Her på Skagen Fuglestations blog bringes korte nyheder i dagbogsformat om hændelser på fuglestationen.
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A good day for divers
Today was mine and Sarah’s first day out in the field, and we couldn’t have asked for a better way to start our month here! The wind was too strong for ringing, so the whole team joined Rolf for early morning observation from the “End of the World”.
Photo: Observations from the beach
Early action was focused on the sea, where eagle-eyed Rolf quickly picked up a large diver in flight. After a quick dash across the dunes the diver was relocated on the sea and confirmed to be a Great Northern (Islom)...but to our amazement we realised it had landed alongside last week’s Pacific Diver (Stillehavslom), giving us a great opportunity for comparisons! With large numbers of Red-throated Divers (Rødstrubet Lom) on the sea and a couple of Black-throated Divers (Sortstrubet Lom) also seen in flight, it was definitely a good day for divers.
Photo: Pacific Diver (Stillehavslom) showing its distinctive "chin strap" on the Kattegat
Passerine highlight was a single Parrot Crossbill (Stor Korsnæb) calling overhead, while 3 Great White Egrets (Sølvhejre) seen in flight and landing in the direction of the nature reserve were an unexpected bonus. A quick check of some resting large gulls on the beach revealed a smart adult Caspian Gull (Kaspisk måge), giving Asger a chance to give us a Caspian masterclass.
After successfully dazzling and ringing two dunlin (Almindelig ryle) the night before, hopes were high for a repeat performance tonight. However the skies cleared in the evening and this time the birds definitely saw us coming, and were up in the air before we could even get close. A delicious Italian-English fusion meal of lasagne followed by apple crumble ended a great first full day at Skagen...we can’t wait for the rest of the month to come!
People: James Butcher, Sarah Bedford, Molly Brown, Daniel Bloche, Lisa Vergin, Asger Lykkegaard Møldrupand and Simon S. Christiansen
Nyt folk på stationen, og fine småfugle i felt
Dagen startede med forholdsvist rolige vindforhold og let overskyet vejr, så det var fint vejr til ringmærkning. Molly, Lisa og undertegnede drog derfor ud og åbnede nettene på Grenen, mens Daniel tog en morgenobs ved Verdens Ende sammen med Rolf. Vi havde en god morgen med pænt med fugle i nettene og en god artsvariation. Det blev til i alt 44 ringmærkede fugle godt hjulpet på vej af en enkelt runde, hvor der sad 23 Blåmejser i et net. Ellers skal en småsen Havesanger nævnes. Lisa fik besøg af sine forældre, der er på ferie i Danmark, og de fik også set, hvordan ringmærkningen foregår. Simon og Jørgen Kabel var også forbi ringmærkningen, og Jørgen kunne bl.a. berette om efterårets første Rødstrubet Piber, som han havde fundet ved Sandormesporet om morgenen. Morgenobsen bød bl.a. på efterårets anden Hvidbrynet Løvsanger, der blev hørt og set ved Verdens Ende samt Fjeldvåge og 2 Bjerglærker.
I løbet af formiddagen blæste det en del op og resten af dagen var der en hård vind ind over odden. Daniel og jeg tog en længere gåtur og havobs. på Grenen. Vi havde bl.a. en meget tillidsfuld Lapværling ved Grenen-søen (ny art for Daniel), en Almindelig Kjove og lidt Storkjover. Sidst på eftermiddagen ankom vores to nye, engelske frivillige, Sarah og James, der skal være en del af fuglestationsholdet den kommende måned. Aftenen bød på hygge og velkomst af Sarah og James, mens vi nød resterne fra fredagens festmåltid.
Ringmærkning: 44 fugle af 11 arter
Gærdesmutte 1, Rødhals 1, Sangdrossel 2, Havesanger 1, Munk 5, Gransanger 6, Fuglekonge 1, Sortmejse 1, Blåmejse 22, Musvit 3 og Rørspurv 1
Folk: Molly Brown, Daniel Bloche, Lisa Vergin, James, Sarah, Simon S. Christiansen og Asger Lykkegaard Møldrup
We opened the net at Grenen this morning, and were accompanied by Oluf, a local ringer who will hopefully join us more often in the future and by Jørgen and Igor, who bought us cake!!!!! It was quite a quiet morning with 26 birds, the highlights included Bullfinches (Dompap) and a Brambling (Kvækerfinke)- a real sign of autumn! Daniel also joined Knud for an hour and a half while we were ringing and saw lots of Fulmars (over 300!) (Mallemuk), Great Skua’s (Storkjove) and many red throated divers (Rødstrubet Lom).
