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The Calm Before The Storm

fredag 8. september 2023
af Rebecca Cheape

In the morning a thick fog obscured the ocean creating a very autumnal atmosphere, however, this made the morning migration count a little difficult for Gustav as birds were not able to be identified very clearly due to it being so foggy. Although, some bird species were able to be counted for such as Velvet Scoter (Fløjlsand) and Great black-backed Gulls (Svartbag).

Whilst Gustav was out doing the migration count with the guest Ole, the rest of us had a longer lie in bed before getting up to help Michael Ancher (local ringer), set up nets at Jennes sø. It was nice to be in a different area near a large wetland and woodland. Hopefully we will be able to bird ring with Michael at Jennes Sø sometime soon, as we would all love to catch and ring some Bearded Tits (Skægmejse).


Later in the morning after the migration count and setting up of nets, we all had some strawberry cake for breakfast that the guests kindly bought for us. Then Simon Jr. and Antonia went to the harbor to do the Cormorant (Skarv) count. There was nothing unusual to report from during the Cormorant count, however, apparently the fishermen have started shooting some Cormorants, so the counts throughout the next week will be very important. Afterwards, they both went to the shop to buy ingredients for tonight’s dinner. Meanwhile; myself, Hayley and Gustav cleaned the kitchen and bathroom in the afternoon, then we all went on our own separate walks to search for interesting birds.

In the early evening, we had the daily meeting to plan out the next days ahead, which will involve ringing with different ringers as Simon is away for a week. We will go out ringing tomorrow morning at the Cormorant Lake (Skarvsøen), so we are all excited about catching some interesting birds at this CES site for the last time as we will take the nets down tomorrow after ringing.

Antonia and Simon Jr. cooked us a lovely meal: veggie chili

People: Hayley Land, Gustav Nyberg, Simon Kiesé, Rebecca Cheape, Antonia Greil, Simon S. Christiansen, Magnus Mygind, Ole and Birgitte.


A Link to Today's Observations From Volunteers and Local Observer's

Hot chocolate on a windy day – it’s autumn!

torsdag 7. september 2023
af Antonia Greil

Let us start with a short review of yesterday’s evening! We spontaneously decided to go and watch the sunset at Nordstrand, as there were only a few clouds on the evening sky. It was nice to enjoy the peace and quiet on the beach, as there are hardly any people around at this time and only the calls of the gulls and the sound of the waves could be heard. The sunset was beautiful, and it was a good atmosphere to end the day (even if quite a few mosquitoes were there, but for this view we were happy to accept that).



Today we started the morning by going to the Migration Count, this time at World’s End 1. The counting included Hayley, Rebecca, Simon Jr. and I, whilst Gustav was guiding a tour of 27 people around the dunes and beach. He showed them how to distinguish different species of gulls, talked about migration and encouraged them to try out an activity, where they had to sit 5 minutes in silence and just listen to the sound of nature. They really liked it and were having a great time. 

The Migration Count was slow today, with mainly Common Scoters (Sortand) and many Velvet Scoters (Fløjlsand). At one point we could see a Great Skua (Storkjove), but other than that there wasn’t much going on. When we came home, Simon Jr. made hot chocolate for all of us and we started watching Sherlock, the BBC series, which was such a nice warm-up after this windy morning.

Rebecca went to do the Cormorant (Skarv) Count at the Harbor and had an interesting conversation about Skagen’s history with a local man spending his midday at the harbor.

The rest of the day we took care of usual stuff: Data entering, cleaning and shopping. Haley and Simon had a pleasant walk outside and discovered some Long-tailed tits (Halemejse). In a moment of great spontaneous motivation, we cleaned and sorted the entire fridge, which is indeed a pleasant sight every time we open the door now.

Simon Sr. and Lisa was leaving to Sweden today to go to the Island Stora Fjäderägg in the Bothnian Bay for some exciting birding. And as a late highlight of this day, our guests Ole and Birgitte prepared a delicious dinner during which we chatted and had a great time.

People: Hayley Land, Gustav Nyberg, Simon Kiesé, Rebecca Cheape, Antonia Greil, Simon S. Christiansen, Magnus Mygind, Ole and Birgitte.

