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Goodbye to Joakim

søndag 21. juli 2019
af Martin Georgiev

The day started with our main activity apart from ringing at this time of year, observations. Again we had the usual sightings a great skua (Stercorarius skua) and a red throated loon (Gavia stellata), however the highlight was a small fishing vessel which had attracted over 200 gulls and at least 3 great skua. The sight was epic and the feeding frenzy was of immense proportion.

At lucnh time we had to say goodbye to our dear friend and expert birder Joakim who returned to civilization after four productive, unforgetable, fun-filled months. Thank you for teaching us how to find our ways in the endless labyrinths that we call our ringing sites at Grenen and all the awesome dishes you cooked using your vast knowledge in the field of gastronomy. Never stop clowning!


Since we were already in the mood for goodbyes we also said farewell to Irene and Hugh after their week-long stay with us. We hope you enjoyed learning new things and geting a hands-on experience at the station. You managed to get involved in quite a few of our activities including several ringing sessions, both at Grenen and our CES site and the help with all the twigs and sticks in our nets will never be forgotten. You also managed to take a glimpse into the mysterious & wonderous life of the european nightjar which is truly a treat. Take care and hope to see you again at Skagen bird observatory.

Throughout the day I managed to dedicate some time to researching the available literature on the costs of migration for Passerines drawing inspiration for my own undergraduta project. This was followed by another observation session at the tip of Grenen.Around lunchtime we greeted our new visitor Kirsten who will be joining our team for a week, she picked a good day to arrive since great weather is expected from Tuesday onward, welcome!In the evening after a lovely dinner and a productive meeting (usually sundays tend to be the most fun ones) we called it an early night in preparation for tomorrow¨s observation session.

People: Joakim Matthiesen, Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Anders Odd Nielsen, Hugh Mayo, Irene Mayo and Kirsten.


Migration and toads

lørdag 20. juli 2019

The day started at 4:00, were Anders and I went to Grenen to observe migration. We saw some waders as well as the surf scoters and again a great skua! In the meantime, Joakim's family is here for the weekend, so he opened the nets in the garden at 7:00 am. He took them on a guided tour around the nets and they had 4 birds, including a tree pipit! After that, he took them to town where they walked around. Martin stayed home to clean the telescopes and binoculars, (which after all these days are full of sand) and then went out and talked to some tourists and then came for birdwatching with Anders and me. Irene and Hue did a cultural trip, around Skagen visiting the museum and galleries. 

Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Kim and the kids, but they ensured us that they had a great time which made us happy!In the evening, Simon arrived from Lund University, Sweden and mentioned how nice the facilities and staff were and recommended it to us for studying biology there.

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At night, Simon and Anders, took a family of four and one more person to a night tour around the lighthouse, where they talked about the animals that you can see at night and the methods that are used to capture them. Then the did a round and found many nice toads. In the meanwhile, Joakim, Lea and me, went on a night-catching walk to find waders, on the beach but unfortunately, we were not able to catch anything.

Ringing (Fyrhaven):

Tornsanger - Whitethroat    1

Musvit - Great tit     2

Skovpiber - Tree pipit     1
Total: 4
People: Joakim Matthiesen, Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Anders Odd Nielsen, Kim Haselmann, Benjamin Haselmann, Andreas Haselmann, Hugh Mayo and Irene Mayo.


First signs of migration

fredag 19. juli 2019
af Martin Georgiev

The day started at 04:00am when our eager team of birdwatchers set off to Grenen in order to observe migration. Notable sights were a great skua (Stercorarius skua), Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus), rosefinches (Carpodacus) and a red throated loon (Gavia stellata). In addition many coloured rings were red off the feet of various gulls with one of them having a ring from the United Kingdom.

In the afternoon Christina and I set off to our ringing site at Grenen in order to do some much needed arboreal work. We cleared the overwhelming vegetation under and around the nets and then focused on making the paths connecting the nets more accessible. Hopefully our work will make our ringing sessions more productive and enjoyable, stay tuned for an update in the coming days!

In the evening Anders treated us to a lovely chili for dinner which replenished our depleted energy reserves and left us looking forward to what tomorrow has to offer :)

People: Joakim Matthiesen, Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Anders Odd Nielsen, Kim Haselmann, Benjamin Haselmann, Andreas Haselmann, Hugh Mayo and Irene Mayo.

