Her på Skagen Fuglestations blog bringes korte nyheder i dagbogsformat om hændelser på fuglestationen.
‘Summer’ is here . .
The wind really picked up throughout the night, which meant ringing in the morning was not possible. Thankfully we had a group of schoolchildren arriving at 11 for a ringing tour, so heading to Grenen wasn’t realistic anyway. As we had time to spare, I went out to the coast at 9.30 to look for the goosander from the previous evening, which was swimming around the rocks on the beach, which was nice. It’s an unusual sighting at this time of year, but not unsurprising as the males don’t help in rearing the young, so coming down here to moult, where conditions are slightly more hospitable is a wise decision.
The ringing tour started at 11.30, though the wind didn’t provide much optimism for catching anything, However we were lucky and there was a whitethroat on the first round, and a lesser whitethroat on the second round. Showing the children how we ring birds with an actual bird was very gratifying, and they all seemed very interested. On top of that the whitethroat was a Danish retrap from elsewhere in Denmark. The weather really set in after that and we retreated inside to get one with various indoor tasks. It seems the ‘Skagen summer’ has finally arrived!
Birds ringed - 1 lesser whitethroat
Birds retrapped - 1 whitethroat
Farewell to Kirstine . for now . .
Off to ring at Grenen this morning, with some optimism, as the rain in the night and the light wind would be very good for any scarcities hanging around the area.
As it turned out we did catch some unusual birds, a returning failed breeder (presumably) pied flycatcher and a sedge warbler, the first to get ringed here this year. Aside from that we caught another 20 birds, which, whilst it was the largest number in weeks, was still not as good as we’d hoped, and without the major ‘rare’ that June can provide. However it was a very educational session, with a new bird in the hand for me (sedge warbler) and one for Michele (lesser redpoll). A nice male reed bunting was also a nice catch. Kirstine was also getting to grips with bird handling and extraction, and the fact that we were catching birds for a few hours, allowed us to show her some of the grips and positions for holding birds as well as the difficult species and how to separate them in the hand. Just before we left, the very tame fox from the ridge at Grenen appeared and followed us around for a bit, far too tame due to irresponsible feeding, we can only assume.
This was Kirstine’s last day, so after we arrived back at the Obs, she hastily typed up her last diary post and packed her belongings, before helping both Michele and I with entering ringing data and sorting the photo archive.
Heavy rain and wind put off any afternoon birding, so I occupied myself with cleaning the guests apartment, before continuing with computer work. After a quiet dinner Michele and I chatted about the differences in ringing licensing across Europe and North America and about some of the tricker birds we’d had in the hand over the last two days. Just before we retired for the night, Michele refound the male goosander he’d found earlier in the week, just offshore from the Obs. Despite dashing out 3 minutes later, I did not see it that evening.
|Pied flycatcher - 1|
|Lesser redpoll - 1|
|Reed bunting - 1|
|Chaffinch - 3|
|Reed warbler - 5||1|
|Marsh warbler - 1|
|Sedge warbler - 1|
|Icterine warbler - 1|
|Blackcap - 2|
|Whitethroat - 1||2|
|Lesser whitethroat- 1|
|Garden warbler - 1|
A day of constant effort . .
I dag blev mange fugle ringmærket efter det standardiserede europæiske ringmærkningsprogram, CES (Constant Effort Site), hvor man blandt andet følger ynglefuglenes alderssammensætning og overlevelse fra år til år. Nettene skulle være åbne fra kl. 04.15 hvilket betød vi stod op allerede kl. 03.00. På stedet mødte vi Michael Ancher som også ringmærker fuglene. Vi fangede mange spændende fugle, blandt andet en spurvehøg hun og en meget smuk skovskade med de imponerende blå fjer. Efter 6 timers ringmærkning, var det rart med en lille eftermiddagslur men først fik jeg dejlig kaffe og kage på fuglestationens café. Sidst på eftermiddagen tog Michele og jeg hen til en høj bakke/klit med god udsigt, hvor vi så rørdrummen komme flyvende. Vi hørte også vandriksen i nærheden. Peter havde lavet en god risret til aftensmad og herefter havde vi aftenmøde. Dagen sluttede med en ”Shuffle ball” turné, hvor jeg var så heldig at vinde over Peter igen ????
Another windy day . .
