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Still windy . .
Today the wind is very strong!
This morning our ambassador Aase and Mark’s son Malthe leave. During the day we work at the computer and we are welcoming tourists, but because of the weather there is not so many people today. We also spend the afternoon at the observatory performing internal tasks.
Even tomorrow, it’s a strong wind, I think it's interesting for seabirds and I plan to go to Grenen to check the situation tomorrow.
A quiet day.
The wind was not as bad as predicted, so Michele got up and opened the nets this morning, having them open for a couple of hours and advertising a tour, though there were no birds caught. He closed the nets around 1.30. Aase was present all morning in the courtyard, where she has been all week chatting to visitors and answering questions. Mark was available to help Michele with the guided tour, and aside from that he had computer work and meetings to attend.
I was taken up with computer work again both for the observatory and for myself, but I was available in the birders club for 3 hours for visitor inquiries. During this time, Flemming caught a large cricket (Morten claims it’s a ‘wart biter’ but I’m no expert), a real beauty.
Mark took us all out for dinner in the evening, and a great time was had by all, its really makes a difference not having to cook! After this Michele decided to check out some live music in the town, Mark and his son went car spotting and Aase and I decided to head back to the observatory. It’s a worse day tomorrow, though we do have a guided tour to give, so we can hope we might catch something.
. .and thrice Grenen
Today we wake up early to check the weather, it is cloudy but not very windy, so we decide to go to Grenen for ringing. At 05:30 we open the nets. During the morning we don’t ringing many birds, but we take some interesting recaptures.At 8:00 am Morten returns to the observatory to drive Preben to Skagen station, which is leaving today. Peter and I decide to close the nets after a while, because we’re not catching a lot, and at 9:00 we go back to the observatory.
At 11:30 am I open the nets around the lighthouse for a ringing tour with visitors. Meanwhile I work to finish my ringing presentation to show to visitors.
After lunch, Morten and I go to monitor the cormorant colony, and after we go shopping for tonight's dinner. Morten will cook burgers (apparently all he can cook!) for everyone.
Back at the lighthouse, I load the morning ringing data into the databases, while Morten cooks dinner. Peter is engaged in other tasks within the PC.
After dinner we do a shuffle ball tournament, and after I go to bed because I'm a bit tired today.
Ringing birds. Recaptures
2 Gulspurv. 3 Tornsanger
1 Kærsanger. 1 Topmejse
1 Broget Fluesnapper
Once more unto Grenen
Making the most of the good weather, Michele, Preben, Morten and I head out to Grenen early again this morning. We have a steady morning, with the highlight being a juvenile great spotted woodpecker.
We heard back to the Obs around 9.30. We make ourselves available to the guests at the lighthouse, get lunch and grab an hours sleep while we can.
Mark makes dinner this evening, pancakes for all! We have the evening meeting, and then stay up a little later as it’s Prebens last night, talking about music, and his experience over the last 12 days and exchanging contact details. Then, as it’s due to turn pretty windy at the end of the week, we hit the sack to get up early to go to Grenen again tomorrow.
Great spotted woodpecker juvenile.
Back at Grenen
Today we ring at Grenen.
Preben, Peter and I leave home at 5:00 am, and at 5:30 all the nets are all up and ready!
It is a cloudy day but warm and not windy, the conditions should have been good for catching birds. The catches are not many but the day is still interesting, we ring many birds in active moult of the body and wings. Peter leaves at 8:00 am, returns to the observatory to open the nets around the lighthouse, because at 10:00 am a ringing tour for visitors is planned.
At 9:00 the number of catches drops and, after ringing a nice swallow, satisfied with the morning, Preben and I close the nets and return to the observatory at 9:30 to help with the ringing tour.
During the morning the sun came out and the day warmed up a lot. There is a large number of visitors to the lighthouse. Peter has captured a couple of birds and shows the activity of ringing visitors. Preben, Aase, Mark and his son Malthe stand in the yard to talk to visitors, it's much easier for them than for me because they speak Danish. I'm in the birder's club to work on the computer with the data and welcome the visitors who enter.
After lunch, I still work with the ringing data of the last days until 3:30 pm, and when I finish I go to Grenen for a couple of hours. Peter stays at the lighthouse and makes a video with photos, which tells the last two weeks of Mads and Joakim at the grey lighthouse.
Later for dinner, Aase prepares a very good Danish dish based on cauliflowers!
After dinner we meet everyone, including Simon who has returned a few hours earlier, for the daily meeting to plan activities and logistics for the coming weeks.
A common whiteththroat showing active moult of its greater coverts.
A sixth for Skagen
Today was our chosen CES day (for weather reasons if nowt else) so we were up at 3.30 to get started. The first few rounds were pretty steady, we had some interesting birds and some interesting wildlife alongside it, a water vole carrying its young from one end of the lake to the other right underneath us as we were ringing was pretty cool. Dragonflies were out in force and and more than a few around the nets allowing for some good photo opportunities.
