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Weevil Kingdom

søndag 12. maj 2024
af Isis Khalil

Hello everyone, I hope you all enjoyed the 2024 Skagen Fuglefestival (Bird Festival)! Maybe you were one of the lucky hundred who came to see the Eurasian Wryneck (Vendehals) getting ringed yesterday, that was super exciting! 


Last night we made an attempt to see the Northern Lights again, since they were supposed to be as vibrant as the day before. However, when our 12:30 alarm went off, we were very disappointed to see dark skies and no lights. So we crawled back in bed for the last couple hours of sleep we could get before preparing for the day…


Today started out much like yesterday, but with even less birds in the nets. And unfortunately, the slow trend stayed throughout the day without any exciting surprises during our closing round (we closed early since we had several rounds in a row with 0 birds).


The pace of ringing did not take away from our fun, however, since on slow days like today we get to really admire all the little details of the environment we spend all our mornings in. For one, the dew on the webs in the reeds looked particularly stunning in the sunrise today, we were very cautious not to leave any of the spiders homeless (they work hard catching and eating all the pesky mosquitoes!). 


Spiderwebs in the soft sunrise reeds.


Charlotte’s Web.


Aside from appreciating the intricate designs of the spiderwebs, we also befriended some sweet little weevils.




And did a little ringing as well…


Dunnock (Jernspurv).


Near the late morning, we started having several rounds with no birds at all. Instead, we kept busy chatting with the local birders and building sand castles:

Hayley creating a Weevil Kingdom.


Mayday! The weevils are being attacked by an evil tapeworm! But fret not, an unknown force (Séan) has turned the evil tapeworm into a flag that now waves as a warning to all offenders. 


In hindsight, maybe the long days and short nights are starting to play tricks on our minds… 


The count, which Mira and Simon (Jr) took care of, was as slow as ringing, but I’m sure they, too, managed to find fun things to do to pass the time. Simon (Jr) got a lovely picture of a Common Cuckoo (Gøg), it is so nice to hear their song around the dunes these days!


Common Cuckoo (Gøg). Picture by: Simon Kiesé.


Magnus and Johanna were MIA for most of the day, but they somehow saw all the rare birds around Skagen! This includes the Lesser Spotted Eagle (Lille Skrigeørn), the odd Wagtail (Vipstjert) –whose identification remains up for discussion, and the Black Stork (Sort Stork). Talk about lucky, Magnus did not even have his Zello on! These birds are a pretty good summary of today’s arrivals in Skagen, although the Lesser Spotted Eagle (Lille Skrigeørn) and the Black Stork (Sort Stork) turned around fairly early (by Flagbakken). Hopefully they will still turn up at the tip within the next few days.


In the afternoon, we got to work entering data and checking sheets with Simon (Sr). Then we welcomed our new guest and invited her to come see our fieldwork tomorrow, she had come to see the Eurasian Wryneck (Vendehals) yesterday, so she has had a little exposure to the work we do. 


We also got some much-needed rest, then ate leftovers from when Søren cooked for us, very delicious.


See you out in the field!




Ringing (Kabeltromlekrattet)

Dunnock (Jernspurv) 2

Song Thrush (Sangdrossel) 1

Eurasian Blackcap (Munk) 1

Lesser Whitethroat (Gærdesanger) 1

Willow Warbler (Løvsanger) 4

Common Chiffchaff (Gransanger) 1

Total: 10


Today’s observations in Dofbasen from observers in the area.

Sum of the raptors in the area based on observations typed into Dofbasen the same day.


People: Séan Walsh, Hayley Land, Isis Khalil, Magnus Houen Lauritsen, Simon Kiesé, Simon S. Christiansen, Jørgen Hulbæk, Knud Pedersen, Johanna Veentjer, Mira Kieckbusch, our new guest Karen Marie Holk