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Canes "Trane" at Storsig

fredag 3. marts 2023
af Hanelie Sidhu

Dear Blog Reader,

This morning was quiet. The rising sun put the and the sky in shing redish colors while Yehonatan, Eric and I went to Verdens Ende 3 for morning observations.


But we had a rather quiet morning. Some Whooper Svans “Sangsvane” were migrating, and again we had several Skylarks “Sanglærke” migrating, and although soon, we will hear their siongs from every Calluna field, it is always a pleasure to listen to their calls and songs. Besides big numbers of Gulls “Måge” also Oystercatcher “Strandskade” and Ringed Plover “Stør Præstekrave were resting at the tip and we saw a flock of 20 Snowbuntings “Snespurv” resting near Verdens Ende 3, which is more than we saw the last days, which gives us hope for our next attempt to catch them with Yehonathans nets in the weekend.


Did you already see the Black-throated Divers “Sørtstrubet Lom” at Grenen? There are two resting in the area, which we could observe several times already, also today.

Johanna went for a walk this morning. At Batteriskoven, she could observe one of the two Green Woodpeckers “Grønspætte” which are at Skagen for quite some time now.

Michael was ringing at Jennes Sø today and caught a Arctic Redpoll "Hvidsisken"!

Gulspurv: 1

Hvidsisken: 1

Lille Gråsisken: 1

Nordlig Gråsisken: 16

Total: 19

After lunch, we all went to Cormorant Lake to see, if the some Cormorants “Skarv” come to the nests already. But there were just a lot of Gulls “Måge”, having a bath at Cormorant Lake. On the way back, we could observe two Cranes “Trane” at Storsig very close.

We had a big shopping list, so after Cormorant Lake, Johanna, Yehonatan and I went grocery shopping. Now, Yehonatan is cooking for us and soon, Lauren and Dante will arrive, who will stay here for the rest of the year!

Take care!


Dagens observationer kan ses her

Sum of the Raptors in the area based on observations typed into Dofbasen the same day

People:  Yehonatan ben aroia, Eric Scheuering, Hanelie Sidhu, Johanna Veentjer, Dante Shepherd and Lauren Evens

Thousands of Jackdaws!

torsdag 2. marts 2023
af Johanna Veentjer

Hi everyone!
Today Hanelie, Eric and I went for morning observations while Yehonatan was looking for Snowbuntings.


The day started with clear sky, almost no wind and a beautiful sunrise. Beside the usual migrating seabirds, we also saw thousands of Jackdaws (Allike) migrating, as well as seven Buzzards (Musvåge).
After finishing the 4th hour, we went back to the station where Jørgen would pick us up (thanks a lot to Jørgen!).  Together we drove to different places in the area while the weather was brilliant. First we made a stop at Flagbakken and saw a Red Kite (Rød Glente) there. Afterwards we headed to Råbjerg Mile. There we got to see a pair of Cranes (Trane) at the small lakes next to the giant dune.


While walking back to the parking space, Hanelie discovered these interesting tracks. We weren’t really able to tell from what kind of animal they are.


On the way back to the station, we made a short stop near Hulsig, where we saw another pair of Cranes and a Sparrowhawk (Spurvehøg).

We spend the evening entering data and Eric made a delicious meal for us.

 Today's observations of observers in the area

Sum of the Raptors in the area based on observations typed into Dofbasen the same day

People at the station: Yehonatan ben aroia, Eric Scheuering, Hanelie Sidhu, Johanna Veentjer, Jørgen Kabel and Igor

A quiet start but a fun-filled finish

onsdag 1. marts 2023
af Eric Scheuering

There was a little frost on the ground this morning as we walked to Verdens Ende 3 to start our morning observation and we knew that with the wind picking up again we would not enjoy the same calm and balmy conditions as we did yesterday when it almost felt like summer for a few minutes. With the return of some moderate wind out of the north we also noticed that the very visible migration we observed yesterday had all but stopped.