The Second Great Snipe Adventure

onsdag 6. september 2023
af Hayley Land

Last night we went on a second Great Snipe (Tredækker) adventure! We travelled down to the same fields as last week, just outside of Støvring. Our guests, Ole and Birgitte, were really keen to see a Great Snipe too so kindly gave Rebecca, Simon Jr. and I a lift to the location, whilst Gustav and Antonia went with Simon Sr.

We started the catch at 10pm once it was completely dark. Simon Sr. used a thermal camera to spot birds roosting in the fields and then used a flashlight to dazzle them. Gustav walked with him with the hand net ready to catch the dazzled birds. Simon Jr. also got to practice his hand net catching technique.

There were a few near misses with Skylark (Sanglærke) but no Great Snipe (Tredækker) were seen at all. We think they have now left the area and have started their migration south to Africa. Although it was disappointing not to see or catch any Great Snipes it was still a very enjoyable adventure. We heard several Lapwing (Vibe) and enjoyed some star gazing. We were even lucky enough to see a couple of shooting stars!

As we got back late last night, there were no early starts today. Which fitted well since Grenen was covered in fog early in morning. However, later in the morning there was a call over Zello; a Barred Warbler (Høgesanger) had been spotted at World’s End 1. We grabbed our bikes and rushed over there as quick as we could. Again, we were unlucky and didn’t see the bird but were fortunate to get great views of an Osprey (Fiskeørn) flying past, a flock of Common Crossbill (Lille Korsnæb) and a very pretty Yellowhammer (Gulspurv) sat in a tree.

Worlds End 12

In the afternoon, Simon Jr. went to do the Cormorant (Skarv) count and buy more groceries. Whilst he was at the harbour, he also spotted Razorbill (Alk), Black Guillemot (Tejst) and a Merlin (Dværgfalk) which were nice to see. Also today data from the Fulmar (Mallemuk) survey was inputted, preparations were made for a guided walk tomorrow, and Simon Sr. had a meeting with the directors of DOF, the Chairman of the Bird Observatory and the our partners in the Nature Agency.

People: Hayley Land, Gustav Nyberg, Simon Kiesé, Rebecca Cheape, Antonia Greil, Simon S. Christiansen, Ole and Birgitte.

A link to today's observations from volunteers and local observers.


tirsdag 5. september 2023
af Simon Kiesé

Today's blog post will be a little shorter in preparation for what we hope will be a very cool tomorrow. Tonight we will try again to ring double snipe. Last time it worked well and we were able to ring an individual. Hopefully it will work as well again tonight. Hayley will tell you the results here in the blog tomorrow.

sunrise05092023like always - beautiful sunrise at Grenen

As it is very windy at the moment and there is not much bird migration, only the migration count was on the agenda. As there were hardly any birds migrating, it was very quiet. At least the wind brought a few more Kittiwakes (Ride), of which we could even read three colour rings. Highlights were a dark morph K1 Arctic Skua (Almindelig Kjove) and a K1 Black Guillemot (Tejst).

seals Antonia 05092023Antonia took this nice picture of the Harbour Seals at the tip

In the meantime, the rest of us swarmed around the area to get to know the surroundings better or to find some nice birds. Gustav's goal of finding a Red-footed Falcon unfortunately didn't work out, but he did get to see a Honey Buzzard.

Then Simon told us about the plans for the next hours and days. He is now lucky enough to be ringing on a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea and will be leaving us for a few days. During this time, however, we will be supported by other ringers, so that our projects can continue without restrictions.

So, now I'm getting ready for what I hope will be a good night. That's it, I'm going to sleep. In this sense - good night!

People: Hayley Land, Gustav Nyberg, Simon Kiesé, Rebecca Cheape, Antonia Greil, Simon S. Christiansen, Knud Pedersen, Ole and Birgitte.

A link to today's observations from volunteers and local observers.