We also held a dinner for Jørgen, Knud, Inger, Lars and Martin so we spent the afternoon preparing- Daniel and I did all the chopping under Lisa and Simon’s instructions. We played the Viking game and boules, which we learned Knud is very good at, however Simon still won when they went head to head! The meal was very successful and a real treat! Also, Asger arrived yesterday and is staying for the weekend which is great to have another ringer and a very skilled observer with us!
Birds caught: 4 Great tits (Musvit), 5 Robins (Rødhals), 1 Dunnock (Jernspurv),2 Wrens (Gærdesmutte), 2 Bullfinches (Dompap), 4 Blackcaps (Munk), 2 Blue tits (Blåmejse), 2 Chiffchaffs (Gransanger), 3 Goldcrests (Fuglekonge) and 1 Brambling (Kvækerfinke).
People: Molly Brown, Daniel Bloche, Lisa Vergin, Simon S. Christiansen, Oluf Lou, Asger Lyhhegaard Møldrup, Knud and Inger Pedersen, Jørgen Kabel, Lars and Martin Mortensen.
Seal pup, migrating seabirds and a biting Gull
Due to strong wind we didn´t open nets today. Instead of catching Passerines all of us went out to observe the migration of seabirds together with Knud. Besides the Gannets (Sule) fishing in the sunrise, we saw great numbers of red-throated Divers (Rødstrubet Lom) migrating to the West. It was a good observation morning. On the way back to the Lighthouse we saw additionally to the Eiders (Ederfugle) another animal also resting on the beach of Grenen. We saw a Harbor Seal together with two Seal pups at close range. It was a very nice moment and soon I wasn´t the only person taking pictures of the pups. I´m every time again surprised, that you can observe so many animals at close range here at Grenen. Besides much new knowledge and memories, I´ll take a lot of picture back home.
Pic. 1: Seal pup
During the day local birders found a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Lille Flagspætte) at Ellekrattet. It would be great, if it will fly into our nets the next days. Although it was too windy to catch birds in the morning, the day didn´t ended without a ringed bird. After dinner and evening meeting Molly, Lisa and I went out for night catching. It didn´t take us long to catch a bird. It was a Lesser black-backed Gull (Sildemåge). It was quite easy to catch the Gull but during the ringing measurements the big bill of the Gull tried to bite everyone around him.
Pic. 2: ringing the Gull
Birds we ringed: 1 Lesser black-backed Gull (Sildemåge)
People: Simon S. Christiansen, Knud Pedersen, Molly Brown, Lisa Vergin and Daniel Bloche
The Gnocchi Experiment
Today, the morning started rainy and windy, so we didn`t go out ringing. Instead, we had a very nice brunch during which we were able to watch gannets, which were flying very close to the beach. Overall, it was pretty much an indoor day. We cleaned the flat, finished data entries and had again a very good moult session with Simon. He also told us a lot about skull ossification which we`re hopefully able to make use of during the next ringing mornings.
In the evening I tried to make gnocchi by myself (I really can`t believe that you`re not able to buy them here in town). Normally, gnocchis are a quick meal, but these were such a kind of work! I think all in all, it took me about two hours to made them and in the end they were just okay. However, they were all eaten, so at least they weren`t too bad. :-P
After the evening meeting, Daniel and Molly went out for night catching but they weren`t successful, again. Maybe we`ll be more lucky during the next nights.