Vi begyndte dagen med at tage ud på stranden på Grenen for at fange stor præstekrave unger, som vi havde set dagen i forvejen. Det blev til i alt 5 ringmærkede unger, 4 små fra det samme kuld og en lidt større unge fra et andet kuld. Det var en rigtig god oplevelse. Derudover fik Michele og Peter øje på 3 fugle med ringe (sildemåge, svartbag og ride) og der blev taget billeder af deres numre. Det bliver spændende at finde ud af hvilket sted de er ringmærket, og hvilken rejse de har været på, som ringens nummer kan vise når det bliver tastet ind på computeren. På stranden så vi blandt andet også mange terner, heriblandt en meget fin dværgterne. Efter vores morgen-fugletur lavede Michele igen en god pastaret til frokost og ved eftermiddagstid gik turen til Skarvsøen med Peter, for at registrere ynglende Skarver, antal af reder og deres unger. Her så vi også de ynglende gråstrubet lappedykker igen, og 5 reder i alt. Der var også troldænder i søen men kun hanner. En anden speciel oplevelse for dagen var Micheles fund af en stor skallesluger han, som svømmede blandt en flok ederfugle nær ved det grå fyr.
What the wind blew in.
Dagen startede med meget blæst så det var desværre ikke muligt at åbne nettene for at fange fugle til at ringmærke. Michele og jeg tog i stedet ned til stranden, for at kigge på fugle, mens Peter gjorde orden i fugle - og andre naturbilleder på computeren. På stranden stødte vi på en svag fløjlsand som måske var blevet ramt af noget, men ellers virkede i fin stand. Den blev båret med tilbage til laboratoriet hvor Simon ringmærkede den og derefter blev den sat tilbage ud i havet hvor den svømmede fint videre. Ude på stranden nær fuglestationen så vi også fire strandskader komme flyvende. Senere, på Grenen så vi blandt andet både fjordterner, havterner, splitterner, en almindelig ryle, flere stor præstekrave med nuttede unger, sildemåger, toppet skalleslugere, suler og mange sortænder der svømmede langt ude på havet. Om eftermiddagen blev der handlet og ordnet flere billeder. Aftensmaden bestod af lækker omelet og luksus æggemadder lavet af Simon og efter maden spillede vi ”Shuffle ball” og selvom Peter ikke var helt tilfreds med det vandt jeg to gange ? Tredje gang vandt jeg dog ikke som ellers ville have givet mig lov til at klippe hans hår til en hanekam. Den ære fik Simon og det blev et ganske fint resultat. Næste for tur til klipning er Michele, selvom han vist ikke er helt enig.
The day started (in fact didn’t finish until) at 12am, with us all waiting in the dark for nightjars to fly into mist nets. Unlike last week our catch rate was only 1 bird for the entire time we were there, but just seeing one in the hand was a great experience for all of us, despite the fact we’d done this less than a week ago.
4 hours later (!) Michele and Kirstine were opening the observatory garden nets, for a brief attempt at ringing. 2 birds were caught. I on the other hand was leading a tour for a pair of American tourists, who also managed to see the bird ringing before we went. As expected it was a quiet tour, but as they were not from Europe, pretty much all the birds were new for them. The eider were their particular favourites. The most important and generous part of the morning was when Arne Rasmussen donated two bikes in very good condition to the Observatory. Michele was most pleased, especially as he had to cycle back from the cormorant with a totally flat tyre today! Thank you Arne, they’ll be a great help.
After our respective duties, we all hit the sack for some much needed shuteye, after
less than four hours sleep! Refreshed, we undertook the weekly cleaning of the apartments, a job made much easier by the fact that there were three of us to share the tasks. Michele and Kirstine then headed to the cormorant colony to undertake the bi weekly counts and then to town for much needed supplies, both edible and electrical. I updated the daily log. Kirstine cooked us some delicious veggie burgers for dinner (very nice not to be the only vegetarian in the Obs, even if only for a week).
The weather was looking particularly bad for the morrow, so with ringing (if any) restricted to the Obs garden, I decided tonight was a good night to go out listening for spotted crakes, or Savi’s warbler or even better maybe a river warbler!
I was wrong. The wind was too strong and I heard no birds at all. However mammals were well represented with four hares, and roe deer AND my first ever live polecat! Presumably the same individual Morten saw several weeks ago. Great sighting however and well worth the birdless bike ride!
