Her på Blåvand's blog bringes korte nyheder i dagbogsformat om livet og hændelser på fuglestationen.
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Finally South Western Winds
I was quite excited today as the forecast predicted winds from SW.
It did start okay, with Grashopperwarbler singing at the parkinglot. I stared counting at 5:30 it was a bit quiet i thought but sometimes the birds have to wake up as well!
I was joined by Henrik, but at the time he arrived the fog arrived too. We gave it a chance but after a bit of rain the fog increased until we couldn't tell apart beach from water if we could even see the water, so we quit. Henrik went home to pack for a trip to California and I took a day off kinda.
The ringers was unfortunatly not as busy as we hope for though so birds today but nothing really of interest. Agata cooked a nice dinner for us and went to the Bunker Mules with Maceij after the following round of ringing.
Comparison between Lesser and Common Whitethroat (Gærdesanger / Tornsanger) from yesterday – Picture by Maceij
Observations on Dofbasen
Ringing Totals new/recaptures
Lesser whitethroat (4/1)
Chiffchaff (9/1), one of them ssp. abenetius
Willow warbler (5/0)
Pied flycatcher (1/0)
Great tit (0/1)
Tree sparrow (1/1)
Lesser redpoll (1/0)
People at the station: Agata, Maciej, Bello, Bent and Menno
First for the country!
The day started really good with the first nightingale in Denmark this year, we all heard it sing. Besides the nightingale, the ringing only started properly after two almost empty rounds. But after those two rounds, the lesser whitethroats and the phylloscopen (Chiffchaff and Willow warbler) could be found in the nets. In one of the last rounds we found another wryneck, bringing the seasons total up to 10 which means that we reached the same amount of wrynecks during the record year. With the favorable southern winds this night and tomorrow I suspect that we can catch some more. After standardized time, we decided to use some playback to lure the nightingale into the nets. Within 20 minutes it flew into the nets.
Sydlig nattergal, Photo - Bello
Another highlight was the catch of the first common whitethroat. They arrived some days ago, and singing in the surroundings of the station. But up until today, they managed to keep outside of the nets.
To end the day, we got a reply of the French Chiffchaff we controlled. It was ringed in October 2020 as a 1k, making it a 3k when we controlled it. You may wonder how many kilometers it already has travelled the last two years.
The place where the chiffchaff got its ring
Ringing list (new/recapture)
Common redstart (2/0)
Song thrust (1/0)
Lesser whitethroat (14/2)
Common whitethroat (1/0)
Willow warbler (8/0)
Pied flycatcher (1/0)
Great tit (0/1)
People at the station: Agata, Maciej, Bello and Menno
Doing the closing round at 10 p.m. sounded like a brilliant idea yesterday. However when alarm rang at 4.40 a.m. today we regretted it a bit, especially because there were no birds in nets after sunset. Getting up wasn't so difficult though, as we all are full of hope every morning that new day will finally bring us some bigger numbers of ringed birds. And even though we ringed only ... and some of the rounds were empty, we are not disappointed. For sure it is very helpful to try to take the best even from bad situation, and when we think longer about this passing day, we find more and more positive sides of it. First of all, we caught definitely more birds than yesterday, so it was already a success. Next little highlight was catching relatively many Lesser Whitethroats, so we had some more opportunities to practice ageing them. Moreover, we extracted also some Redpolls and a Chaffinch, so that are another species good for gaining experience. And what seems to be the most significant moment of the day: we caught a Barn Swallow! So now we are sure that keeping nets open until late evening is profitable, even if there will be days with empty closing rounds at 10 pm.
Besides ringing, the day passed really calmly today, so we could take a little nap during the day, I practiced some wood carving, Menno took care of his internship project, Mikkel (who had quite successful seawatch today, seeing a really nice migration of Gannets) had used time to train his martial arts, and after dinner and shopping me and Agata went on a lovely (birdwatching) walk to the dunes. Now we are quickly going to sleep, waiting what tomorrow will bring us.
Every species that is new for us obviously needs to be photographed. Photo: Mikkel Bello
Today's beauty - Barn Swallow. Photo: Maciej Wozniak
People at the station: Agata, Menno, Mikkel, Maciej
Complete list of birds caught today (ringed / recaptured):
Landsvale / Barn Swallow: 1/0
Gærdesmutte / Wren: 1/0
Jernspurv / Dunnock: 0/1
Rødhals / Robin: 1/1
Gærdesanger / Lesser Whitethroat: 10/1
Munk / Blackcap: 1/0
Gransanger / Chiffchaff: 3/1
Løvsanger / Willow Warbler: 3/1
Bogfinke / Chaffinch: 1/1
Grønirisk / Greenfinch: 0/1
Tornirisk / Linnet: 1/0
Stor Gråsisken / Lesser Redpoll: 2/0
Slow day in Blåvand
Ringing (new / recapture)
Robin / Rødhals: 1/2
Common Redstart / Rødstjert: 1/0
Blackbird / Solsort: 0/1
Lesser Whitethroat / Gærdesanger: 0/1
Chiffchaff / Gransanger: 1/1
People at the station; Maciej, Agata, Bello, Bent, Menno
A Productive Day
Today started for me at 4:30 with some stretching and breathwork and then off to the counting which is 5:30 now. Because of the divers and the terns migrating at different heights I asked Menno to help me as it is difficult to cover both the sea and the sky at the same time. Agata and Maciej took care of the nets.
