Her på Skagen Fuglestations blog bringes korte nyheder i dagbogsformat om hændelser på fuglestationen.
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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.
Early to rise, late to bed.
The CES site was opened by 4.15 am and in 6 hours we caught 13 birds, including some local retraps (which is the point) and some interesting birds, including my first female siskin, presumably a local breeder. A white tailed eagle flew low over us, probably one of the three seen late yesterday. We wrapped up at 10.15 am and headed back to the observatory. The sign was out for another English guided tour, which did get some interest but only for the following day. It was then getting equipment prepared for a nightjar ringing session that occupied our time. Net poles and lines, nets and playback devices had to be found and checked, as well as the ringing paraphernalia that we’d need.
A quick afternoon snooze (as we’d had an early morning AND were looking at a very late night) followed by a quick dinner and we headed off at 9.00. After a few hours on site, we caught our first nightjar, a male, which I got to ring. This was quickly followed by another, a female, and then later another female before we called it a day at 2.30am. The whole tI’m e we were treated to amazing flybys by up to three birds at a time. A successful evening, and possibly pencilled in in the near future for another try.
|Blackcap - 3|
|Whitethroat - 1||2|
|Lesser whitethroat - 1|
|Reed warbler - 2|
|Robin - 1|
|Chaffinch - 1|
|Siskin - 1|
Migrations last gasp.
After a very appreciated extra few hours in bed (7am as opposed to 3.30!) I was up at the crack of. . . 9am! I was due to be leading a small tour for a couple of visitors from Philadelphia to see some birds. I didn’t hold much hope, as the birding had been thin on the ground for the last few days, and even the rosy starling invasion seemed to have dried up. I needn’t have worried though, after about 30 minutes of looking at butterflies and dragonflies (and the odd flower that I knew) there was a small kettle of raptors just above Ellekrattet. This included about 7 red kites, 3 honey buzzards and a bunch of buzzards, all of which were new birds for the Americans. So were the chaffinches we photographed inside the woods, before moving down to Grenen briefly. We caught up with a sparrowhawk out on the dunes, as well as the same moving flock of larger raptors, and the icing on the cake was as we arrived back at the Obs where we had an adult and 2k white tailed eagle circling overhead. Two satisfied customers headed off to the café after that!
Simon had a tour for a school group with learning difficulties, and Michele and he reported that it was a very successful morning, for a start they managed to get some birds in the hand for the kids, which doesn’t often happen when you really want it to!
After lunch, I introduced Michele to the cormorant colony and the procedure for surveying them. It was gratifying to see that the ‘predation event’ has slowed or stopped, with several nests that had seemingly been predated having birds back on them this visit. Down at the main colony there were several broods of well advanced chicks, which will hopefully fledge in a few weeks, especially if our furry friend decides to be as slothful in his approach as he has been. The red necked grebes had moved up to 6 nests (7 I hear from a local) and some are well on the way, so I look forward to seeing some stripey headed chicks at some point soon. As we left we were treated to the awesome sight of 3 white tailed eagles, 2 adults and a 2k very low overhead, which was great for Michele as the species had been new to him only last week!
Back to the Obs, and computer work and dinner awaited us, as cooked by Simon. As we were planning to do the CES ringing site on Friday, it was then very early to bed.
Hooray for retraps!
Once again an early start for the ringing duo. Straight out to Grenen to see what we could see. The conditions were as favourable as they could have been at this time of year but again we didn’t catch many birds. However we did get a few more retraps (this site is good for getting regular recaptures) including one, a blackcap, from Norway! Always a thrill to get a foreign retrap (see pic). So it was worth the early start and the insects! Also caught a reed warbler, which was nice an educational, practicing identifying them in the hand, BEFORE using the diagnostic criteria, using other features I’ve been taught during my time here. Gratifyingly I seem to have got the hang of that, despite not ringing them or marsh warbler before my time here . .
Once again there was an attempt to offer an ‘English’ guided tour, and once again, no takers, not surprising really as the birding season has totally wound down now. We’ll keep trying though, and who knows, June is a cracking time for rarities to turn up in Skagen whether in nets, or just flying over.
In the afternoon Simon left to go to Aalborg, Thomas left to visit his family, and I left to have a nice evening off in Frederikshavn. Which meant poor Michele was all alone that evening. I’m sure he appreciated the peace and quiet though!
|Whitethroat - 1||2|
|Garden warbler -1|
|Reed warbler - 1|
|Blackcap - 3||1 (from Norway)|
|Willow warbler - 1|
Migration is over, long live the breeding birds (and moths)
The wind picked up through the night, leaving the option to go ringing pretty much out of our hands. So we thought we’d try and find some birds. Alas the wind was very strong all morning and in a couple of hours out on Grenen and then staring into Kattergat hoping for some skuas, we saw very little. Morten left for home by midday, after some last minute goodbyes to some locals.