Blackcap – 1
Lesser whitethroat - 1
Kirstine’s first day
Tirsdag d. 12. juni begyndte kl. 5.00 på fuglestationen hvor vi stod op, spiste hurtig morgenmad og bagefter gik ud til skovområdet på Grenen for at ringmærke. Vi satte net op og fangede i alt 11 fugle hvoraf 2 tidligere havde været fanget på samme sted, så det blev til 9 ringmærkninger i alt. Selvom de alle var fine var især dompap-parret specielle for denne dags fangst. Kort før vi lukkede nettene sammen igen kom Simon forbi med en gruppe pædagogstuderende fra Hjørring som fik en guidet tur i området. Efter kl. 10 blev nettene lukket og trætte men glade gik vi hjem til fuglestationen, hvor Peter med det samme blev shanghajet af Flemming til en guidet tur for sin familie fra USA. Michele og jeg kunne hvile os inden turen gik til skarvsøen hvor der findes en stor flok ynglende skarver som skulle tælles. Her var vi også heldige at se to par ynglende gråstrubet lappedykker og med teleskopet kunne vi endda se nogle af æggene i den ene rede! Desværre var nogle af skarvrederne tomme – måske fordi ræven havde været forbi. Hjemme på fuglestationen igen kom Rita Pate, en god ven af os på fuglestationen, forbi med en stumtjener og en friskfanget havkat. Udover fisk bestod aftensmaden af lækkert italiensk pasta med tomatsauce, kokkereret af italieneren Michele. Efter vi havde spist holdt vi et aftenmøde inden vi tog på natravnetur for at fange og ringmærke dem.
|Munk - 2|
|Havesanger - 1|
|Rørsanger - 3|
|Dompap - 2|
Admin and a new addition to the team.
Wind! It was too windy to open any nets and really too windy to visit the cormorant colony today. So after an extra hour or two in bed (snatch those mornings when you can at a bird observatory!) it was time for lots of computer admin. Ringing data, Dofbasen and diary posts were the order of the morning, along with photo archive work.
Kirstine Lund arrived in the afternoon, she’ll be working with us for a week. After working our way through double checking the ringing data, we sorted our ‘in the field’ paperwork before having a moult lecture in the birders club from Simon. Sadly it was cut short for me as I had to cook dinner. After dinner, Simon, Michele and Kirstine went out for an evening seawatch and found Michele’s first Canada goose and Arctic Skua. Not bad for mid June!
Once again, early to bed, ready to ring on the morrow . . .
A rosy morning . .
The weather was calm and warm this morning, though not as hot as previous weeks (thankfully). The Grenen ringing site was drying out, to the point where we might not need waders anymore (for which Michele will no doubt be pleased, they’re very hot and difficult to move in). We were on site for about 4 hours, during which we ringed 13 birds and recaptured 3, though only local birds. The main highlight of the day however was a stunning male rosefinch we caught. We’d seen him (or possibly another) fly over our heads singing earlier on the morning, and then found this bird in the nets on the opposite side of the site. It’s been quite a good year for movement of this species, and is the third we’ve caught, but the first male, so quite a treat.
Other than that it was fairly unspectacular (as we expect for most summer days here, but June can turn up the odd extreme rarity which is always in the back of our mind) and we closed at normal time. The weather set in mid afternoon, so plans for birding, in particular observations of the breeding bitterns of Skagen were delayed, and though I went out for it later, and did see both adults making feeding flights, I was rained off quickly . .
We intended to go out ringing on Monday, so once again, early nights, though the weather was looking iffy, so we weren’t certain of our chances. .
|Blackcap - 2||1|
|Whitethroat - 1||2|
|Lesser whitethroat - 1|
|Reed warbler - 4|
|Marsh warbler - 1|
|Chiffchaff - 1|
|Willow warbler - 1|
|Common rosefinch - 1|
|Song thrush - 1|
The Day of Rest (admin actually)
After a late morning (post nightjar ringing the night before) Simon attended a board meeting at 10am. Michele and I opened the garden nets in anticipation of a guided tour. However nothing seemed to be happening on that front so we closed, only to have a guy turn up for a guided tour! I took him around the ringing area and into the lab, following the usual procedure, though with my own twist, showing pictures of birds in the hand and the processes of ringing, to make the laboratory visits slightly more interesting. Currently working on an introductory video which may be better, but this was a good dry run. The visitor enjoyed his tour, even if we didn’t catch any birds.
We were then treated (I assume!) to lunch by the board, and I had some nice conversation with people I may not see again for a while. Forcing myself out of the café garden I went back to the Obs apartment and started work on updating the daily diaries (which had gotten out of sync due to the busy days we’ve had recently). Simon was as crazy busy as always, and was jetting off to Copenhagen by 5 o’clock and Michele spent an enjoyable afternoon searching for colour ringed gulls. Yours truly however, was still slogging through diaries. And there’s plenty more to come, various social media posts and data uploading still await me! We were early to bed again as we planned to ring Grenen well on Sunday.