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Finally catching again !

onsdag 8. juli 2020
af Amandine Doré

After several days of bad weather, we finally went out catching again at Kabeltromlen. Martina had just openened the nets on the north side, when she saw a quite uncommon bird in the wader nets... We brought it back to the ringing table: it was a Wood sandpiper (Tinksmed) ! This was the first time that the species was caught in Grenen !

20200708 045610

This Wood Sandpiper was a juvenile: on the wing, you can see that all (almost all) the feathers are from the same generation (in adults, feathers are from different generations) and the spots on the secondaries and tertials are buff, while in adults these spost would be white.

20200708 045308

The morning went on, and we caught quite a few birds. There were a lot of juvenile birds, especially Common Whitethroats (Tornsanger) and Great tits (Musvit). We also caught our first juvenile Bullfinch (Dompap). 

Other highlights of the morning were a beautiful male Yellowhammer (Gulspurv) and a Black Redstart (Husrødstjert). 

20200708 063105

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In the afternoon, we tried to see a Bonelli's eagle that had been spotted south of Skagen, but the bird eventually didn’t not fly through Grenen and we didn’t get to see it. We also went out to try to do some migrating seabirds counts but unfortunately we did not see much.

In the evening we had a very nice ”danish summer” dinner prepared by Rasmus and Pil. It was delicious !

Ringmærkning (Kabeltromlen):

Lille Dompap – Bullfinch – 3

Munk – Blackcap – 2

Rørsanger – Reed Warbler – 4

Gærdesanger – Lesser Whitethroat – 5

Blåmejse – Blue Tit – 1

Lille Gråsisken – Redpoll – 3

Musvit – Great Tit -5

Gulbug – Icterine Warbler – 1

Tinksmed – Wood Sandpiper - 1

Gransanger – Chiffchaff - 2

Tornsanger – Common Whitethroat – 13

Husrødstjert – Black Redstart – 1

Total: 41

Folk: Martina Hillbrand, Simon S. Christiansen, and Amandine Doré

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More windy days

tirsdag 7. juli 2020
af Martina Hillbrand

The strong winds are starting to get annoying not only for the ornithologists but also for the birds. The ornithologists can benefit from birds being blown off course but in fact we would really like to go out ringing again but the winds make it impossible to open the nets. Hopefully tomorrow.

After the red-throated diver (rødstrubet lom) from last week that stayed for a few days probably exhausted and could apparently gather enough strength to leave again, last night I found a black guillemot (tejst) on the beach just outside the lighthouse. It also seemed exhausted but we could not catch it so hopefully it will recover on its own.


This morning I went out to look for Sandwich terns (splitterne) again, however, I couldn’t find any. Not even feeding. I assume that the fact that the sandy beach has decreased so much with all the water being blown our way and the ever increasing number of tourists at the beach, the sandwich terns do not find enough peace to roost here any more. We hope that they will come back when the strong winds stop.

In the afternoon we had a bird ringing tour despite the strong winds and there were a lot of people, also children. We were lucky enough to catch a single bird during the tour so they could also experience the actual ringing of a bird. It was a great experience for them, I am sure.

Afterwards I went to the cormorant (skarv) colony for the weekly monitoring. We had half feared that more nests might have been predated, however the chicks on the western side were all alive and are by now almost the size of the adults. Some are only distinguishable from immature birds by the brown feathers on their throat, head, and underparts. The wings seem almost fully grown and they also start to leave the nest and climb around the trees a little bit. Soon they will probably start to learn to fly!


Apart from the outdoor activities our email inbox was quite exciting today: We got news on two birds! Finally we heard from the Gannet (sule) that we caught injured on north beach 2 weeks ago. It was ringed as a chick in July 2014 at the west coast of England.

Screenshot 2020 07 07 Fuglering dk Ringmaerkning af fugle i Danmark Kobenhavns Universitet

Another notice was regarding a willow warbler (løvsanger) that Michael ringed as a juvenile bird probably on migration in August 2018. It has been found dead in Norway three weeks ago.


