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Happy New Year

torsdag 1. februar 2024
af James Wareing

A belated Happy New Year/February from Skagen Fuglestation! My name is James Wareing and I have joined the observatory for a short three-week spell this February. I am from near London in England, but spent the last year in Papua New Guinea. So far I can report that I am experiencing a weather and a culture shock, swapping rainforests and birds of paradise for windswept beaches and gulls. The mosquitoes are now gone, which is a relief, and have been replaced by the blight of sand storms, thanks to the near 100km/h winds we have had this week.

Being here for such a short period of time and just before the spring starts is as wonderful as it is teasing. Knowing what excitement is to come just after I leave is like going to a concert, staying for the opening acts, but being forced to leave just before the main band comes on. Nevertheless, it is a real privilege to be here, and I look forward to sharing what I experience over the next month. 

Although the 'quieter' season in Skagen, that is only a relative term, and there has been already so much to be excited by. I have done two seabird counts so far, with the highlight being a Sooty Shearwater (Sodfarvet Skråpe), which was kind enough to fly back and forth quite close to the shore showing off in the high winds. It really was a delight to watch and displayed such elegant flight. They are rarely seen here in January, generally spending the summer in the north Atlantic. 

Shearwater

This afternoon I was treated to bright sunshine and took the opportunity for a walk before sunset along the beach. Skagen is renowned for its wonderful light and it lived up to its reputation.

lighthouse

I was rewarded with beautiful views of Snow Buntings (Snespurven), Sanderlings (Sandløber) and Common Eiders (Edderfugl), all doing their best to hide from the wind and sand.

Snow Bunting

SanderlingSanderlings

eiders

The strong winds have been around for a while now and are forecasted for a little longer. Who knows, maybe they will blow something exciting my way....I will keep you updated. 

Today’s observations in Dofbasen from observers in the area

People: James Wareing