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Yellowhammers and a Common Crossbill

søndag 17. september 2023
af Hayley Land

Gustav and Simon started their day at World’s End 3 with the migration count. It was very quiet again, but they did enjoy seeing a Fulmar (Mallemuk), a Black-throated Diver (Sortstrubet Lom) and 20 Brent Geese (Knortegås).

Meanwhile, Rebecca and I had opened the nets at Kabeltromlen. Antonia and Esben joined for the first round and we got a nice view of the rising sun which was amazingly red. Although we caught less birds than yesterday, we had some really nice species. Quality not quantity!

The highlight of the day was this stunning young male Common Crossbill (Lille Korsnæb). In the photo below you can just see the orange feathers beginning to come through and the amazing beak which we took lots of measurements of to confirm the species. Simon Jr and Gustav were also at Kabeltromlen to see it, having finished the migration count. It was the first time many of us had seen this species in the hand, so we were all very excited!

17.09.23 Common crossbill

Another highlight was two young Yellowhammers (Gulspurv), another new species in the hand for Antonia and I. The colours were amazing to see up close. It was also interesting to see the tail of one of the birds, which had a very clear fault bar through all the feathers. This may have been caused by a deficiency in food when the feathers were growing.

17.09.23 Yellowhammer

17.09.23 Yellowhammer tail

We also caught two lovely Lesser Redpoll (Lille Gråsisken). Both were young birds. They were aged by looking at the tail feathers.

17.09.23 Lesser redpoll

Finally, five Goldcrests (Fuglekonge) were among the other species caught today. These are the smallest birds found in Europe; the smallest individual we caught today only weighed 4.9 grams! The picture below shows a male bird, with its stunning orange head feathers. Female birds only have yellow on the head.

17.09.23 Goldcrest male

After such an exciting morning we enjoyed a late breakfast back at the Fuglestation. In the afternoon, data was entered, the picture archive updated, and some cleaning done. We did a little bit of birding outside the lighthouse and enjoyed seeing a Hen Harrier (Blå Kærhøg) flying in the distance and a couple of Stonechats (Sortstrubet Bynkefugl) in nearby bushes. Rebecca also went to the harbour to do the Cormorant (Skarv) count and some shopping, and we welcomed our new guests, Jette and Anders. Unfortunately, tomorrow looks too windy for ringing but we hope to see some good birds at the migration count.

Ringing (Kabeltromlekrattet)

Robin (Rødhals) – 2

Chiffchaff (Gransanger) – 4

Blackcap (Munk) – 3

Goldcrest (Fuglekonge) – 5

Tree Pipit (Skovpiber) – 1

Reed Warbler (Rørsanger) – 2

Siskin (Grønsisken) – 2

Lesser Redpoll (Lille Gråsisken) – 2

Yellowhammer (Gulspurv) – 2

Great Tit (Musvit) – 1

Common Crossbill (Lille Korsnæb) – 1

Total: 25

People: Antonia Greil, Hayley Land, Rebecca Cheape, Gustav Nyberg, Simon Kiesé, Esben Hansen, Simon S. Christiansen, Knud Pedersen, Jette and Anders.

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