Ringing at Fyrhavn:

Tree Pipit - Skovpiber - 1


Folk: Martina Hillbrand, Simon S. Christiansen, and Amandine Doré

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Windy and rainy day at the Lighthouse

mandag 6. juli 2020
af Amandine Doré

The very strong winds and frequent showers stopped us from going ringing at Kabeltromlen this morning... Instead we went out to Grenen to count the Sandwich Terns (Splitterne), which were roosting at the tip.

A 6jul 2

However, the Terns were very nervous, and flying away easily, probably because of the weather. Martina tried to read some rings, however she did not manage because we could not get very close.

A 6jul 1Sandwich (Splitterne) and Common Tern (Fjordterne) next to each other: Sandwich Terns are bigger, have black legs and black bill with yellow tips while Commonterns are smaller, have red leg and red bill with a black tip. 

We went back home early, and did some office work during the day.

A 6jul 3Grenen tip under water....

Tonight, we will try to go out at Grenen tip to catch some terns, as Simon got new powerful flashlights. Our first attempt at catching waders at night was a failure, but this time we'll try to do better !

More on that tomorrow in the blog !

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søndag 5. juli 2020
af Martina Hillbrand

After the late night ringing yesterday with more birds than expected we opened the nets again this morning hoping to catch many more birds despite the rather difficult weather forecast. We were not quite sure how long we could stay open before the rain but hoped for some birds in any case. We were a little disappointed by a rather slow start but just as the rain came and we had to close the nets we had a very nice surprise: finally the newly set up wader net caught its first bird: the very common snipe (dobbeltbekkasin) that had successfully evaded the net so many times before! We could finally ring it and now hope to get an answer to the question whether it is still alone and looking for a mate or if the song flights are to defend its territory and it is long breeding with a partner. Of course, we are hoping for lots of baby snipes in the near future!


Also in the last net check we got this beautiful adult male redpoll (lille gråsisken).


After we closed because of the rain I went to the tip to take advantage of the fact that there were still very few people out and I was hoping to get to see some roosting terns – still in the hope that one with a color ring shows up that I can actually read. I did not get to see any color rings, however, I got to see several red-throated divers (rødstrubet lom) fishing very close to the shore which made it all worth it nonetheless.


In the afternoon we hosted a family nature club tour at the birders’ club. Several families with children came to play educational games with birds. Unfortunately it was far too windy to open nets to catch birds but Simon climbed up to the roof to get the house martin (bysvale) chicks out of the nest we knew there. They were still too small to be ringed, however, so the families went to look at butterflies instead before they had a bird quiz and a little snack to end the afternoon.


Later we welcomed the new guests that will stay in the apartment this week: Rasmus, Pil, Sally og Falke. Tomorrow the weather will still be bad but from Tuesday on we can hopefully go ringing again as usual and the guests will be able to see more of the work we do.


Ringmærkning (Kabeltromlen)

Common Snipe – Dobbeltbekkasin – 1

Blackbird –  Solsort – 1

Reed Warbler – Rørsanger – 2

Lesser Whitethroat – Gærdesanger – 1

Lesser Redpoll – Gråsisken, Lille (cabaret) – 1

Common Whitethroat – Tornsanger –  2

Total: 8


People : Martina Hillbrand,  Simon S. Christiansen, Amandine Doré

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Late evening catching

lørdag 4. juli 2020
af Amandine Doré

Today we did not go ringing at Kabeltromlen in the morning as the weather was rainy and windy. However, Martina went at Grenen tip to count the Sandwich terns and they were many ! She counted around 80 roosting terns, which is much more than what we had counted the previous days.

During the day, we took advantage of this bad weather to complete some ”office” tasks and then decided to go ringing at Kabeltromlen in the evening, since the weather forecats seemed to be more friendly.

We opened the nets around 17:00, and Mette and Asta joined us an hour later for the first net checks. We caught several Lesser Redpolls (Lille Gråsisken), as well as a couple of Bullfinches (Dompap Lille), a male and a female. We also got a very nice beautiful Reed Bunting (Rørspurv).

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And the highlight of the evening, especially for Martina, was the catch of a flock of juvenile blue tits (Blåmejse), her favorite bird ! We caught 3 young ones, as well as 1 adult.

