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torsdag 30. november 2023
af Thomas Weston

It was another cold day with snow still settled on the ground from the previous two days. Although there was no new snow, a cool northernly breeze dominated and temperatures were forced to stay in the low single digits. With the sun shining in the afternoon, it was pleasant in the sheltered spots, and provided some very nice snowy scenes.

Mathilde, Simon Jr, and I awoke for our last migration count of the year. The walk to Worlds End 3 was, as always, very nice and it was nice to see lots of gulls roosting near the tip, avoiding the snowy spots. Northernly winds are not ideal to be sat in for too long, but we managed two hours before calling it quits. The first hour was slow but included a Purple Sandpiper [Sortgrå ryle], a Little Auk [Søkonge] and roughly 125 Redpoll [Gråsisken] amongst a good mix of other species. Second hour was tough but was nice to see a super close Lapland Bunting [Lapverling], over 150 Redpoll [Gråsisken] and the Knot [Island Ryle] that has been hanging around for a couple of weeks now. We soon left Worlds End 3 and quickly found 2 Purple Sandpipers [Sortgrå ryle] roosting near the bunker as well as many Rock Pipits [Skæpiper]. This included a colour ringed Norwegian ringed bird near the lighthouse which Simon Jr got some photos of. Unfortunately, due to technical issues he currently cannot use his phone and can barely use his camera but that should be sorted soon.

The higher-than-normal abundance of Rock Pipit [Skæpiper] led us to put out the traps whilst we had lunch. No luck with the traps but they were super close at times. We also opened the old lighthouse garden net and put a Redpoll [Gråsisken] tape lure to attract any passing migrants. This net was the most sheltered and with frequent checks every fifteen to twenty minutes ensured the welfare of the birds was maintained. In the meantime, we checked net lengths and sorted the nets into boxes for next year. The net opening was successful in catching a few birds (see ringing totals below) including a small flock of Common Redpoll [Stor Gråsisken] and an Arctic Redpoll [Hvidsisken]. Simon S.C was super impressed we had caught a Hvidsisken, as he had been talking all day about this species and it was a beauty of a bird. In fact, the chairman of Birdlife Denmark arrived just in time to see the bird before it was released, his first ever which was super exciting and what a view to have. A super snowball in a super snowy environment.


Figure 1: Arctic Redpoll [Hvidsisken] profile.


Figure 2: The old greater coverts in the wing confirming the age.


Figure 3: Arctic Redpoll [Hvidsisken] rump.


Figure 4: Comparison between Common Redpoll [Stor Gråsisken and Hvidsisken]


Figure 5: Arctic Redpoll [Hvidsisken] standalone.

Look at this little stunner! This bird was easily identifiable from the net and was even more distinctive when compared to the Common Redpoll [Stor Gråsisken] in the net too. The moult limit within the greater coverts (the inner four being old in the picture compared to the outer six), the old tertials and the pointy tail feathers led to the bird being aged as a juvenile (EURING age 3/Danish Age 1k). The amount of red on the rump was enough to sex this bird as a male, they are more restrictive than their Common Redpoll [Stor Gråsisken] counterparts.

After sorting nets, the sun set just after 3pm today, the equivalent to 2pm for our British readers. This meant we had a nice evening with me completing the blog, Mathilde helping to input Michael A’s ringing data and Simon Jr cooking a really nice Tofu meal with an additional couple of bottles of wines on the side to congratulate the completion of the migration counts. Thank you to Mathilde and Simon for inputting the ringing data this evening, and for making this evening really nice with good music, favourable wine, a rendition of Kesha's Tik Tok!

Have a great evening everyone!

Ringing totals

Ringing (Fyrhaven)

Blue Tit






Arctic Redpoll



Common Redpoll

Nordlig Gråsisken






Total: 9

Today’s observations on Dofbasen from observers in the area

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