Produktiv ringmærkning og to lokale sjældenheder

torsdag 18. juli 2019
af Anders Odd Wulff Nielsen

Dagen startede tidligt med CES-ringmærkning ved Jennes Sø til perfekte vejrforhold - ingen vind og overskyet. Modsat de sidste par CES-runder var denne runde ret produktiv. Mange ungfugle er nu fløjet fra deres reder og det kunne mærkes på fangsten. Samtidig med CES-mærkningen ringmærkede vi et kuld musvitter fra en af områdets redekasser. Både Michael Ancher og Rita samt Hugh og familien var forbi ringmærkningsområdet i løbet af morgenen.

Senere på dagen begav Joakim, Christina og jeg os ud på Grenen for at tjekke Melanitta-flokkene for sjældenheder. Det lykkedes os at finde den ene af de to brilleand hanner, mens den amerikanske sortand udeblev for denne omgang. Noget uventet blev højdepunktet to adulte rovterner, som pludseligt fløj gennem mit skopfelt imens vi skannede de mange ænder! Lidt senere var vi desuden heldige at få øje på et par store præstekraver med deres unge, som vi senere tog ud og ringmærkede.

Efter endt aftensmad satte Joakim og jeg os ud i klitterne ved stationen for at observere ud over Kattegat. En del måger fulgte et par fiskekuttere ind mod havnen og sammen med dem fouragerede 2-3 mallemukker. Efter en halv times tid får jeg øje på en mindre måge, som efter et par minutters obs kan bestemmes til en 2k sorthovedet måge! Det er blot den anden observation fra Skagen i 2019 og det var tilmed ny art for Joakim. Så alt i alt en rigtig fin afslutning på en dejlig dag.

Ringing  (Jennes Sø):

Stor præstekrave 1 pullus

Rødhals - 2

Rørsanger - 1

Gærdesanger - 3

Tornsanger - 7

Løvsanger - 1

Topmejse - 1

Rørspurv - 3

Total: 18

People: Joakim Matthiesen, Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Anders Odd Nielsen, Kim Haselmann, Benjamin Haselmann, Andreas Haselmann, Hugh Mayo and Irene Mayo.


Ringmærkning og rengøring

onsdag 17. juli 2019
af Joakim Matthiesen

Anders er lige kommet på stationen, hvilket vi er meget glade for. Derefor var i dag hans første dag med i ringmærkningen. Christina og jeg åbnede nettene i Sardinkrattet kl 04:30. Imens gik Anders og Martin ud på spidsen for at se om der skulle være nogle rastende terner med ring. Det var der ikke, men de fik aflæst et par måger og sluttede sig derefter til ringmærkningen.

Ringmærkningen gik fint i dag og der var et pænt antal fugle. Meget forventeligt var morgenen præget af 1k fugle. Gennem morgenen nåede vi at fange hele familien rørspurv bestående af en mor far og unge. Heruover kan nævnes arter som tornsanger og gulbug. 


Da nettene var lukkede gik vi hjem og nettene i haven blev åbnet. Der var nemlig guidet tur kl 11. Vi havde 4 normænd med rundt på tur igen. Det lykkedes at fange to fugle på turen, så det var rigtigt fint.

Da det jo er onsdag stod de selvfølgelig også på rengøring i dag, så det blev eftermiddagen brugt på. Før vi kunne spise aftensmad var vi også ude ved Jennøs sø og gøre klar til CES-ringmærkningen i morgen. Det bliver spændene at se, hvilke fugle vi kan fange i morgen.

Ringmærkning (Jennes Sø)

Kærsanger - 1

Rørsanger - 1

Gulbug - 3

Gærdesanger - 1

Tornsanger - 9 

Havesanger - 1

Rørspurv - 2

Total: 18

Her ses far rørspurv fra ringmærkningen i dag

Folk: Joakim Matthiesen, Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Anders Odd Nielsen, Kim Haselmann, Benjamin Haselmann, Andreas Haselmann, Hugh Mayo and Irene Mayo.


Shrikes, pine cones and a warm welcome

tirsdag 16. juli 2019
af Martin Georgiev

Our day techniclly started with a well deserved rest after a long night of nightjar monitoring volume II. We are happy to report that on this visit we recorded 14 pairs of nightjars. It would seem they were not majorly disturbed by the concert taking part in the nature reserve Monday evening. Looking forward to doing the count again next year and hopefully find even greater numbers!