The wind dropped eventually though, and we managed to get out and see some things, I watched the bitterns flying back and forth, presumably to feed some well grown chicks, and one of the local marsh harriers hunting opposite the cormorant lake. Birds of prey were very thin on the ground, with only two buzzards being the others I noticed during the day. We tried to run an ‘English guided tour’ of the ringing and ringing facilities, but there was no interest at all, clearly people were elsewhere today, and who could blame them in that wind? We’ll try again tomorrow. Later in the afternoon, we helped Michel Ancher erect a new net at the CES ringing site, and took some time to admire the surroundings once we’d finished (see pic).
Michele was the cook tonight and he taught Simon and Thomas (our guest) how an Italian makes REAL carbonara! After dinner we set up a moth trap. Now the summers hit, we may get some interesting species, though we’re secretly hoping for the most rock and roll moth, the Death’s Head, to pay us a visit.
End of an era . .
The run of good weather continues, much to the joy of tourists and the lament of ringers and birders. Michele and I once again flogged the dead horse by attempting to do some ringing. However, despite the sunny weather the wind was extremely strong (sadly not from the right direction) and we couldn’t open all the nets, and in fact ended up closing most of the. Hence the only bird we caught was on the opening round, a blackbird. At least this time we weren’t missing any good birds on Grenen!
Whilst we were engaged in this optimistic futility, Morten was enjoying his last survey of the cormorant colony. Plenty more chicks were visible this time around and the foxes predation seems to have slowed considerably, so hopefully more may fledge this year. No sign of the garganey or tufted ducks today, though it was incredibly windy so perhaps they were elsewhere today.
After lunch, Michele and I assisted Mikael Ancher in clearing the ground and setting up another net at the CES site. Plenty of dragonflies out there, and some juvenile coot. A honey buzzard flew close overhead.
Once we returned, we headed down to the café for Morten’s leaving dinner, many thanks Morten for the generous meal. We were joined by Flemming from the nature centre and Thomas (our guest) and sat outside, enjoying the wonderful meal and the glorious sunshine over Kattegat. Then it was back to the Obs accommodation for a shuffle ball tournament, which Morten comfortably won, thrashing all of us (even Simon) . A nice evening to end 3 years of work at Skagen for him.
Afslutningen nærmer sig for både forårstrækket og Morten!
Vejr: Lidt skydække i den allertidligste morgen blev hurtigt afløst af fuld sol og blå himmel. Vinden først jævn til frisk, men løjede fuldstændig af og dagen blev hurtigt varm med +22°C.
Peter og Michele gik ud til ringmærkningen på Grenen, hvor Simon også deltog en tid, skønt ikke alle net kunne åbnes i den friske vind. Til gengæld betød det, at der for en gang skyld var færre myg at slås med.
Jeg tog en sidste morgen i de skønne omgivelser ved Skarvsøen, hvor det udover en del unger i rederne hos Skarverne også blev til en god oplevelse med syngende Karmindompap.
Thomas gik rundt om Ellekrattet og ud ad Sandormsporet, så alle var i felten i morgentimerne.
Midt på formiddagen havde Simon en guidetur med en folkeskole klasse, så jeg var tilbage og åbnede net i Fyrhaven kl 10. Ingen fangst af fugle blev det til, men lidt rovfugle kom ud på trækforsøg. Mest Musvåge, men også Hvepsevåger en enkelt Rød glente og en havørn blandede sig.
Thomas havde de samme fugle fra sit obspunkt ved Kap Ga D Gung.
Det var ellers dagen, hvor jeg virkelig kunne mærke, at det snart er slut for mit vedkommende. Fik en god afskedssnak med Jacob Funder om eftermiddagen da han gav en kop kaffe og kage fra Cafeen.
Til aften havde jeg bestilt de store lækre platter med sild og røget laks fra cafeen, så det blev endnu en hyggelig aften i godt selskab indtil mitterne/knottene kom på vingerne og fandt os i den vindstille aften.
Så rykkede vi i stedet ind i stuen og tog en turneringsomgang med Shuffel board spillet.
Om det var et udtryk for at Peter, Michele og Simon ville være flinke ved mig på den sidste aften skal jeg ikke kunne sige, men for første gang i år udraderede jeg totalt dem alle!
Tak for denne gang til alle på Fuglestationen og til alle, der bare har læst med eller kommet forbi i de seneste par år – jeg har nydt jeres selskab og muligheden for et liv i Skagens fantastiske natur!
Vi ses en anden gang!