Mallemuk indsamling

mandag 4. september 2023
af Gustav Nyberg

Simon og Hayley tog i dag ud til Verdens Ende 3 sammen med Ole som gæster fuglestationen i denne uge. Der skete ikke det helt store ud over havet, men på trods af det fik Ole hele 2 nye arter! De fik i løbet af observationsperioden øje på en rastende Dværgfalk, hvilket Ole var meget begejstret for. Senere hen kom der nogle vadefugle, hvor de blandt andet så Sandløbere. Det var Ole’s anden nye art denne morgen. Når der ikke sker så meget hen over vandet, har observatørerne blandt andet tid til at kigge de mange måger igennem, der står langs strandkanten. Her blev der i den store mågeflok spottet en ung Kaspisk måge, der er i sit første kalenderår. For at identificere den Kaspiske måge skal man holde øje med dens mere spinkle og lige næb, at dens øjne forekommer mørkere og dens tynde ben. 


Kaspisk måge, Foto: Erik Christophersen


Dværgfalk, Foto: Erik Christophersen

Efter Simon, Hayley og Ole kom hjem fra observationsposten, tog de sammen med Ole og Birgitte direkte videre på indsamling af Mallemukker. Det er et projekt stationen udfører for Aarhus Universitet, hvor de gerne vil se på maveindholdet af Mallemukker, da det kan fortælle os noget om den plastikforurening der er til stede ude i havet. Fuglene forveksler nemlig plastik, der flyder i havoverfladen, med føde. Efterhånden som de spiser mere plastik, og at denne plastik ikke kan udskilles igen, dør fuglene af sult. Det er en fortsættelse af samme projekt sidste år, hvor der i 8 ud af 11 indsamlede Mallemukker blev fundet med plastik i maven. 


Rebecca og Antonia tog til den daglige ringmærkning ved Kabeltromlen, hvor der i dag ikke blev fanget særlig mange fugle. 5 fugle blev det til, hvilket nok er den mindst givende dag i denne sæson. Det betød, at de virkelig kunne fordybe sig i de fugle de fik i nettet, og at de i pauserne imellem indsamlingen af fugle lavede nogle lege, hvor de repeterede fuglenes fældningsstrategier og migrationsruter. 

Da Antonia kom tilbage fra ringmærkningen tog jeg sammen med hende til Skarvtællingen ved havnen, men i dag var betingelserne ikke gunstige. Vi havde et slemt genskær af solen i vandet og høje bølger, hvilket besværliggjorde optællingen. Alt i mens vi stod der på havnen, opstod der en turistattraktion i form af en stor mængde tyskere der havde besluttet sig for at se et stort tysk krydstogtskib lægge til kajen. Et show der varede lige så længe vi var til stede ved havnen som var 1 time og 15 minutter. Krydstogtskibet havde brug for to ledeskibe til at både vende det og sejle det ind i havnen. Det så lige så besværligt ud som vores betingelser for optællingen. 

I morgen er der ingen ringmærkning, men vi fortsætter med observationerne. Og vi satser endnu en gang på at fange flere Tredækkere nær Støvring i morgen aften. Så det krydser fingrene for!

Ringing (Kabeltromlekrattet):

Rørsanger - 1

Løvsanger - 2

Rødstjert - 1

Munk - 1

Total: 5

People: Hayley Land, Gustav Nyberg, Simon Kiesé, Rebecca Cheape, Antonia Greil, Simon S. Christiansen, Knud Pedersen, Ole and Birgitte.

A link to today's observations from volunteers and local observers.

A peaceful Sunday

søndag 3. september 2023
af Antonia Greil

Last night we were setting up both the Nightjar (Natravn) and Stormpetrel (Lille Stormsvale) Nets, but unfortunately, we didn’t catch a single bird. Haley was the one checking the nets at night every 30 minutes, so she could sleep in this morning.

Rebecca, Simon and me went bird ringing at Kabeltromlen. As we were riding our bikes to the ringing spot, a beautiful red sky was appearing at the horizon. It was a beautiful start in the day!


We didn’t get many birds today, but in our first round we got a juvenile Great spotted Woodpecker (Stor Flagspætte) and a Wheatear (Stenpikker) which we were all very happy about. I got to ring a Blackcap (Munk), my third ever ringed bird. I really enjoy learning more each day and getting more experience with handling and ringing birds. Having them so close in front of you really helps identifying the features better as well as memorizing the little details about each species. The other birds we catched and ringed were a Wren (Gærdesmutte) (which was so tiny!), a Common Whitethroat (Tornsanger), some Chiffchaffs (Gransanger) and a Willow Warbler (Løvsanger).