As the counting was quite slow, Yehonatan investigated two seals out at the point, one living and one dead. Two Common Ravens (Ravn) had already found the dead seal and were making breakfast out of it.

Harbor Seal pup blogA sleepy, but alive, Harbor Seal pup. (Photo: Yehonatan ben aroia)

After our observations I walked back along the tractor track to look for any new birds that might have arrived there. While I didn't see anything new I did once again find the small flock of Reed Buntings (Rørspurv) that has been there for several weeks, if not longer.

Hanelie had noticed earlier that a Eurasian Green Woodpecker (Grønspætte) had been sighted yesterday near Batteriskoven so she and Yehonatan went in search of it and also for the Common Firecrest (Rødtoppet Fuglekonge) that had been found recently at Ellekrattet. They were able to easily find the Grønspætte and I met up with them after for the continued search for Rødtoppet Fuglekonge. Although we did not find it we did hear a Eurasian Bullfinch (Dompap) calling.

Green woodpecker blogGrønspætte at Batteriskoven

While I have seen many Grønspætte and Rødtoppet Fuglekonge while living in Spain and Germany, I have not seen either species in Denmark and I know that they are both quite uncommon in the Skagen area. One of the resources I used to learn about the status and distribution of species is by looking at eBird (ebird.org). This is a great tool for finding out information on species and it also allows me to easily manage my sightings.

I am not much of a lister, at least a hardcore one, but eBird makes it so easy for me to know what species I've seen where, I can't help but keep track of things. For example, I know I've seen 88 species since I arrived in the Nordjylland region just over three weeks ago. It's also how I so easily knew I had not seen these two species in Denmark yet and that provided a little incentive for me to go and tick them even though I have seen many of them in other places over the last few years. I know there are a lot of other great resources and databases, particularly in Europe, DOFbasen being the obvious example, but it is a great resource for birders around the world and I encourage people to check it out if you've not already.

This afternoon we had a Zoom planning meeting with Simon and learned some more about the things that we will be working on in the coming days and weeks. It's amazing to learn about the diversity of projects that happen here and also impressive to think about the logistics and planning it takes to make all of these things happen. This evening Johanna has joined us, coming from Germany. She volunteered at Skagen in 2022 for a couple of weeks in September and will be here for the month of March. We're happy to have her here to help us out as things continue to get busier each day!

End-of-the-day UPDATE: I finally learned to play Wingspan! Thanks to Hanelie and Johanna for teaching me and Yehonatan how to play this very fun game.

Link to observations from today from observers in the area

Sum of the Raptors in the area based on observations typed into Dofbasen the same day

People: Yehonatan ben aroia, Eric Scheuering, Hanelie Sidhu, Johanna Veentjer

Great welcoming days back in Skagen

tirsdag 28. februar 2023
af Yehonatan ben aroia

I arrived back in Skagen on Sunday the 26th, after being here first in 2019, and what an amazing start to the season we had here at the station the last few days.


Monday morning we went to do the Fulmar survey, looking for dead birds, we didn't find any Fulmars but we came back with 1 Puffin and 1 Common gull after a really nice morning walk.dead_puffin.jpg

After we arrived back to the station, Hanelie told us someone saw Parrot crossbill (Stor Korsnæb) so we went there all together with Rie and right when we arrived we could see them quite easily resting on the top of the trees, what a cool bird!




Later that day everyone was talking about the Aurora and how it should be visible tonight, so even after the long day that we all had we decided to go out to try and see it. we left the house at around 22:00 at that time we could already see the aurora from the kitchen window, so we rushed to Kabbeltrummel Krattet to try and have a better view. by the time we arrived there the light were already kinda fainted and starting to disappear. we met there Jørgen Kabel, and looked at what left of the Aurora, then went back to sleep after a very long day


Photo: Jørgen Kabel


This morning (The 28th) we went early for sea observations together with Knud, the morning was quite slow, we really wanted to see some Shags (Topskarv) but they didn't want to show up. Later we went to try and see the Fircecrest thats hanging around Ellekrattet but with no succes.