Lidt Hvepsevåger siger farvel til mig efter et forrygende forår i Skagen for den art
Karmindompap syngende ved Skarvsøen - endnu har jeg ikke set en udfarvet han dette forår!
Sort Stork kom endelig til Skagen dette forår
Stadig en drønende varm afslutning på foråret med 24°C og noget nær tropenætter uden meget vind til at friske op.
Peter havde sovet så dårligt i varmen, at han blev liggende, mens jeg tog Michele med ud til morgenens mærkning på Grenen. Det var nu ikke meget vi fik fanget ud over guldsmede i nettene, så vi havde god tid mellem runderne og kunne søge bare lidt brise på toppen af klitten og dermed flygte fra myggene nede i ringmærkningsområdet.
Da Peter kom op forsøgte han med ringmærkning i Fyrhaverne, men heller ikke der gav det pote med fangst. Vi lukkede derfor tidligt ned for nettene og begav os til andre opgaver, hvor jeg prøver at overdrage de sidste ting til mine efterfølgere blandt de frivillige på fuglestationen.
Havde således planlagt en god pc omgang med Peter midt på dagen, men det blev lige udskudt at meldingen om en Sort Stork på ej ind over Skagen fra Hulsig.
Vi tog derfor opstilling med vores teleskoper i skyggen ved gavlen af den gamle Fyrmester bolig g kunne nyde både den Sorte Stork og en række rovfugle, der alle gjorde trækforsøg og kom fint retur over Fyrhaverne.
En god afsked for Jørn og Marianne, der lige havde pakket bilen og skulle retur mod Sjælland, men altså fik årets første Sorte Stork i Skagen med på turlisten.
De blev afløst i lejligheden af Thomas Lillelund fra UCN, Hjørring der skal være her den kommende uge på studieophold. Han kommer helt sikkert til at følge Simon og Peter på diverse opgaver og formidlingsture.
Simon holdt midt eftermiddagen et kursus for os på fuglestationen i aldersbestemmelser af smpåfugle med gennemgang af fældning strategier og brug af fældningskort under ringmærkning i felten og ud fra fotos.
Derefter var vi klar til endnu en sommeraften på Nordlysvej – denne gang havde Michael og Marian inviteret os til det helt store sommerbord med Skagens bedste skaldyrsretter. De diskede op med både muslingesuppe, krabbeklør og skagens rejer, så jeg ender da helt med at fortryde, at jeg snart forlader Skagen!!
Tusinde tak til Michael og Marian for den aften!
Dagens Sorte Stork da den trak retur over Fyrhaverne
Goodbye Morten (almost)
With the arrival of our new volunteer Michele, we were able to do some ringing and also visit the cormorant colony for the biweekly survey.
Morten decided to take the cormorant survey today. He counted 148 nests, though sadly the predation is starting to gather pace, with 8 of those nests no longer being occupied. However a vast majority of the remaining nests now have chicks and Morten spent a pleasant couple of hours counting the numbers of those he could see, with the largest nests (so far) containing three chicks. He also refound an old friend of his, a colour ringed cormorant who has been present at the colony for the past 3 years and get good photos of his red ring, for recording purposes. He also saw a single male garganey at the lake, as had 4 days before, suggesting perhaps that the female is sitting somewhere else quietly incubating.
Whilst he was doing this Michele and I were ringing at Grenen. We had an interesting (though not stellar) couple of hours early on, with a couple of bullfinch, and some nice comparisons between reed and marsh warblers. Some interesting movement of blackcaps was noted along with some interesting variations in age amongst them, everyday is a school day when you’re ringing out here! As we decided to close the nets a call came through on Zello, that a Rustic bunting had been seen flying over us to Ellektattet (obviously we didn’t know anything about this until it was well past) and we decided we’d stay open for a little while to see if this would herald a ‘fall’ of interesting migrants.
It didn’t. But it did herald a rise in the mosquito numbers! We closed shortly after as we only caught one new bird in almost two hours. Morten had even worse luck at the observatory garden, with zero birds being caught.
Our guests spent their day in town enjoying the ‘tourist’ attractions of Skagen, and Simon was on the way back from Aalborg. Later in the day we started preparations for a BBQ for the friends of the observatory, as a way to say goodbye to Morten, who after two years here is leaving to take up an opportunity elsewhere. Many people attended, and we were entertained by a migrating short eared owl, and some porpoises in the bay. The midges soon became unbearable, and the festivities moved into the observatory. Everyone had a good time, and Morten was seen off in style.
Robin – 1
Chaffinch – 1
Bullfinch – 2
Marsh warbler – 2
Reed warbler – 1
Whitethroat – 2
Lesser whitethroat – 1 (+1 retrap)
Blackcap – 5
Garden warbler – 1