northern cape
Since 2008, I have spent thousands of hours on Öland's northern cape. A place that is extremely close to my heart. Here you are offered a very beautiful environment with sea, scrubland, meadows and beautiful pebble beaches. When I say Öland's northern cape, it includes the two capes in the north. The north-west cape where the Långe Erik lighthouse is located, but also the north-east where the Trollskogen spreads out. Both spring and autumn, the area hosts large numbers of resting and migrating birds. During April and May, you can be met by thousands of resting terns (small birds) resting before heading out to sea the following night. But also the daily migration of migratory birds is magnificent. On the northwestern headland, it is best to scout in the scrubland around the parking lot and west along the lighthouse, but even the lighthouse itself (Stora Grundet) usually offers nice encounters. On the north-eastern headland you usually get the best results if you hike on the west side of the Trollskogen and make it all the way out to the tip of the headland. A nice hike of a few kilometers. Don't forget to visit Naturum, which is located by the car park.
North-west of Löttorp, Horn's promontory juts out into the Kalmar Sound. Here, at the far end of the south-western tip, you can sit and watch migrating seabirds, spring and autumn. A visit in April and May when the winds are blowing from the western sector never disappoints. Because you sit high, you have a very good view out over the sea. A very beautiful place! Don't miss eating at KALK in Löttorp, which in my opinion has Öland's best hamburgers and lunch menu!
On the eastern side of the island at the height of Runsten, you will find Stenboudd. It is a locale with grazed lake meadows and a couple of windswept groves. At the far end of the headland are some nice little boathouses where the coffee you bring with you tastes extra good. The grazed coastal meadows can host thousands of geese, waders, gulls and terns. Here you can walk for hours along the meadows, in the thickets and stand and look out over the sea. Not everyone knows about this gem, so you are often the only one who gets to enjoy these open expanses. A small dirt road leads down just south of Runsten's church. At the bottom of it is a parking lot for 3-4 cars.
Take the opportunity to have coffee at Gårdby Lanthandel & Café and visit the Naturbutiken in Stenåsa if you drive south along the east side.
As a resident of Isgärde, I spend a lot of time in the wind shelter in Stora Rör and follow the progress of migratory birds spring and autumn. The windbreak is located right in the shoreline at the far west end of the harbour. You stand here completely in the lee regardless of the wind direction. If you go there in April, you are often treated to a magnificent stretch of eider. Like a string of pearls, they spill over the sea, an insanely beautiful spectacle! When you feel like having coffee or lunch, you have both Mormors Stenugnsbakery and Bistro right next door. Here you can find, among other things, the island's best cinnamon and cardamom buns.
Ottenby is internationally known as a first-class birding venue. Here it is nice to see regardless of the season - but in spring and autumn the species richness is at its greatest. Here you really feel like a visitor in the world of birds. Everywhere there is something to look at. If you get tired of the birds, you can spot all the seals resting along the beach. There is much to do for the whole family on Öland's southern cape. You can eat well at Fågel Blå, visit Naturum, Naturbutiken and join guided tours at the bird station. If you haven't been to Ottenby, it's a must.
Do you want to follow Markus' life as a bird scratcher - follow him on instagram.