We saw a few Goldcrest but not the Firecrest. (Fuglekonge)

Link to 26-28.2 observations-https://dofbasen.dk/search/result.php?design=table&soeg=soeg&periode=mellemdato&dato_first=26-02-2023&dato_second=28-02-2023&omraade=stor&stor=588&obstype=observationer&species=alle&sortering=dato


People: Yehonatan ben aroia, Eric Scheuering, Hanelie Sidhu, Jørgen Kabel, Knud Pedersen, Rie

Of Auks and Ice wind

lørdag 25. februar 2023
af Hanelie Sidhu

Dear Blog-Reader,

Here we are again! The weather of the last days has not been the best, so there did not happen that many exciting things, but we were around and busy still, which I won´t deprive you of:

On Thursday morning, I went out to Verdens Ende 3 for Morning Observations.


Snow Buntings "Snespurv" at Verdens Ende 3

It was a grey day and the sight wasn´t very good. The hightlights of the first hour were very few Kittiwakes “Ride” migrating South-east. In the second hour, Eric joined me. This hour, we could observe a nice Velvet Scoter “Fløjlsand”. The numbers were very low that day but in the second hour even lower! So we decided to go home then.

At noon, Lisa, Simon, and his mom Karin came for a short while. Together, we had some coffee and cake, that Karin brought. Thanks!

Simon gave us some new tasks and helped me to update my ringing license. It was just a short visit for this time, as Simon and Lisa went to Germany the same day. In the afternoon, Eric and I went to town. We checked for the Waxwings “Silkehale” but did not see them in their apple tree near LIDL. We also checked the harbour, where we just saw very little Gulls “Måge”. While I did some office work and started preparing dinner, Eric went for a short evening walk, without seeing much. Where were just the birds?

The next day, the weather looked pretty much the same, just that it started raining a bit later the day. After getting up and checking the weather, we decided not to go observing that day. My bed looked much more comfortable than the university reports I had to write, so was it wrong to choose that alternative? Eric went for a morning walk at the tractor trac and so some Stonechats “Sortstrubet Bynkefugl”, Fieldfares “Sjagger” and Reed Buntings “Rørspurv”. The last Stonechat “Sortstrubet Bynkefugl”, I had seen was in autumn, that was to long ago, so I also needed to go. A very pretty male did me the pleasure to land on top of a bush for a bit and also Fieldfares “Sjagger” and Reed Buntings “Rørspurv” were still there for me. I also checked Kabeltrommle, which looked a bit sad and empty without nets. But maybe we will put up some soon. Afterwards, I fixed the oven at the station and then it was really time for my reports. Eric sorted the recapture letters of 2022, a pre-work for the year report.

This morning was windy but sunny. I went out for observations again. At least, there were birds again, the over 300 Auks “Lomvie/Alk” I counted in the first hour were not bad. But the wind was even colder then the last days. When I went back, I met Jørgen and Igor, sitting in the sun, in front of the bunker. This place was more sheltered and after sitting and talking with Jørgen for some time, and warming my hands in Igors warm fur, I was warm again. Maybe also because our conversation ended with warm butterfly days.

In the meantime, Eric had been in town, grocery shopping and checking the harbor. He had some Starlings “Stær” in town. We did the big Skagen cleaning today. As we spent the rest of the day inside, I needed a walk in the evening. The sunset looked very nice, but the wind was still icy.


Sunset behind the lighthouse

We had already seen three resting Red-breasted Merganser “Topped Skallesluger” out of the window and when I went out, I saw some more flying south-east, as well as some Rock Pipits “Skærpiber” and a little flock of Oystercatcher “Strandskade”. Eric had started preparing dinner, a new recipe, which I think was very good.

Tomorrow, we are looking forward to welcoming the third volunteer, Yehonatan.

