Her på Skagen Fuglestations blog bringes korte nyheder i dagbogsformat om hændelser på fuglestationen.
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Is autumn here?
July ended with strong winds and huge waves somehow announcing the beginning of autumn. Under these conditions, night catching of waders, has been one of the few possible activities and very little we could do during he day. Luckily in a way, because it is Wednesday a.k.a. cleaning day. So, as soon as we got up, and with no rush, we all picked a room and started the sterilization of our crib.
While checking some ringing data with Simon, we realized something amazing. On the 17th of July 2013, a young (1k) Reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) was caught and ringed in the station. It was impossible to sex it back then, because it was still a juvenile. Six years later the same bird is caught again in Skagen. The beautiful male adult is possibly the record in terms of age for Denmark as he is +6 years old.
Later in the day, when the weather calmed a bit, Anders and I, decided to go out for observations. Fortunatly, this time we remembered to take with us some rings and tools for ringing waders. We took the usual path to the sea. When we got there, it was very windy, so we could see some ringed plovers (Charadrius hiaticula) hiding from the strong wind behind low dunes. We put up our scopes a started the search for a juvenile. It did not take very long to spot one. Anders ran after it as fast as he could to catch it. It wasn’t easy at all… Finally, he caught the little, extremely adorable juvenile ringed plover. It took no more than a couple of minutes to ring it, take some measurements and released it. It ran back to the dunes safely. It was very exciting! We continued our walk on the beach and saw some Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) , Oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus) , an Arctic skua (Stercorarius parasiticus), some gulls and terns. On our way back we had to stop at Grenen sø, which had some water after the rain. There we saw some Wood sandpipers (Tringa glareola), Common snipes (Gallinago gallinago) and a Ruff (Calidris pugnax) . It was a nice ending of the day, especially now that it is clear that migration is getting more and more intense.
On the other hand, Martin, has challenged himself to swim every single day. So, despite the crazy weather, crazy Martin went for is daily swim! The waves were big, and the jellyfish were having a party. Luckily, he didn’t get stung, in contrary he had a blast! :)
People: Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y. Georgiev, Christina Ninou and Anders Odd Wulff Nielsen.
Norsk visit og tegn på efterårets komme
Dagen startede tidligt i ringmærkningsområdet på Grenen til overskyet og stille vejr. Myggene gjorde som sædvanligt ingen undtagelse, og var mødt talstærkt og sultne op!
Det blev en udmærket morgen ved nettene hvor en ung sivsanger mindede os om, at trækket hos flere af småfuglene er begyndt. En kaldende skovsanger blev efterårets første på Grenen og i Skagen. Alt imens vi var optagede af ringmærkningen meldte Rolf om seks grindehvaler set fra Verdens Ende. Desværre kunne vi ikke nå at twitche dem men det lykkedes Anders Wiig Nielsen og Ib Jensen, at se dem svømme forbi Nordstrand og Højen lidt senere på morgenen. Før vi lukkede nettene gik to små gråsiskener i nettet og minsandten om ikke den ene bar en norsk ring! Det skal blive spændende at få svar på hvor og hvornår den er ringmærket.
Om formiddagen var Simon og Lene travlt beskæftigede med at vise borgmesteren og en række ansatte fra kommunen rundt på trækfuglecentret.
Kl. 13.00 holdte Christina, Martin og jeg "åben gryser" hvor i alt 15 besøgende fra henholdsvis Tyskland, Holland, Norge Danmark lagde vejen forbi. Den nyeste tilføjelse til fuglestationens fryser er en ung gøg, som Martin fandt under et vindue forleden dag i byen.
Da det om eftermiddagen var blæst meget op gik Christina og jeg ned for at havobse. Der var ikke meget at se ud over nogle få rider og en del større måger men lyset var meget flot og dynamisk.
Adult ride passerer Skagen Fyr over et oprørt Kattegat.
Ringmærkning på Grenen:
Lille gråsisken 1
Folk: Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y. Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Anders Odd Wulff Nielsen, Erik Christophersen, Karen Klein, Peter Jensen, Mathilda Jensen og Oscar Jensen.