A Great spotted Woodpecker (Stor Flagspætte) 


A Wheatear (Stenpikker)


A Wren (Gærdesmutte)

Meanwhile Gustav was counting the passing migratory birds at World End’s 3, where he could observer three arctic skuas (Almindelig kjove), two young ones and one adult.

When we were all back at the Observatory we had an interesting training session with Simon where we talked about different strategies and features to identify the age and sex of birds, and about ethics and important principles to follow in bird ringing.

In the afternoon Haley went to do the Cormoran Count (Skarv) at the Harbor, which was a very quiet counting day. The rest of the day all of us were productive with different tasks: entering ringing data, social media, cleaning the lab and Birder’s Club, food shopping and, of course, cooking.

Later that day our new guests, Ole and Birgitte, arrived in the apartment and we are looking forward to meet them at our daily bird activities!

Ringing (Kabeltromlekrattet):

Chiffchaff (Gransanger) - 2

Willow Warbler (Løvsanger) -1

Wren (Gærdesmutte) - 1

Wheatear (Stenpikker) - 1

Blackcap (Munk) -1

Common Whitethroat (Tornsanger) – 1

Great spotted Woodpecker (Stor Flagspætte) - 1

Total: 8

People: Hayley Land, Gustav Nyberg, Simon Kiesé, Rebecca Cheape, Antonia Greil, Simon S. Christiansen, Lisa Vergin, Knud Pedersen, Ole and Birgitte.

A link to today's observations from volunteers and local observers.

Back to normal

lørdag 2. september 2023
af Simon Kiesé

'Back to normal' is just a working title, but it remains today. Because after the unbelievably awesome Great Snipe catching action, normal everyday life returns today. That means a lot of counting and ringing and trying to squeeze out free minutes for the much loved sleep.

Gustav counted the passing migratory birds alone at World's End 3 this morning. But when there is no train, there is nothing to record. At least a Skua flew by. Plus a few Teals (Krikand). Of course, the seabirds like the gannets are a great sight every time, but slowly we hope that the migration will increase a bit and that we will see some better species.

In the meantime, we were ringing cable drums. For Antonia it was the first time she held a bird in her hand and she even managed to ring two. That made a good impression for her first experience in this birding business. Overall, there were really few birds. Pair of Wheatears (Stenpikker) and Ruffs (Brushane) passed through and I could see four Coal Tits (Sortmejse). In the net at least three birds with red tails - Common Redstart (Rødstjert) delighted us. The good thing about ringing when you have fewer birds is that you have more time to spend with each bird and learn more from each one.

As our team now consists of 5 great volunteers, we have more and more opportunities to sleep in or do other things. Rebecca took advantage of this and went birding in the heath and forest.

Back we had some stuff to do, but that didn't stop me from working the time off for a two hour nap. Then we took care of cleaning everything spotlessly and also finished the social media posts.

 teichmolch 02092023The only picture of today - a smooth newt visited us early at Kabeltromlen

Ringing (Kabeltromlekrattet):

Chiffchaff (Gransanger) – 3

Common Whitethroat (Tornsanger) – 1

Blue Tit (Blåmejse) – 1

Garden Warbler (Havesanger) – 3

Blackcap (Munk) – 2

Common Redstart (Rødstjert) – 3

Lesser Whitethroat (Gærdesanger) – 2

Reed Warbler (Rørsanger) – 3

Willow Warbler (Løvsanger) – 3

Total: 21

People: Hayley Land, Gustav Nyberg, Simon Kiesé, Rebecca Cheape, Antonia Greil, Simon S. Christiansen, Kim and Bodil.

A link to today's observations from volunteers and local observers.