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Mette and Asta left later on to join an exciting ”Nightjar Guided Tour” in Sandmilen.

In the evening, the sky eventually cleared up and we enjoyed some minutes of sunlight and blue sky.

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We kept ringing until 22:00 and then decided to go back home since we will probably go tomorrow morning as well, depending on the weather.

Ringmærkning (Kabeltromlen)

Lesser Whitethroat - Gærdesanger – 1

Lesser Redpoll - Gråsisken Lille – 3

Reed Warbler - Rørsanger – 2

Bullfinch – Dompap lille – 2

Blue tit – Blåmejse – 3

Chiffchaff – Gransanger – 2

Total: 13

People : Martina Hillbrand,  Simon S. Christiansen, Amandine Doré

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…Og så så vi en sølvhejre!

fredag 3. juli 2020
af Mette Hedegaard (feriegæst på Skagen Fuglestation)

Når man kan lide at kigge på fugle, så ved man, at det kræver en stor portion tålmodighed og en del held. Ofte ser man det, man kommer efter - og næsten lige så ofte er fuglen fløjet, eller den har gemt sig, når man kommer.

Som amatørfugleelskere er vi på aktiv ferie på Skagen Fuglestation. Vi får lov til at være med i felten og på sidelinjen når der tælles og mærkes fugle. Det er en virkelig dejlig og lærerig måde at holde ferie på. I dag var ingen undtagelse…


Vi tog til Jennes Sø for at se fuglene blive ringmærkede. Vi skulle både kigge på fuglene og lave optagelser til en video til Skagen Fuglestations instagram/Facebook (tjek den ud!). Efter at have kigget nærmere på en solsort, en gransanger og en tornsanger gik vi videre med Amandine til skarvkolonien. Hun skulle tælle ungerne i rederne. Og så så vi den… Sølvhejren! Når man aldrig har set sådan en før, så føler man virkelig, at man har fået jackpot i fuglelotteriet. Virkelig smuk var den, som den stod der og lyste hvidt i baggrunden af den næsten dystopisk mørke skarvkoloni, og det blev ikke mindre kontrastfuldt af de truende, mørke skyer over os. Virkelig en god oplevelse.

egret resized

Til sidst tog vi til Nordstranden for at finde stor præstekrave. Vi ville også gerne have fundet nogle reder, men vi så kun nogle enkelte fugle pile afsted i vandkanten og søge føde. Men som sagt, når du leder efter fugle så har du brug for held - og selvfølgelig viden om, hvor og hvordan de lever. Da vi forlod Nordstranden kom Amandine og Martina (aka de professionelle frivillige) og de fandt selvfølgelig stor præstekrave og reder med æg. 


Hvis nogen for nyligt har set rovdyr (f.eks. ræv) ved kolonien hører vi gerne om det! Så vi kan komme nærmere et svar på hvad som har taget ungerne. Hold oså gerne øje hvis du ligger vejen forbi den næste tid og lad os vide hvis der sker noget.


Vinden har godt fat i Skagen for tiden og man kan godt blive sulten af al den blæst, så vi besluttede at ende dagens fugleeventyr her, og tage ned til byen og få en god frokost.


Ringmærkning (Jennes Sø):

Gransanger – Chiffchaff - 2

Topmejse – Crested Tit – 1

Rødhals – Robin - 1

Tornsanger – Common Whitethroat – 1

Total: 5


Folk: Martina Hillbrand, Simon S. Christiansen, and Amandine Doré

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A long day and night at Kabeltromlen

torsdag 2. juli 2020
af Amandine Doré

Yesterday evening, we went ringing at Kabeltromlen, hoping to catch waders thanks to the new nets we set up in the reeds. Winds were still quite strong, but we surprisingly caught some birds, more than we expected. Almost all of them were recaptures, only two of them were new birds. And unfortunately, no wader were caught, even though we flushed a Common Snipe (Dobbeltbekkasin) several times. 

During the ringing, I went down to Grenen beach, close to the tip, to check the Sandwich Terns (Splitterne) and count them. None of them were roosting, they were actively fishing and therefore I could not count them. However, I enjoyed very much seeing them diving in the water and catching some fish. It’s always very impressive !