Tales of a lion's mane
As Christina mentioned our day techincally started with our night catching session lasted until around 3am! Despite not catching anything it was good practice for setting up nets in the night. Especially with the constantly moving tides and wet sand, furthermore nothing bonds people more than spending a cold windy night outside. The next day started late after some well deserved sleep. Shortly after our second video of the series "Meet the (insert locally breeding bird here)'': the house martin (Delichon urbicum), feel free to check it out here https://www.facebook.com/Skagenfuglestation/videos/2475119985867126/ :)
After that upon thorough inspection of our fridge we noticed we were running painfully low on supplies and Simon kindly offered to take us shopping with his car so we didn't have to cycle everything back (ice cream tends to not survive the trip for one reason or another :D).
With expectations for strong winds and rain in the coming days we decided to make the most of the weather with a few rounds of beach volleyball. We were joined by one of Simon's childhood friends - Marvin - who visited us for the day. The game was tense and filled with outstanding sportsmanship and the contest was close and every set ended on a cliff hanger.
After three sets it was already dusk and we were more than ready for a swim. The water was cool but not cold, and there was not a wave to be seen until the horizon, simply stunningc conditions for a swim. It honestly felt like an endless swimming pool which I ended up having all to myself for about half an hour. Just as I was heading back to shore I realised I was not on my own in this endless pool as I bumped into a jellyfish. In the waters around Skagen the two most common species are the stinging lion's mane (Cyanea capillata) and the harmless common jellyfish (Aurelia aurita). For my disappointment I happened to cross paths with a lion's mane. It was not the most pleasant experience out there however the swim was definitely worth it. After a vinegar shower I was right as rain. After a check of the equipment required for tomorrow's ringing session at Ellekrattet we called it a night
People: Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y. Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Anders Odd Wulff Nielsen, Marvin.
Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Kirsten this morning, were she left quite early. It was pleasant to have her around, she is an amazing person very enthusiastic and fun to be with! She liked it so much that she already has programmed her next visit to Skagen!!
Besides that, the day was going considerably slow and the weather had its ups and downs, so because it was windy and rainy, we decided that we will go for tern- catching, at night. Anders and Simon watched the movie of the Life project of Skagen Odde were you can also watch on YouTube in this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tc_moMZABU. Martin and me, were finishing some things indoors that had to be done.
In early afternoon we welcomed our new neighbors, who will be joining us from tomorrow, ,since they were still dazed from their trip up to Skagen.
Late in the evening we prepared the nets, the rings all the tools and the megaphones and went to the tip of Grenen, Skagen to put everything up. With a lot of patience and enthusiasm we sat there for about 5 hours waiting for the storm petrels (Lille stormsvale) or the sandwich terns (Spltterner) to respond. With us were also, Anders and Ib. At 2:30 we decided to close the nets unfortunately without any birds… But we are going to try again and hope that next time will have more luck.
People: Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y. Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Kirsten, Anders Odd Wulff Nielsen, Ib Jensen.
Many birds, summer vibes and a barbeque
An 03:30 alarm marked the start of our day. After a quick breakfast we were on our way to the Constant Effort Site at Jennes Sø. With the high temperatures the previous day we did not expect to have many birds and the few hours after dawn held our hopes for an interesting session. Contrary to our expectations by the time we closed the nets at 10:30 we had ringed over 25 birds! The majority of the birds were juveniles and tighlights for the morning were a couple of first year crested tit (Topmejse) and a flock of blue tits (Blåmejse) which put our extractions skills to the test.
Considering the day's high temperatures and a weather forecast with a high chance of thunderstorm tomorrow we decided to take the opportunity and have a barbeque. I was given the task of gathering all the resources required for the feast so I head off to town. After picking up a new inner tube for one of our bikes (which need some work every couple of days at this point) I found myself infront of Slagter Jensen. I have to admit this was the first time I have ever had to wait in line in a butcher shop, and oh my was there a line. It is my strongest belief that there were at least 23 people in front of me. This however gave me ther opportunity to explore the tiny shop a bit and make a friend in the queue who offered to help me out in case I encountered a lingual barrier due to my Danish language skills rivaling those of a turnip. Once it was my turn to order I was served by a lovely lady who spoke perfect English (a typical Dane in other words). In order to fufil my quest of obtaining 12 sausages I kindly asked her to pick whatever she would include in her own barbeque. A few laughs and a minute later I was equipped with 12 sausages, 15 beers, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and sunsine - everything required for a good meal and good times on the beach.