The Great Snipe Adventure

fredag 1. september 2023
af Rebecca Cheape

Last night was an adventure as Me, Gustav, Simon and Hayley set off around 5:30pm yesterday evening to get the train to Størving from Skagen to go Great Snipe (Tredækker) catching. The train journey was 2.5 hours long, but it was nice as we got to see some really nice scenery. We got to Størving around 8.30pm and then walked for 10 minutes to meet Simon and Lisa at Simon’s dad’s house. Once we arrived at the house we sat down for some coffee and two slices of strawberry marzipan cake which was very tasty. We had to wait until it was dark enough before going to the nearby fields to catch Great Snipes (Tredækker).

We drove to the fields for 9:45pm and then got the net and ringing equipment sorted for measuring Great Snipes. We were very excited about the potential of catching one as it would be the first time most of us would have seen one up close. The weather was calm with lots of clouds; this was good as they covered the full moon enabling the sky to remain dark, and after two hours a mist formed over the fields. Simon and Lisa strategically walked the fields in search for the Great Snipes whilst the rest of us followed them slowly to prevent flushing of the Snipes. During the first 10 minutes of the first search Simon and Lisa almost caught a Great Snipe, however, this one unfortunately flew away before Lisa got the net over it, but it was still amazing to see one. Whilst the search continued a lovely Lapwing (Vibe) was calling above us which was nice to hear. As Simon and Lisa proceeded to search for Great Snipes, there were several Skylarks (Sanglaerke) and Common Snipe (Dobbeltbekkasin) on the fields which flew away when Simon pointed the flashlight over the field. As the night went on after several unsuccessful attempts at catching a Great Snipe (3 individuals overall) we finally caught one!! Yay!

Lisa carried the precious Great Snipe (Tredækker) over to where we set up the ringing equipment in Simon’s car boot. This species is a rather rare passage migrant in Denmark, so we all felt very lucky to see one up so close to look at the interesting feather patterns and long thick bill. They are slightly bigger and stockier in comparison to Common Snipe. Hayley got the privilege to ring this species, but it was a bit more challenging than the birds usually ringed at Kabeltromlen, as it was very round and stout, so Hayley had to hold the bird on its back as she ringed it in order to have more control, though, the bird was very calm. It was funny because this particular Great Snipe was given a fat score of 9 which is the highest any bird can score, it was such a solid and chubby one. Once the ring was successfully attached, Simon Jr. took the Great Snipe for the usual photoshoot in the light box to get photos of the whole body, wings, head, bill, legs and feet. Afterwards, the bird was passed along each of us so that we could all get the opportunity to hold it, then Gustav released it into the misty field as the moon brightly gleamed between an opening in the clouds making it a very special unforgettable moment. There were a couple of more attempts to get another one but we didn’t get any more, but that was okay as we were satisfied with just the one. What a GREAT night!

Great Snipe resizegreat snipe resize 2

We then left about 1.30 am and got back to the station around 3 am and then went straight to sleep. In the afternoon me, Hayley, Simon and Antonia went to the harbour to do the Cormorant (Skarv) count which was nice as it was really sunny and warm. Then after we went to do some grocery shopping and returned to the station to do other tasks such as entering ringing data, updating the Dofbassen and planning at the evening meeting.

The guests cooked for us which was so kind of them, and it was absolutely delicious!!


Ringing Data From Today:


Great Snipe (Tredækker)  1


People: Hayley Land, Gustav Nyberg, Simon Kiesé, Rebecca Cheape, Antonia Greil, Simon S. Christiansen, Knud Pedersen, Lisa Vergin, Kim and Bodil.

A link to today's observations from volunteers and local observers.

Another Nightjar and a busy day

torsdag 31. august 2023
af Hayley Land

The Nightjar (Natravn) net was opened again last night and we had success on the very first net check! This beautiful first year bird was ringed. Thanks to Simon Jr. for the photos.

Nightjar 1

Nightjar 2

We also set up the net for Storm Petrels (Lille Stormsvale) overnight and Simon Jr. did the night checks. Sadly we had no luck with any Storm Petrels but we did catch another young Turnstone (Stenvender) which was very nice to see.