To celebrate our successful nightjar session Simon decided to treat Christina, Joakim and myself to an awesome trip to Tornby Klitpantage hoping to see the Woodchat shrike (Lanius senator) visiting us from the South! Christina (the local authority on members of the Laniidae family) spotted the notorious butcher bird within minutes of our arrival and we had some splendid views (hold on to your hats for some nice pics in the near future). Another treat was the cirl bunting (Emberiza cirlus) which appartenly was still residing in the area and decided to sing the song of it's people for a fair amount of time within 20 meters of our location.

The road trip of epicness countinued to increase in scale when Simon decided to stop at Tversted søerne on our way back. I will be honest I did not expect a full blown coniferous forest within 50 meters of Skagerrak! There we heard and saw several crossbills of various species alongisde the usual forest suspects. The place also looked ideal for camping and made it on my own personal bucket list.


The final treat for the day was the arrival of Anders our new star ringer who will be filling eager and curious minds with endless knowledge about non-avian dinosaurs.

People: Joakim Matthiesen, Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Anders Odd Nielsen, Kim Haselmann, Benjamin Haselmann, Andreas Haselmann, Hugh Mayo and Irene Mayo.

Tour around Skagen

mandag 15. juli 2019
af Christina Ninou

The day started calmly in our living room, drinking our coffee and tea and finishing up our video about the Whitethroat. You can check out the video in the following link: https://www.facebook.com/Skagenfuglestation/videos/2104643632981308/?t=0

At 12:30 Lene came and picked us up (Martin, Joakim and me) to take us on a super guided tour around Old Skagen and not only. We started with an architectural tour of the amazing buildings and houses of Skagen. We also got to see the sea on both the East and the West side of the area and walked up to the hill of old Skagen and had a nice view of the sea and the town.

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The first highlight of the day was the visit to the Natural History Museum of Skagen with a superb collection of stuffed birds and mammals that have ever been seen in Denmark. The owner of the collection informed us that the exhibition we saw was only 20% of his total collection! After that, Lene took us, to her office. The interesting thing about that is, that this building used to be the house of the famous Danish painter, Krøyer. We were lucky to get to see the house from the inside. She showed us all the rooms and the beautiful little kitchen. What was also amazing though were the huge windows in one of the central rooms with a view to the garden. In the end, we visited the Skagen Museum. We learned a bit about the history of Skagen and saw some very interesting paintings of local famous painters such as Krøyer, Michael and Anna Ancher, Viggon Johansen and others. Also, there was an exhibition of some of the huge masterpieces of Krøyer, which were very impressive!

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In the meanwhile, our new visitors, Irene and Hue, had a nice day, visiting our exhibition and then going up to the lighthouse. Later in the day, we met Kim, Benjamin, and Andreas, the rest of the family that will be staying next door for the rest of the week! We are very excited to have new people around and we have already planned to do so many things with them!

After having dinner, we prepared for the Nightjar counting! So all of us together got ready and left the house at about ten in the evening. It was a long but really interesting walk and we came back at three in the morning.

People: Joakim Matthiesen, Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y Georgiev, Christina Ninou, Kim Haselmann, Benjamin Haselmann, Andreas Haselmann, Hugh Mayo and Irene Mayo.

Efteråret er på vej!

søndag 14. juli 2019
af Joakim Matthiesen

Næsten ingen vind fra morgenstunden, og solen så ud til i dag også at komme frem. Det betød selvfølgelig at nettene i Sardinkrattet på Grenen skulle åbnes. Det er snart ved at være lidt tid siden, at vi sidst var ude i ringmærkningen. Derfor havde vi forventninger om, at mange af de unge fugle ville have forladt reden sidn sidst og at det derfor var dem, som ville dominere i dag. Det viste sig hurtigt at være rigtigt. Dog fangede vi flere fugle end vi havde troet. Således blev det til 35 ny-mærkede fugle samt nogle genfangster i dag. Et rigtigt fint tal for et par timer i ringmærknignen på denne årstid.Vi fik også set de første voksne fugle i år, som var begyndt på deres sommerfældning af fjerragten. Og det kan kun betyde en ting: EFTERÅRET ER PÅ VEJ, for fuglene gør sig klar til atter, at flyve sydpå.  Det var Martin, Christina, Simon og jeg, som var ude denne morgen.