Observations from 23.02. to 25.02.2023 from Observers in the area

See you, 


People: Simon Christiansen, Lisa Vergin, Karin Christiansen, Jørgen Kabel and Igor, Eric Scheuering, Hanelie Sidhu 

A windy winter day

onsdag 22. februar 2023
af Hanelie Sidhu

Hi everyone,

Although the wind wasn´t blowing that loud against the lighthouse anymore, it was still windy, as we went for morning observations at Verdens Ende 3. Especially in the first hour, big flocks of Auks “Lomvie/Alk” were migrating. Also big flocks of Jackdaws “Allike” were attempting to migrate. And the flocks of migrating Eiders “Ederfugl” are becoming bigger. The highlight of the morning obs was a Ringed Plover “Stor Præstekrave”, that Eric spotted.


Herring gulls having their mornig bath

After lunch, Eric was resting a whiIe and I did a long telescope and binocular cleaning session and then went to cormorant lake. There was nothing at the lake except a few bathing Herring “Sølvmåge” and Great Black-Backed Gulls “Svartbag”, Black-Headed Gull “Hættemåge” as well as Mallards “Gråand”. Nevertheless, I stayed for a while, as I had taken two pairs of waders with me, which needed to be checked for holes. Right away, I got wet feet right with the first pair, that I tried. The second one was okay, but I decided to go back after that.


Me checking Waders for holes at Cormorant lake

At Nordstrand, there was a nice flock of Snowbuntings “Snespurv”. It is supposed to get colder the next days, maybe that means more Waxwings “Silkehale”?

See you and take care!


Dagens observationer kan ses her

People: Eric Scheuering, Hanelie Sidhu

After the storm

tirsdag 21. februar 2023
af Eric Scheuering

After several days of strong winds and rain, first from Storm Otto, and then continuing after that until yesterday, Hanelie and I decided today would be a good day to survey for Fulmar (Mallemuk) that had died and washed up on the beach. Jørgen was kind enough to be our personal taxi service and drive us to the start point of our survey at Gammel Skagen and Højen strand. On our way there, we made a quick stop at Lidl to see if the Bohemian Waxwings (Silkehale) were still around. They were and we were rewarded again with great views of the small flock of eights birds.

The sun was shining brightly today, and when we started our survey, we immediately noticed the beach was covered in white foam blown in from the sea and we wondered if this would make our search for mostly white birds more difficult. Almost immediately though we found the first dead Mallemuk and were to eventually find a total of six, four that were still in good enough condition to be collected so that they can be sent to Aarhus University for analysis of their stomach contents to determine the amount of plastic they’re ingesting.

PXL 20230221 085127131blogHanelie looking a little unsure about how we're going to find mostly white birds amongst all this sea foam!

The wind was still quite strong today, now out of the north, but we still made good progress and finished feeling successful, if it’s possible to feel success while engaging in a somewhat grim task. We found many other species that had died as well, including Kittiwake (Ride), Gannet (Sule), Greater Black-backed Gull (Svartbag), Herring Gull (Sølvmåge), Common Gull (Stormmåge), and a likely Common Eider (Ederfugl). We were accompanied throughout the day by several flocks of Snow Bunting (Snespurv), as well as a few Sanderling (Sandløber) and Rock Pipit (Skærpiber). We noticed that one Sandløber and one Skærpiber were also ringed with a metal band.

We were happy to return to the warmth of Det Grå Fyr for a late lunch and to process our results and add our finds to the collection in the freezer. Just before dusk I decided I hadn’t had quite enough time outside and took a short walk around Ellekrattet and was glad to hear Skylark (Sanglærke) and Red Crossbill (Lille Korsnæb). And now after a delicious and warming meal from Hanelie, I hope to sleep well to be ready to greet the day tomorrow morning and maybe some new birds that are now beginning to arrive every day.