Upon returning to the station I was struck by an overwheling desire to embrace my pillow. I decided to fight it with a nice cup of tea and some music. I thought I might as well entertain the tourists so I grabbed the station's guitar (kindly donated by Simon's sister) and headed for the courtyard. I ended up playing most of my favourite songs and was joined by a friendly German family. The grandfather seemed particularly fond of my vibes and ended up sitting next to me for an hour, bless his heart :) After they departed I countinued jamming away and was aproached by a guy who asked me something, after we established my turnip language skills he asked me to play a couple of songs at their table. This struck me as quite a surprise since I had never been asked to play a 'private gig' before. I made my way over to their table and was happy to see that all the nearby tables were full, a good way to practice getting over my stage fright. An hour later the show was over and the crowd seemed pleased (or at least happy that I was leaving). Flemming dropped by to thank me for the music which was all the recognition I needed :) I promised to do it again on a nice sunny day.
The time to prepare for the barbeque was upon us and Andreas made quick work of the preparations. In the meanwhile I was introduced to Christina's guitar skills which up to this point had remained hidden from all of us. A quick jam session and we were already enjoying the amazing food. It also happened to be the last day of Kirsten's stay with us which made the occasion even more special. She even had a departure gift prepared for us - a much needed pepper grinder!
After our fine meal Simon and Andreas were off to do a toad tour with 9 visitors. It involved a walk in the areas around the station looking for our local anuran fauna. After a long day we were all ready for bed in anticipation of the next day!
Gransanger - 7
Blåmejse - 6
Rødhals - 1
Gærdesanger - 4
Topmejse - 2
Tornsanger - 5
Bogfinke - 1
People: Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y. Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Kirsten, Anders Odd Wulff Nielsen.
Birds, sea mammals, moths!
During our observations this morning, along with Henrick and Rolf, besides the beautiful birds such as Black guillemots (Cepphus grylle), Rosefinches (Carpodacus roseus) and the two Surf scoters (Melanitta perspicillata) that are still around, we saw a grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) and a harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) as well as a harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)!! For me it was the first time and it was a great observation! I really had a good look of that grey seals big head while it was enjoying the sun in the calm waters of the sea.
When we came back to the observatory, we went straight to our moth trap to see what we had caught during the night. There we found many different beautiful species, but the highlight was the Lille vincværmer (Deilephila porcellus) with its cool pink patches.
We are all here very excited with how much Kirsten is fascinated by the whole ringing procedure. She started reading a book about it, ''Bird - ringing'' (1953) of Lockley & Russell and she is looking forward to learning more. She told us, that when she goes back to Copenhagen, she will try to participate in ringing sessions and get more experience :) .
In the evening, we had to prepare the CES site for the next day of ringing. So, we all went there with Kirsten and put up the additional nets and cut grass of the net lines.
The day ended with some more observations near by at the dunes with the beautiful sunset adding all these colors to the scene. It was a very relaxing moment, while observing the Gannets diving and flying around.
People: Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y. Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Anders Odd Wulff Nielsen, Kirsten, Rolf Christensen, Henrik Wienberg Kristensen
Pirol på obsen og ringmærkning af bysvaleunger
Imens Simon, Martin og jeg sov længe drog Christina på morgenobs på Verdens Ende sammen med Rolf og Henrik W. Kristensen. Morgenens bedste fugl blev en grøn pirol, som gjorde trækforsøg samt de to brilleænder som fortsat er på plads i henholdsvis Skagerrak og Kattegat.
Formiddagens guidede ringmærkningstur så ikke ud til at blive til noget, men heldigvis lykkedes det Kirsten at skaffe to deltagere i sidste øjeblik. Selvom vi ikke havde held med at fange nogen fugle blev det til en fin tur alligevel med to tilfredse deltagere. Efter turen besluttede vi at prøve at ringmærke ungerne fra fyrets ynglende bysvaler. Med lidt hjælp fra Flemming fik vi fat i en lang stige, så vi kunne tjekke de tre reder. Vi ringmærkede i alt syv fede svaleunger fordelt på to kuld. I den sidste rede var redehullet for småt til at vi kunne få fat i ungerne.
Om eftermiddagen fik Martin og Christina handlet ind og fixet gearene på to af vores cykler, som igen er "fit for fight". Jeg gik selv en tur på Grenen hvor 20 1k tårnfalke og et par storkjover blev det bedste. Dagen sluttede med et lækkert aftensmåltid lavet af Kirsten.