However, the best photo opportunity came towards the end of the CES, when the raptors were moving. After being asked to try and photograph some putative black kites (they weren’t) Michele started to get excited and said, ‘it’s the white falcon, the white falcon!’. After some amusing misunderstanding, where I thought I was going to see my first (very out of season) gyrfalcon, it turned out to be a BLACK WINGED KITE! Thankfully I managed to snatch a couple of photos of the bird, fortuitously it seems as no one else seemed to catch up with the bird. Sadly we had to got back to finish the CES, but we only had a couple of rounds more. When we finished and got back to the observatory I bought everyone a drink, to celebrate Michele’s find, a world lifer for him and a Danish lifer for Preben and I.
After some much needed sleep, Michele went into town for a haircut, Preben went for a walk up to Grenen and I rode off to the cormorant colony. The colony is still bustling but very few nests are now occupied, most of the birds are in the water or on branches in the water. The monitoring project is drawing to a close. Whilst we were all away, another guest arrived, Aase, just in time for dinner! Michele cooked a mushroom pasta which was as tasty as usual. After dinner, most of us went to bed early to prepare for going to Grenen tomorrow, but I had to stay up to welcome our next guests, Mark and his son.
Black winged kite.
Male ruddy darter
Wind stops play.
Even today the day is very windy and we can not ring Grenen or CES.
This morning at 9:00 Mads and Joakim go away, we have time to say hello, and spend the morning doing our indoor tasks and welcoming tourists to the birders club.
In the afternoon the wind drops slightly and will cease tomorrow, so we plan to go to CES tomorrow and prepare the equipment.
The alarm will be at 03.30 tomorrow, so after dinner and the daily meeting, we go to sleep very early.
Farewell to Mads and Joakim
The day dawned windy and so put paid to our ideas of ringing at Grenen. Not to be put off on their last day, Mads and Joakim went birding at Grenen instead and were rewarded with their first black terns. Michele and I had tasks around the observatory we needed to do, data to input, visitors to assist etc.
After lunch, Michele presented his ringing video, which we intend to use during our guided tours, and also play regularly in the Birders Club once a few issues were ironed out. After this Michele introduced the boys to the different strategies of moult, using a robin, a great tit and a pied flycatcher, a very educational couple of hours.
As it was the boys last day today, we decode to have a BBQ, as the wind had stopped all the other great plans we’d had for last ringing sessions at Grenen and potential tern ringing on the Observatory beach. To this end, Preben and Michele head into town to pick up supplies and the boys and I get the BBQ out and started. It takes a lot longer than we expect, and I have visions of this pleasant evening descending into a scramble to cook burgers inside. It does get started however and we all enjoy some burgers and ribs (and for Michele, sausages as well!)
After the BBQ was tidied up we proceeded to have a shuffleball tournament for about an hour, which ended in no uncertain terms with my victory! Mads took bronze during the runner up playoffs. The wind looks no better for tomorrow so we have no plans to ring until Monday, which means we at least get to see the lads off at 9.
Mads and Joakim getting into moult strategies in the birders club.
The farewell BBQ. When it finally caught.
Post tern catching activity
Today we wake up late in the morning, because we came back very late last night, in fact, earlier this morning, after the night on the beach trying to catch terns. This morning Simon's mother and grandmother came to visit us, but they went away together early in the afternoon. After lunch Mads, Joakim and Preben go birding in Grenen, while Peter and I remain at the observatory for internal tasks, and in the birder's club to welcome visitors. Later, after dinner, and after the daily meeting, we prepare the equipment for tomorrow. We plan to ringing in CES tomorrow morning, but later a wind is rising that is not very promising! If it does not decrease we will be forced to postpone ringing, perhaps until Monday.
View over Kattergat
Endnu en nat
Dagen startede for en gangs skyld med at sove længe efter, at vi havde været på natravne-tur i løbet af natten. Det blev dog heller ikke til de helt store aktiviteter denne dag. Mads og jeg benyttede dagen til at udforske området omkring Skagen ydeligre, så vi har snart været over det hele. Vi havde således en tur til Batteriskoven, men det gav ikke mange fugle at kigge på. Dog kom et par rød glenter og lidt hvepsevåger trækkende ind over. Det var også os der stod for maden denne dag så vi var også en tur inde omkring Skagen for at proviantere til brændende kærlighed om aftenen. Peter benyttede dagen til at få tjekket op på ungerne i skarv-kolonien, som efterhånden alle er blevet store. Micheal arbejde på sin nye præsentation omkring ringmærkning af fugle. Derudover gjordes der klar til aftenens aktivitet.
Da vinden så ud til at næsten ikke at være eksisterende denne aften besluttede Simon at vi skulle prøve at ringmærke terner på stranden. Det blev dog ikke til mange terner denne, ja faktisk ikke en eneste, men nu er det prøvet og det skal sikkert nok lykkes en anden god gang.