PXL 20230219 150721026 blogSigns of spring are beginning to arrive, including at Ellekrattet

Link to observations from today from observers in the area

People: Hanelie Sidhu, Eric Scheuering, Jørgen Kabel

The long-desired species

mandag 20. februar 2023

Hi everyone,

this morning, we woke up very early as the wind was very loud and made a door in the yard clatter quite loud, so that I went up at five un the morning to see what was going on and if everything was okay. It was, and the early morning greeted me with rain and heavy wind so I was not unhappy to go back to my warm bed. But soon it was time to get up anyway and the rain was still blown against the windows by the wind, so that we were wondering whether to go out or not or later. I went in the end. I set in the shelter of the dune, but the visibility was not optimal so I counted not many birds, but I had quite some species. The most numerous one was still the Red-throated Diver “Rødstrubet Lom” but I was quite delighted by two early Bar-tailed Godwits “Lille Kobbersneppe”, at the tip, first there was just one, then another one came, and also the Oystercatchers got more, one in the first hour, which got company by four more in the second.


There were a few Great-crested Grebes “Toppet Lappedykker” migrating, and I was happy about a male Goldeneye “Hvinand” migraring south-east. Also a small flock of Whooper Swans “Sangsvane” was migrating, so it was actually a quite nice morning. But towards the end of the observations, I got a bit excited because Erik Christophersen had seen a small flock of Waxwings “Silkehale” in town, and that was a species that I wanted to see of quite long and was also hoping so much to see, when I was here in the beginning of January with Martina, but did not. As I was sometimes checking Dofbasn back at home and I didn´t see entries for them sine that time, I was nearly giving up hope a bit, maybe it should still not be this winter, that I would see them. But it was! After observations, I went back to the station and met Eric and together we went to town. As you might know, that can be quite a challenge with strong wind from west. But we were rewarded.


They were sitting feeding in an apple tree and calling. It turned out, that it was right in front of Eriks work so we also met him. I was very happy about this long-desired species and so was Eric, as it was long ago, that he had seen them the last time. We stayed there for quite a long time, I did not really want to go but I believe we will also see them in the next days in their apple tree. So finally we went to the harbor. Erik had also told me, that a Glaucous “Gråmage” and Iceland Gull “Hvidvinget Måge” had been seen there yesterday and we wanted to see them. I know, yesterday I ended the Blog with “don´t let yourself blow away!” but actually the wind really nearly blew me from the bike. Also Eric was fighting a lot against the wind and was finally the voice of reason and decided to check the harbor in less wind. So close to the gulls, I still wanted to try to find on or both of the Gulls and went further. I was also rewarded and saw the Glaucous Gull “Gråmage”. Then I went also back, we had kind of agreed to share the shopping, so Eric went to the supermarket when he went back and then also I. Still be bought some things twice, now we have a lot of bead and apples in store! On the way back, Eric saw a Fox “Ræv” in the middle of town.


Back at the station, I was entering the data and Eric made us delicious Shakshuka for dinner. The wind is still howling around the lighthouse but tomorrow, there should be less and we will go on the Fulmar survey.

Take care!


Dagens observationer kan ses her

People: Erik Christophersen, Eric Scheuering, Hanelie Sidhu

News from a short-distance migrant

søndag 19. februar 2023
af Hanelie Sidhu

Dear Blogreader,

Yesterday morning I arrived in Skagen again, thanks to the help of Jørgen, Simon and especially Simons mom because of some difficulties because of the storm. At the train station, I was welcomed by Jørgen and Igor, who picked me up and at the Bird Observatory by Eric. After I ordered my stuff a bit, Eric and I went to World´s end 3 in the early afternoon. There were still quite some Red-throated divers “Rødstrubet Lom” and Auks “Alkefugle” migrating during this afternoon. At the tip, we saw a suspicious dead bird through our telescopes. I went to get it and yes!, it was a very fresh dead fulmar. By the way, if you find dead fulmars at the beach, please contact us and bring them to the bird observatory or tell us the place where you found them and we can come and get them, as long as it is around Skagen. They are collected for a project to examine the amount of microplastic in their stomaches.

When we came back to the Bird Observatory, it was time for data entry and in the evening, Eric made us a delicious dinner. Afterwards, I archived some recapture letters: The first of Skagen Fuglestations ringed Yellowhammers “Gulspurv” was recaptured at another country! Often we get recaptures of our own ringed Yellowhammers “Gulspurv” as they are resident birds or short-distance migrants. So also our Yellowhammer didn´t migrate that far, but apparently it found another nice place to winter because after it was caught and ringed here in the lighthouse garden in winter 2019/20 as 1K bird it was caught this winter on the opposite side of the sea in Sweden.