People: Simon S. Christiansen, Daniel Bloche, Molly Brown and Lisa Vergin
The Viking Game
We started off the morning opening the nets at 0630 at Grenen accompanied by the lovely Lars, the first couple of rounds we caught surprising numbers of birds, in particular Blue Tits (Blåmejse). It appears that most observatories have also experienced this in Scandinavia and there’s currently quite a large fall of them. We also had 5 Wrens (Gædesmutte) in the first round- great extraction practice for Lisa and Daniel! Jørgen and Igor also joined in the morning however both Lars and Jørgen had left when we caught the Great Spotted Woodpecker, always a nice but painful bird to catch!
After shutting the nets at 12:45 we met Jørgen at Grenen carpark and went on a search for a Glaucous Gull (Gråmåge)- a bird that usually makes an appearance every winter here in Skagen but something Daniel, Lisa and I haven’t seen. However, we were unsuccessful although we did get to see how big the harbour is here in Skagen- I never realised!
When we arrived back at the Station hungry and tired we came across Fleming above the ringing lab with a Treecreeper (Traeløber) that had flown in through the door, we caught and rung it successfully! Then we did a quick blitz clean of the apartment for the Real Dania who own the buildings here and came to look round the station. After their visit we all went and slept, recently I’ve got into the bad habit of sleeping through the alarm. So I was woken at 1700 by Simon telling me to get changed we’re going swimming. So I very grumpily joined everyone for a quick dip in the Baltic Sea- it was absolutely freezing and woke me up very quickly!!! We also attempted to catch a pink footed goose that landed surprisingly close to us when we were swimming, although we didn't succeed!
I was then introduced to the Viking Game- Kubb, which we learned quickly Simon is very good at! It seems to be a running theme here that the only games we play Simon is always skilled at!
There was a book signing in the evening for Jocob Hyttel releasing De Brændemærkede and we met Oluf Lou who bought us beer as a thank you for catching the Red Flanked Blue Tail and is a fellow ringer!
We then finished off the evening with a delicious meal cooked by Daniel and Shuffle ball- surprise surprise Simon won!
People: Lars Mortensen, Jørgen Kabel (and Igor), Daniel Bloche, Lisa Vergin, Simon S. Christiansen, Molly Brown and Oluf Lou
Birds caught: 1 Redwing (Vindrossel), 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker (Stor Flagspaette), 1 Blackbird (Solsort), 1 Song Thrush (Sangdrossel), 4 Great Tits (Musvit), 1 Yellow Hammer (Gulspurv), 2 Dunnocks (Jernspurv), 25 Blue Tits (Blåmejse), 5 Robins (Rødhals), 4 Goldcrests (Fuglekonge), 5 Wrens (Gædesmutte), 1 Coal Tit (Sortmejse), 3 Blackcaps (Munk), 1 Reed Bunting (Rørspurv), 6 Chiffchaffs (Gransanger) and 1 Treecreeper (Traeløver).
beautiful blue bird
Molly and I went out early this morning to open the nets at Grenen again, it was absolutely worth it. We had ringed 40 birds including a beautiful Bluetail (Blåstjert). This was only the second bird caught at Skagen. We were all surprised and excited in the moment Molly said, that “this bird has a blue tail”. It was just amazing to catch this Bluetail and funny that after a few minutes 15 local birders appeared to take photos of the bird with the impressive blue tail. The bird we caught most often this day is also blue, but much more common. It was the Blue Tit (Blåmejse). Additionally to these birds we caught some birds announcing the autumn, like a Redwing (Vindrossel) and two Bramblings (Kvækerfinke). In the noon I went out to dip quickly into the blue ocean to celebrate the catch of the Bluetail. Due to the blue sky and the warm sunshine, it was possible to resist the cold water from the Kattegat.
After the amazing Migration of Great Skuas (Storkjove) the day before, Lisa had a great observation together with Knud, again. They found a White billed Diver (Hvidnæbbet Lom) and a Manx Shearwater (Almindelig Skråpe). Moreover the great number of passing and resting Scoters () was very impressive. In the afternoon I counted just in two hours more than 2000 of these ducks.