Turnstone 1

I helped Simon take down the net just before sunrise and then cycled out to Kabeltromlen with Gustav to open the nets there. It was another quiet ringing morning but there were a few more birds than yesterday including a lovely female Redstart (Rødstjert). We also caught a couple of Reed Warblers (Rørsanger) and one Marsh Warbler (Kærsanger) and it was interesting to look closely at the differences between these two very similar species.

Later in the morning, Simon Sr. and Gustav led a walk and ringing talk for a kindergarten group. The group visited Kabeltromlen and watched the ringing of a Willow Warbler (Løvsanger). Simon and Gustav then took them to the beach where they made their own nests out of any materials that they could find.

Whilst we were ringing, Rebecca was at World’s End 3 doing the migration count. It was a very nice morning and she captured these lovely photos of the impressive sunrise and a seal resting on the beach.



We all then returned to the Fuglestation to welcome our newest volunteer Antonia who is from Germany and will be staying here for a month. In the afternoon, ringing and migration data was inputted, more food shopping bought, and plans made for this evening. We are going to be travelling to just south of Aalborg where we hope to catch and ring Great Snipe (Tredækker) later tonight. Check out tomorrow’s blog to find out how we get on!

Ringing (Fyrhaven)

Nightjar (Natravn) – 1

Ruddy Turnstone (Stenvender) – 1

Ringing (Kabeltromlekrattet)

Chiffchaff (Gransanger) – 2

Garden Warbler (Havesanger) – 2

Common Whitethroat (Tornsanger) – 1

Willow Warbler (Løvsanger) – 4

Reed Warbler (Rørsanger) – 2

Marsh Warbler (Kærsanger) – 1

Wren (Gærdesmutte) – 1

Robin (Rødhals) – 1

Redstart (Rødstjert) – 1

 Total: 17

People: Hayley Land, Gustav Nyberg, Simon Kiesé, Rebecca Cheape, Antonia, Simon S. Christiansen, Knud Pedersen, Lisa Vergin, Kim and Bodil.

A link to today's observations from volunteers and local observers.

Nightjar and Slavonian Grebe

onsdag 30. august 2023
af Rebecca Cheape


Last night Simon and Hayley put out the nightjar nets at about 8.30pm just after sunset which was very exciting, and we were all feeling optimistic about catching one as the weather conditions were perfect. After a little time passed around 9:10 pm, Simon and Hayley went to check the net and were very excited to have caught a lovely Nightjar (Natravnen), once they returned with the bird, they came up to wake me and Gustav. I was the lucky one to have ringed the Nightjar which was amazing, and it was so calm to hold in the hand. It was also interesting to look at the incredible feather patterns this species has up close. Once the bird was successfully ringed and then measured, it was photographed and then returned outside. What a special evening with a very special species.

 Little nightjar

Nightjar (Natravnen)

This morning myself and Hayley were a little bit more tired than usual due to being up late seeing the Nightjar, but it was definitely worth it! We both went to Kabeltromlen to set up the nets to bird ring in the morning, however, we did not catch many birds today unfortunately, but that’s okay as we got a Wryneck (Vendehals) yesterday which we were still very much amazed by. We ringed the regular species today such as Blackcap (Munk), Common Whitethroat (Tørnsanger), Reed Warbler (Rørsanger) and Willow Warbler (Løvsanger), but we also got a nice Robin (Rødhals).

Whilst we were out ringing, Simon and Gustav were at World’s End Three doing the migration count. The count was a little slow, however, they did spot a Pomarine Skua (Mellemkjove), which was a new species to tick off Gustav’s ‘must see’ bird list.

On the way back from the migration count and bird ringing, it was announced through Zello that there was a lovely juvenile Slavonian Grebe (Nordisk lappedykker) swimming around close to shore out at the back of the lighthouse. It was the first time me, Hayley and Gustav have come across this species but Simon has seen it once before in Germany. Simon got a great photo of the Grebe which can be viewed below.

We are now going to try nigh catching again for Storm Petrels, fingers crossed we get one tonight!

 Slovanian grebe

Slavonian Grebe (Nordisk lappedykker)


People: Hayley Land, Gustav Nyberg, Simon Kiesé, Rebecca Cheape, Simon S. Christiansen, Lisa Vergin, Knud Pedersen, Kim and Bodil.



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