Folk: Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y. Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Anders Odd Wulff Nielsen, Kirsten, Rolf Christensen, Henrik Wienberg Kristensen og Flemming.
A great tour and a shiny station
The day started with a moderately busy ringing session at Grenen with 20 birds most of which were juveniles with the first new reed warblers for the summer season, expecting many more next time! It was also an eventful morning for Kirsten who held her first bird today, a truly unforgetable experience!
In the meanwhie Simon was sorting out the details for our new project with sandwich terns - stay tuned for updates.
Next stop was our weekly ringing tour which involved 11 visitors. Andreas and Christina made sure to go through the all the steps involved in ringing in order to provide our visitors a clear picture of our duties and activities. A treat in the tour was a freshly shed skin belonging to a Eurasian adder, a gentle reminder that there are quite a frew in the area.
Having said that the majority of our day was spent cleaning and tidying up our living quarters, birdirs club and laboratory. In addition to Wednesday being our weekly cleaning day this time we went the extra mile to make sure all is in order for the upcoming busy weeks. Not the most exciting activity, however higly rewarding. I always feel like a clean environment promotes creativity and boosts productivity.
Gulbug - Icterine warbler - 1
Gransanger - Reed warbler - 4
Gærsanger - Lesser whitethroat - 1
Rørsanger - Marsh warbler - 3
Ice Ice Raptors
The day did not start with the usual ringing session due to bad weather conditions i.e. it was incredibly windy. Instead we went on a birdwatching walk near Jennes sø where we saw a marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus), a honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) and various common, locally breeding Passerines.
On our way back from the beach we found a pair of ringed plovers (Charadrius hiaticula) (that weren't ringed) with a chick that hadn't fledged so we will try and ring it in the coming days.
Upon arrival in the observatory we had an open freezer day and invited everyone in the courtyard to see the wonders inside: Cool birds such as Common buzzard (musvåge), Eider (ederfugl), Common scoter (sortand) Robin (rødhals) Goldcrest (fuglekonge), Tawny Owl (Natugle) and a lot more appeared to the people who came to watch! And we even got a new bird - a cool coockoo (gøg) that Martin found dead in town after crashing in to a window!
We were also joined by Anders Wiig Nielsen who willl be with us for tomorrow's ringing and observation sessions.
In the afternoon we did another observation this time with Kirsten session with the usual suspects such as great skuas, gannets, migrationg sanderlings and feeding plovers.
In the evening we called it an early night in preparation for a ringing session in the morning.
Folk: Joakim Matthiesen, Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Anders Odd Wulff Nielsen, Kirsten, Anders Wiig Nielsen.
Sjældne korsnæb og et nyt spil
For Martin, Christina og jeg startede dagen tidligt hos Rolf på Verdens Ende hvor højdepunkterne var fire mallemukker, et par storkjover og en hvidvinget korsnæb. Senere på morgenen rykkede vi alle tre ud i den yderste klitrække for at gøre Knud selskab. Trækket forblev dog sløvt selvom nogle få rider og lidt fjord- og havterner holdte os beskæftiget. Efter et par timers trækobs gik vi ud på Nordstrand hvor den ene af de to brilleand hanner sås rigtig fint mellem cirka 800 sort- og fløjlsænder. Vi fik også aflæst nogle farveringmærkede svartbage og tjekket en mindre flok splitterner for ringe. Erik mødte os på Nordstrand og kunne vise billeder af to juvenile stor korsnæb, som tidligere på morgenen havde gjort trækforsøg og rastet i kort tid på Verdens Ende. Om efteråret når de første store korsnæb som regel først Danmark i september, hvorfor de to ungfugle formentlig er klækket et sted på Skagen Odde.
Eftermiddagen gik med at lappe den ene af vores cykler og at købe ind til de næste par dage. Senere forkælede Kirsten os med lækker aftensmad og efterfølgende introducerede Simon os til det lidt skøre spil "The telegraph" a.k.a. "Kent Elvis". Jeg er sikker på at vi nok få spillet det igen i løbet af efteråret.
Folk: Joakim Matthiesen, Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Anders Odd Wulff Nielsen, Knud Pedersen, Rolf Christensen, Erik Christophersen og Kirsten.