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Sunset at Grenen tip

Moreover, the seals were at the Grenen tip, hadn’t seen them since I arrived, and I had been looking forward to see them. They were amazing !

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We closed the nets around 22:00 and went back home, to get some sleep before the morning ringing.

Martina went opening the wader nets at 2:30am, as it is more likely to catch them during the dark hours of the night. I joined at 3:15am to open the rest of the nets, and we carried on our normal ringing. Again, we got another Blackcap (Munk)  “wave” and we really wonder where they all come from. We thought that by now we had probably ringed all the Blackcaps of Skagen, if not Denmark !
And today was also a very special “Munk day”, because we caught our first juvenile Blackcap ! Finally !

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Juvenile Blackcap (munk)

The winds were not slowing down in the morning, even getting stronger and we decided to close the nets early, at 6:45am. In the last net checks, we caught two beautiful Bullfinches (Dompap Lille), one male and one female.  

20200702 073341Male Bullfinch (Dompap Lille)

We went back home and got some sleep after this long night/morning, before pursuing our daily office tasks. We then later went to set up nets for the CES ringing that we will do tomorrow.

Ringmærkning (Kabeltromlen) - 01/07/2020:

Common Whitethroat - Tornsanger - 1

Chiffchaff - Gransanger - 1

Total: 2

Ringmærkning (Kabeltromlen) - 02/07/2020:

Great tit - Musvit - 1

Marsh Warbler - Kærsanger - 1

Lesser Whitethroat - Gærdesanger  - 2

Garden Warbler - Havesanger - 2

Blackcap - Munk - 7

Common Whitethroat - Tornsanger - 2

Chiffchaff - Gransanger - 3

Total: 20

People : Martina Hillbrand,  Simon S. Christiansen, Amandine Doré

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Tern Day

onsdag 1. juli 2020
af Martina Hillbrand

We did not go ringing again this morning since it was still very windy, however, instead we went again to count the terns and look for ringed Sandwich terns (splitterne). It was a very windy, however, also very beautiful morning. The storm from last night had moved quite a lot of sand so the beach looked very different from what we were used to and the water is still very high. Compared to yesterday there were almost no gulls which made it easier to get closer to the terns and also find some shorebirds around.


The black tern (sortterne) I saw last night was not seen again, however, we saw 3 dunlins (almindelig ryle) and 1 bar-tailed godwit (lille kobbersneppe).


We also counted 40 sandwich terns and for the first time there were 2 juveniles from this year in the flock as well. Next to that again around 20 common terns. And that was only the roosting birds: many more were out fishing!


We saw some ringed terns but unfortunately no color rings and we could not get close enough to read the metal rings. We will try again tomorrow.

In the afternoon Karsten Hansen came to interview Simon about the work of Skagen Fuglestation. We opened the nets in the lighthouse garden despite the strong winds but the birds weren’t moving so until the very end we didn’t catch anything. Just when we thought we would have to disappoint the camera team we had a single whitethroat (tornsanger) in the last net check. For us a common bird, I am sure it made the TV team very happy. And it was a good way to show one of the most important parts of the work we do here.

In the evening we will go out ringing at Kabeltromeln, partly because we miss the ringing, partly because the winds are supposed to continue for a while and this evening is probably the best few hours of the week to catch birds. Also we set up a wader net and since waders are starting to move south now we are hoping to catch something cool there. We will report tomorrow.

Frederik left today for good. Or at least until next year. If the number of reported rarities from Skagen suddenly goes down then you know why. We were very happy to have him both to help with identifying birds in flight and with the Danish names of the birds. Now Amandine and I are alone with Simon until the new volunteers for the autumn arrive. We will do our best to continue the great work on raptor counts that Frederik started.

Talking about raptors: Thom Kongerslev was so nice and sent us his beautiful pictures of the long-legged buzzards (ørnevåge) he saw in the last few days in Skagen. The pictures show that it was two different birds, which is quite interesting for such a rare species.


Ringing at Fyrhaven:

Common Whitethroat – Tornsanger – 1

People: Amandine Doré, Martina Hillbrand, Simon S. Christiansen og Frederik R. Johansen.

