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The best last day in Skagen

fredag 7. juni 2024
af Simon Kiesé

Daily the marmot greets (z.dt.: täglich grüßt das Murmeltier) and we were out before sunrise at Grenen. It was really cold today, mostly caused by some wind, rain in the night and the leck of sun. There were still Fulmars (Mallemuk) flying out of Kattegat, but with 70 birds during the morning the numbers lowered from the previous days. Nearly 7000 Scoters (Sortand) got klicked by Magnus and me on their daily movement from the Kattegat to the Skagerrak. When I was watching a Sanderling (Sandløber) roosting at the beach, two small balls of fluff caught my eyes. Those two cute creatures were running over the beach looking for food and then quickly back to their parents to get warmed under their plumage. I called Hayley at Kabeltromlen, if someone can come and bring the ringing equipment for those and a few minutes later Karen-Marie came and we approached the young Common Ringed Plover (Stor Præstekrave) family.

07062024 blog SK 5

Now there were four chicks (pulli), we could quickly ring and then release them together to their waiting parents. As soon as we left, the parents came back and continued their job as heat pads. That was nice!

 07062024 blog SK 6

In the meanwhile (every time I write this I have the song by Spacehog in my mind), the tough ringers including Hayley, Isis and Seán were enjoying many Blackcaps (Munk) at Kabeltromlen. The number of birds was okay, but the highlight for Hayleys last day here (enter sad emoji) was still missing. This had to be changed! The second Red-backed Shrike (Rødrygget Tornskade) in the ringing this year should change this, because it was not just a rarely caught bird but also the first male for us. Look at this super cool bird!

 07062024 blog SK 2Red-backed Shrike (Rødrygget Tornskade) - picture by Isis Khalil

The closing round brought another ”big” surprise – a Jay (Skovskade)! This was a fitting surprise before Hayley migrates back to the UK tomorrow (a weird direction for June, is’nt it?).

In the noon, a Sandhill Crane (Prærietrane) was found, but lost quickly due to the upcoming rain. This is a crazy record, because it is already the second one this year in Skagen and just the third ever here. The species is really rare in entire Europe and most of the birds turn up to be refound over several years at different places. Now it looks like there are two birds around. The last one migrated to Sweden and recently there was one in the Netherlands, so maybe it came up now? In anyway a great find, congrats to the finders.

One of the four Blyth's Reed Warblers (Buskrørsangere) found yesterday was still present today at Guldmajssøen. Knud got some some very nice close up pictures while it was performing it's remarkable song.

buskrors lmp 7juni2024Buskrørsanger (Blyth's Reed Warbler), Guldmajssøen. Foto: Knud Pedersen

What could be worse than losing a volunteer and good friend at the Bird Observatory? Nothing. That’s why we try very hard to enjoy all the last minutes together with Hayley. We took this as a reason to spend a nice afternoon together with our guests and Simon Sr., who invited us to Skagen Bryghus for lunch. We sat outside but than the rain started. Luckily big umbrellas protected us from getting wet, but it got a bit cold so we got some blankets. The food was really good.

07062024 blog SK 1

Afterwards we continued to Råbjerg Kirke to put out some beedle traps for a pupperøvere together with Magnus. This was a great opportunity to look at some plants and insects of the area. Unfortunately, the weather was too bad to get many insects, but some orchidees got our attention. I did not expect to say that, but it was really fun!

 07062024 blog SK 3Magnus infected us with his passion for plants aswell.

At one place there were three Corn Buntings singing. We got some nice views of them, which is great, since it was a new species for Hayley. Get some nice views on a roosting Hayley:

07062024 blog SK 7 

To end the fun day, we went to Aalbæk into the Belgium Beer House (Det Bette Ølhus) in Ålbæk. Since a quarter of Isis’s blood is from Belgium, I trusted her advice for a good beer. What should I say – I did not get dissapointed. I think all of us enjoyed the place and it was nice to spending some time together, drinking, eating and chatting.

07062024 blog SK 8

 Ringing (Kabeltromlekrattet):

                       
 Blackbird Solsort 1 RI                  
 Garden Warbler Havesanger 1 RI                  
 Chaffinch Bogfinke 1 RI                  
 Blackcap Munk 24 RI                  
 Redwing Vindrossel 1 RI                
 Red-backed Shrike Rødrygget Tornskade 1 RI                  
 Jay Skovskade 1 RI                  
 Lesser Whitethroat Gærdesanger 2 RI                  
 Icterine Warbler Gulbug 3 RI                  
 Reed Warbler Rørsanger 5 RI                  
 Marsh Warbler Kærsanger 2 RI  

Total: 42

Ringing (Grenen):

Common Ringed Plover (Stor Præstekrave) - 4

Total: 4

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

Sum of observations of raptors on DOFbasen from today.

People: Hayley Land, Isis Khalil, Magnus Houen Lauritsen, Seán Walsh, Simon Kiesé, Simon S. Christiansen, Henrik Knudsen, Karen-Marie and Søren Leth-Nissen, Knud Pedersen.