This morning, we went again Observing at Worlds End 3. There are many pictures of sunrises in Skagen in this Blog, as you know, dear Blogreader, but still they are special here, so we will also share the sunrie on todays way to Verdens Ende 3 with you.


There were again many Red-throated divers “Rødstrubet Lom” migrating and also some Bean Geese “Tajgasædgås” were migrating. Jørgen and Igor also came by on their walk to say hello. After three hours, we decided to go back and warm our Ice-feet. This afternoon I did some work outside around the lighthouse and then did a survey on the contents of the freezer. Later, Eric went to Ellekrattet. In the meantime, I motivated myself with some chips I found in the kitchen to work on a report for university. We ate leftovers of yesterday for dinner. Tomorrow it will be windy again, but we will be out!

Stand firm and don´t let yourself blow away ;)

See you, Hanelie

Observations of 18.02. and 19.02.2023 from Observers in the area

People: Jørgen Kabel and Igor, Eric Scheuering, Hanelie Sidhu

The living and the dead

torsdag 16. februar 2023
af Eric Scheuering

With little activity around the raptor traps, and Simon busy with administrative work, I have shifted my focus the past couple of days to seabirds.

On Tuesday, 14 February, I surveyed for dead seabirds on the beach between Solnedgangskiosken, Højen and Det Grå Fyr, an approximately 10 km route. The primary target of these surveys is Fulmar (Mallemuk) and the birds that are found will be sent to Aarhus University as part of a research project to examine the contents of the stomachs of these birds to determine how much plastic they have ingested.

I began my survey at Solnedgangskiosken and the initial section of beach is primarily composed of large piles of loose gravel with some sand and this made for somewhat slow going for me. The uneven terrain also made searching a little difficult, and while I was seeing a lot of debris, I had not found any dead birds yet and wondered if I needed to modify my search image. Eventually I found a dead Gannet (Sule) and some gulls (måger), but no fulmars yet.

Hojen beachThe beach at Højen

As the beach flattened out and became mostly sand, I found the first dead Mallemuk near Skagen Vest Fyr on Nordstrand and immediately noticed the distinctive, sharp smell of seabird. While my focus was on the beach and the ground, I was also taking time to survey the birds flying over the sea. The species I noted included Red-throated Diver/Loon (Rødstrubet Lom), Common Eider (Ederfugl), Common Scoter (Sortand), Red-breasted Merganser (Toppet Skallesluger), Great Cormorant (Skarv), and gulls (måger). I also saw Eurasian Oystercatcher (Strandskade), Sanderling (Sandløber), Rock Pipit (Skærpiber), and Snow Bunting (Snespurv).

In total, I found four dead Mallemuk during the survey, three of which were intact enough to collect. I also collected one Guillemot (Lomvie).

Dead MallemukA dead  Fulmar (Mallemuk). A sad sight, yes, but look at that beautiful bill.

Yesterday I returned to Nordstrand to complete a survey of seabirds, this time focused on living birds! I saw many of the same species as yesterday as well as Razorbill (Alk) and Great Crested Grebe (Toppet Lappedykker). I also saw several Harbor Porpoise (Marsvin) swimming and foraging not far from the shore. After two hours of surveying and standing in one place in the chilly wind, I was cold enough to decide to return to Det Grå Fyr. On my return walk I noted a few species I hadn’t seen yet since arriving here, including Northern Lapwing (Vibe), Crested Tit (Topmejse), and Long-tailed Tit (Halemejse).

Eric at NordstrandDo I look cold??

I am enjoying the muted winter landscapes right now and am looking forward to exploring new spots in the area, learning new things, and seeing more new species.

Reservatet landscapeReservatet landscape

Link to our observations for the first part of this week

People: Simon S. Christiansen, Eric Scheuering

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