After a short sleep we rose at 04.45 and were quickly on the move. First stop was the Eagle Owl site, though yet again there was no activity perhaps due to the wind. We moved on and again tried for calling Ural Owl without any success either, before heading for Toftberget.
We arrived at the site just before sunrise, mainly in order to listen for drumming woodpeckers. Things were rather quiet at first, before the first drumming was started by Greater Spotted Woodpeckers. A Green Woodpecker called soon after and then we hit gold. Again a whistled immitation of a call resulted in a response, this time the species called in was a male Grey Headed Woodpecker! Amazingly it was followed by not one, but two females and we were amazed to realize there were no less than three Grey Headed Woodpeckers in the tree we were looking at! This is a very scarce species in Sweden and to see three together is truly exceptional. We watched them for a while before our attention was called elsewhere by some outstanding birds.
Almost every species we hoped to see at the site put in an appearance over the next 90 minutes or so. First were 5 male Black Grouse that flew low over the trees, a brief but excellent view. Another then appeared from nowhere and perched on a spruce for ten seconds or so. Next we were treated to 9 Bean Geese, Willow Tits, Crested Tit, 9 Mealy Redpoll and a probable Common Crossbill. Then a lifer for Aidan came in the form of a pair of Parrot Crossbills that gave very good views as they perched in a spruce top before flying off calling loudly.
We then moved sites in order to search for another wanted species. We were fortunate to flush four Capercaillie from close to a known lekking area later in the morning, three males and a probable female, though it was not seen well as it crashed through low vegetation and dissapeared into the forest. As further searches for Hazel Hen proved useless later into the early afternoon we decided to call it a day. Not quite finished though and a large flock of 85 Whooper Swans were seen on the return journey in a field alongside the road. All in all a fantastic weekend's birding, one of those rare times when everything fell into place and good fortune was firmly on our side.