Da vi kom hjem igen var der nok at se til. Poul Hald og Martin havde en guidet Life-projekt tur i området med 15 deltagere. Turen var en stor succes i det flotte vejr og der blev fanget sommerfugle og diverese ineskter undervejs.

Imens brugte Christina og jeg nogle timer på at få styre på en masse ringmærkningsdata. Der blev indtastet data fra morgenens ringmærkning samt checket op på en masse af den data, som allerede var lagt i databasen. 

Mark og hans datter tog hjem til København og Poul Hald rejste også hjem igen i løbet af eftermiddagen. Tak for jeres besøg!

Om aftenen kom to nye gæster til lejligheden. I morgen kommer deres søn og 2 børnebørn og de skal være her hele ugen, så mere om dem senere.

Ringing (Sardinkrattet)

Blåmejse - 2

Musvit - 7

Gransanger - 4

Munk - 3

Havesanger - 1

Tornsanger - 5

Gærdesanger - 5

Gulbug - 4

Rørsanger - 3

Kærsanger - 1

Total: 35

Her ses databasen med den indtastede data fra dagens ringmærkning. Det kan være meget arbejde at få dataen tastet ind, men det er nu vigtigt!

 Folk: Mark Desholm, Joakim Matthiesen, Poul Hald Mortensen, Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y Georgiev and Christina Ninou.

Tutorship & Sportsmanship

lørdag 13. juli 2019
af Martin Georgiev

In the morning we were hoping to catch some birds in the garden in order to make our visitors' visits more exciting, however the birds had other plans, possibly due to the moderate winds.

The light trap which we had set up the previous night rewarded us with a lovely elephant hawk moth (Ryszard Szczygie?).

In the meanwhile Simon was giving a ringing tour to one of his former pupils and his family. It is always amazing to see the impact good teachers have on children and I'm saying this from experience. in my opinion the subjects are rather irrelevant, what really matters is the teacher's attitude towards his/her students and of course his/her knowledge in the area of study and last but not least the way of theaching.


To honour the marvellous weather we decided to play several games of beach volleyball. The setup took us no longer than 15 minutes which was followed by a solid 2 hours of serious sportsmanship. We did consider placing the net in the garden however in the end nothing beats sand between your toes. Joakim and moreso Christina were kindly advised to dedicate more time to their choice of clothing for the next game. They both sensibly agreed.

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The evening was dominated by preparation for an early morning of ringing at grennen the following day.

The last treat was a visit by Poul - a very knowledgeable biologist and member of The Board of the Observatory, who spent an evening with us. We are all really excited about his tour tomorrow which will feature all forms of life in our local 'back yard'.

Folk: Mark Desholm, Joakim Matthiesen, Poul Hald Mortensen, Martin Y Georgiev and Christina Ninou


A rare bird and a beutiful mist

fredag 12. juli 2019
af Martin Georgiev

After a well deserved rest following the rewarding nightjar session Christina and I studied moulting strategies of various passerines in the birders club using the large TV screen to better see the slight differences in moulting patterns.

In the meanwhile, captain birdwatcher (Joakim), got up at 7 am to get some ice cream from the marina and do some birdwatching which rewarded him with a cirl bunting. It's only the second time ever, that this bird have been seen here. Such a rare bird is not easy to stay away from, so offcourse Joakim had to do a twich. Luckly one of the local birders, Knud Pedersen, was very kind and offered to drive with him to se the bird. The bird was quickly found and they had some amazing views of it! The icecream afterwards wasent just icecream, it was HIT-icecream as a celebration of the rare bird!


Martin Ice cream cropped

The evening we withnessed a MISTerious natural phenomenon. An incredibly mist quickly swept the land around the lighthouse until the roofs of huts and taller hills remained. It was also incredibly lucky it all happend around dusk and as a consequence the sunset was simply breathtaking and we happened to be in the right place at the right time.

lighthouse in mist Martin G.

Folk: Mark Desholm, Joakim Matthiesen, Simon S Christiansen, Martin Y Georgiev and Christina Ninou.




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