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Mallard Migration! A Blog Supporting These Underappreicated Ducks ;)

mandag 27. november 2023
af Thomas Weston

Today started off with a breezy NE wind forcing temperature below 0’c. The morning was cloudy, and many areas of freshwater were frozen, including Jennes Sø lake which was pretty impressive to see. With plenty of jobs left to do before the winter close, it was a rather busy morning.

Mathilde, Simon Jr and I awoke to Simon Sr making coffee in the kitchen. The plan was for the two Simons to collect snails for a university project whilst Mathilde and I completed migration count. Migration count was not massively busy, but within the first hour flocks of Red-throated divers [Rødstrubet Lom], a few flocks of Eider [Ederfugl] and my personal highlight, the Mallards [Gråand], were nice to see. In total we saw 18 Mallards [Gråand] in the three hours and I find it impressive how this species is mostly known for feeding on bread and coming super close in town parks and ponds, but never normally known for migrating and resting on the open sea! The second and third hour of the migration count were very slow with few birds seen moving. In the meantime, the two Simons successfully collected the required number of snails*, mussels, and water for the project. Simon Sr beat Simon Jr by numbers, but we don’t talk about that! Anyway, a great achievement after our many failed attempts recently due to the tides, low pressure, and high winds. Hopefully the university will find some interesting results regarding pollution and toxins in the water. *All specimens were collected with ethical approval and permissions.


Pic 1: Trying to catch Skærpiber. Photo by Simon Jr

After some lunch, we opened the old lighthouse garden net for some passerines and the potter trap to try and catch some Rock Pipit (Skærpiber). In between net rounds, Mathilde successfully repaired some of the bird bags which was much appreciated and both Simons completed some office-based jobs. I inputted the migration count data from this morning and helped checked nets which resulted in a few birds being caught.


Picture 2: Our regular Great Tit [Musvit] seeing us again! Pic by Mathilde

We caught a few birds which was nice, including a rather familiar Great Tit [Musvit] and a couple of new Redpoll [Nordlig Gråsisken /Lille Gråsisken] which were very nice to see after a few days of no ringing. However, the wind picked up after a couple of hours, the sun was quickly setting, and we decided to close for the day. Back inside in the warm, the evening meeting was completed once it got dark and Simon Sr and I inputted more of Michael’s ringing data. It’s looking like this year is going to be rather impressive on the numbers of birds ringed. Simon Jr cooked us a lovely meal and our evening plans so far are chilled.

Ringing totals

Ringing (Fyrhaven)

Blue Tit






Redpoll spp

Nordlig Gråsisken/Lille Gråsisken


Common Redpoll

Nordlig Gråsisken



Total: 4

Today’s observations on Dofbasen from observers in the area

People: Thomas Weston, Mathilde Ducroz, Simon Kiesé, Simon S. Christiansen.