Birds we ringed: 3 Blackcap (Munk), 8 Blue Tit (Blåmejse), 2 Brambling (Kvækerfinke), 1 Reed Bunting (Rørspurv), 1 Chaffinch (Bogfinke), 1 Redwing (Vindrossel), 1 Songthrush (Sangdrossel), 2 Robin (Rødhals), 1 Wren (Gærdesmutte), 7 Redpoll (Gråsisken), 1 Dunnock (Jernspurv), 1 Bluetail (Blåstjert), 5 Coal Tit (Sortmejse), 1 Goldcrest (Fuglekonge), 1 Chiffchaff (Gransanger)
People: Simon S. Christansen, Knud Pedersen, Molly Brown, Lisa Vergin and Daniel Bloche
New Record Number of Great Skuas in Denmark
As the storm “Knud” calmed down, we went to the person Knud for observations this morning. There were a lot of Great Skuas (Storkjove). It was quite amazing how fast Knud recognized them from such a far distance (but the close ones we recognized, too :-P ). In the two hours we spent observing, we saw 120, but the local birders around counted from 6:47 till 18:46 528 Great Skuas, migrating out of the Kattegat. That`s a new record for Denmark, the last record from 2002 counted “just” 230!
But another highlight and life bird for Daniel, Molly and me was a Merlin (Dværgfalk) flying and hunting waders on the beach.
In the early afternoon, we went to Frederikshavn to visit the boat on which Simon`s mother was traveling. Then we went to the town and visited some places there (and watched birds of course).
After that, we visited the ice hockey game Frederikshaven vs. Aalborg, which the home team won. That was such a great experience! On our way home, we stopped by at Jerup Strand, where we saw pink footed geese (Kortnæbbet gås) and found a lot of nice seashells.
People: Simon S. Christiansen, Knud Pedersen, Molly Brown, Daniel Bloche and Lisa Vergin
Today’s been pretty quiet, the wind still howls, and the rain continues in patches so again we’ve been mostly restricted to indoors. Although this morning with the hope of some interesting migrating bird species we ventured out (wrapped in all the clothes we own!) and joined Knud, however the trip wasn’t particularly successful with the highlights being Arctic and Great Skuas (Almindelig Kjoves and Storkjoves), Ringed Plovers (Stor Præstekraves), Velvet Scoters (Fløjsands) and a Little Gull (Dværgmåge).
This weather means that the ringing lab is now spotless after a thorough clean from Daniel and me. We also took a trip into Skagen and we went to every super market on the hunt for gnocchi for Lisa’s cooking tonight, but we couldn’t find it anywhere!!! So next time I think we will try to make some! The meal was still delicious though!
After having a few too many unsuccessful trips to catch waders we decided to sleep instead tonight particularly with the defeat of last night still on our minds (human vs nature)!
Man vs. Nature
This morning I went out at Grenen observing seabirds together with Knud. We had a successful observation with a number of different migrating and resting birds. Since we had seen two Caspian Gulls (Kaspisk Måge), I have another new bird species during the stay here in Skagen. Furthermore it was impressive to watch an Arctic Skua (Almindelig Kjove) heisting the fish of a Common Tern (Fjordterne). It is so mean but yet spectacular to observe. During the observation and the rest of the day the wind was getting stronger and the storm “Knud” was making its presence felt.
Besides the seawatching we finished this day some indoor tasks, like the report for the rarity committee, due to the catch of the Arctic Warbler (Nordsanger) and the observation of a Stone-curlew (Triel) at Råbjerg Mile. Moreover the Bird Observatory got visited by students from Aalborg, having a project on ringing data. Sadly Sasha left us at noon together with Gunnar.
The storm was predicted to get strongest at midnight. Together with the rain that could be perfect conditions for a night catch of waders. That’s why Molly, Lisa, Simon and I went out as soon as it got dark. It was a fight between human and nature. It is pretty sure that nature had won this fight by far. Thanks to the chest waders we got two times pretty close to an Oystercatcher (Strandskade), but the catch never succeed. The way back was worst, because we had to walk against the storm. The sand was hurting our face and due to the strong wind it was very hard to make a steps forward. Although we had no success it was actually fun.
Pic.: motivated catching crew.
People: Simon S. Christiansen, Gunnar Simonsen, Knud Pedersen, Molly Brown, Sasha Munters, Lisa Vergin and Daniel Bloche