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Massere af måger og et Farvel og på gensyn

tirsdag 30. juni 2020
af Frederik R. Johansen

I dag blæste det rigtig meget, så vi kunne desværre ikke ringmærke i dag. 

Amandine, Martina og jeg tog ud for at tælle terner, og jeg besluttede mig for at tælle de rastende måger på stranden, for der var edermageme mange!

106294969_2634248480228202_5559194503880177899_n.jpgVi talte mindst 4960 rastende måger, men der var hele tiden nogen der fløj, så der har helt sikker været over 5000 rastende måger!!!!!!!80190560_2359427724353569_8080237770146849264_n.jpg

Mågeflokken bestod af:

Sølvmåge - 3722

Hættemåge - 146

Sorthovedet Måge - 1 (2k)

Ride - 3

Stormmåge - 427

Sildemåge - 427

Kaspisk Måge - 1 (måske en mere)

Svartbag - 233 (+en med en blå farvering)

Amandine og Martina talte:

Splitterne - 37

Fjordterne - 2

Rosenstæren var stadig på plads ude ved Grenen-spidsen, og den var lige så fantastisk smuk som den var i går!!!

106261355_1573148102860463_8565735084573552192_n.jpgJeg tog efterfølgende hjem, hvor Amandine kom 20 min efter. 

Martina tog ud til Kabeltrommelkrattet for at stramme nogen net, og sætte et nyt net op.83444416_330863304587057_3057222870588797770_n.jpg

Klokken 14.00 ca. tog vi på ringmærkningstur. Det gik fint, selvom vi ikke fangede nogen fugle.

I dag er min sidste dag heroppe på Skagen Fuglestation, og det betyder jo så også at dette er min sidste blog, lige foreløbig. Det har været et fantastisk forår, og på gensyn ;)

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Folk: Amandine Doré, Martina Hillbrand, Simon S. Christiansen og Frederik R. Johansen.

A Rosy Starling (Rosenstær) in Grenen and a lot of raptors!

mandag 29. juni 2020
af Amandine Doré

Today, Martina and Frederik went opening the net, while I enjoyed an hour more of extra sleep and then joined them for the first net check at 4:15am.

20200629 072851

The morning was very slow, only a few birds were caught in the nets. However, someone spotted a Rosy Starling (Rosenstær) next to the tip of Grenen beach, which is also close to Kabeltromlen where we are ringing. We took turn and went down to the beach between net checks to see this Rosy Starling.  It was flying among a flock of Common Starlings (Stær), and fortunately, we all managed to get a good view of it ! Simon joined the ringing later on and also went to check this Rosy starling.

20200629 102513
Looking for the Rosy Starling

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20200629 221105Here it is !

The morning became even more exciting as Simon spotted some Black Kites (Sort glente), a White-tailed Eagle (Havørn) and a Golden Eagle (Kongeørn). A lot of raptors were flying around: Red Kites (Rød glente), Common Buzzards (Musvåge), Honey Buzzards (Hvepsevåge), Kestrel (Tårnfalk )….

In the early morning, Frederik also observed a Golden Oriole (Pirol) chasing a Sparrowhawk (Spurvehøg) !

After two net checks without any birds, we decided to close early. On our last net check before closing, we caught a very nice second calendar year male Grey Wagtail (Bjergvipstjert).

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Grey Wagtail (Bjergvipstjert)

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This morning that had started very slow ended up being very exciting !

Ringmærkning (Kabeltromlen)

Munk – Blackcap – 3

Gærdesanger – Lesser Whitethroat – 2

Tornsanger – Common Whitethroat – 1

Kærsanger – Marsh Warbler – 6

Rørsanger – Reed Warbler – 1

Bjergvipstjert – Grey Wagtail – 1

Bogfinke – Chaffinch -  1

Grå Fluesnapper – Spotted Flycatcher – 1

Gærdesmutte – Wren – 1

Løvsanger – Willow Warbler – 1

Total: 18

People : Martina Hillbrand, Simon S. Christiansen, Frederik R. Johansen and Amandine Doré

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