Beijershamn

Along with Ottenby, Beijershamn is one of Öland's best and most popular bird habitats. A failed harbour project in the 1850s made the sea shallow, and reed stands and coastal meadows suitable for bird life developed.

Description

In the 1850s, stable master at the royal stables in Ottenby, Otto Wilhelm Beijer, initiated the development of a harbour large enough to compete with Färjestaden harbour. A 2-km pier with a harbour at the end was built at the spot which today is called Beijershamn. Due to a construction error the harbour basin became more and more shallow, until finally large ships could no longer enter the harbour. It fell into disuse.

It may very well be that Otto Wilhelm Beijer would smile upon us now, had he known the outcome. On the sandy beach, rush and common reed established. Little by little the area developed into a mosaic of coastal meadows, reed stands and open spaces much valued by waders, ducks, geese and birds of prey. Thanks to animals grazing, the clearing of land and the mowing of reeds in later years, Beijershamn is today one of Öland's most prominent bird habitats. A total of 250 species of birds have been observed here. The area is primarily an important resting spot and breeding habitat for waders, but ducks, terns and gulls also breed here. Some examples of rare species visiting Beijershamn are the Bar-tailed Godwit, the Caspian Tern and the Peregrine Falcon.

The area has a lot to offer to nature-interested visitors. There is a bird-watching tower, birding platforms, hiding places, information displays, hiking trails and a popular trail for the physically disabled.

Beijershamn is also one of Öland's finest butterfly habitats. On a narrow strip of dry, open grassland between the coastal meadows and the woods, the Handmaid has its only occurrence in the Nordic countries. More than 650 of Sweden's 950 butterfly species have been spotted here. Thanks to the abundance of insects, bats also feel at home at Beijershamn. Twelve of Sweden's 18 species of bat have been sighted in the area. Rare bats that can be seen here include the Whiskered bat and the Nathusius's Pipistrelle.

Swedish source: Utflyktsguide by Länsstyrelsen Kalmar län

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