Despite yesterday's good diversity and numbers we had a rather slow day with just over 200 divers. The terns took the show with 700 Common(Fjord) / Arctic(Hav) Terns(Terner) and one Black Tern(Sortterne) which isn’t common in spring. No Skuas, and no surprises.
Little Terns. Photo by Mikkel Bello
Today was the day where we were putting up a fence for breeding little terns. So Bent, John and svend Aage came with pastry and buns before we started. We thought or i thought at least that it would take maybe a couple of hours but no it took 6 -7 hours before we were done but a good result it was. Menno was working on his internship and watching the nets as we were working.
Little Tern with green color ring. Photo by Mikkel Bello
We located 3 Ringed Plover nests and were accompanied with 5 little terns. Around 100 sandelings and 130 Sandwich Terns were resting on the sandbanks while we were digging, measuring and whatever else was needed to prepare the fence.
Ringed Plover(Stor Præstekrave) nesting. Photo by Mikkel Bello
Ringed Plover eggs. Photo by Mikkel Bello
Dofbasen Link, here
5/0 Robin (Rødhals)
1/0 Blackbird (Solsort)
5/0 Lesser Whitethroat (Gærdesanger)
1/0 Blackcap (Munk)
8/2 Chiffchaff (Gransanger)
8/0 Willow Warbler (Løvsanger)
2/0 Linnet (Tornirisk)
2/0 Lesser Redpoll (Lille Gråsisken)
People at the station: Bent, John Frikke, Svend Aage, Menno Maciej, Agata, Mikkel Bello
The seawatch beats the ringing
Today was finally good! My motivation has been pretty low due to the low or non migration that has been. Yesterday was a bit better, but today was above average! With 957 divers, a Black Throated Diver(Sortlom) as well, plenty Arctic/common terns, 5 arctic skuas(Almindelig Kjove), 1 Pomarine Skua(Mellem Kjove) which is the first in dk this season. We also had a serin, and good numbers of lesser black backed gull. And a possible citrin wagtail, Henrik has to look at the recording! 2 little gulls and a fulmar(Mallemuk) is also worth mentioning. So now the motivation is very good again, hopefully may will be a lot better m than April was!
Edit: After a bit of research the possible Citrin Wagtial (Citron Vipstjeret) is now probably a Olive Backed Pipet (Tajgapiber) which is an even better (rarer) spicies. Lets see
Pomarine Skua (Mellemkjove) Photo by Henrik Bøhmer
Today we also had an open ringing day. It was quite nice to see how many people showed up. The first few rounds did not have any birds, so we were a bit spooked that we could not show any birds. Luckely, when it started, we had some birds in the nets. We could show a redpoll, a few chiffchaffs and willow warblers and some blackcaps. One blackcap had fat 7 and weighted over 23 grams, a very heavy bird that already has enough fat to reach her breeding grounds.
Ringing totals (new/recaptures)
Lesser whitethroat (2/0)
Willow warbler (5/1)
Lesser redpoll (0/1)
People at the station: Some open day visitors, Bent, John, Leona, Bello, Maciej, Agata and Menno
The mouse is gone but a fox family settled
Today the ringing was a bit better than the days before. We captured 10 new birds and 3 recaptures. Due to a fox cub that Menno saw in the Helgolandtrap we asume that there is a whole fox family in the lighthousegarden. Because we don't want our birds in the nets to become foxfood we put up a foxtrap that we check regularly.
Bello also had a better day, with okay numbers of divers and terns, but still nothing out of the ordernary actually still a bit under standard.
When I took out the trash in the kitchen, I gasped. I was very surprised when I found that one of the mousetraps finally worked after nearly 2 months! Sadly it wasn't a living trap.
A bit of a retrospectif to the last month.
In April 508 new birds have been ringed. The most numerous species have been: Chiffchaff (95) and Robin (92). The highlights for me were two collared doves, nine wrynecks (as mentioned previous, this is almost the same amount as the highest season total) and the ring ouzel. Besides that, it has been really nice to see some birds that winter in southern parts of this world. Such as willow warbler, blackcap and lesser whitethroat. Up untill now we did not caught common whitethroat, but we expect that we catch one the coming days. Besides the new birds, we also had some nice recaptures. In total we had 4 foreign controls: a belgian Linnet, a belgian Blackcap, a german Robin and a french Chiffchaff.
Ringing data (new/recapture)
Willow warbler (3/0)
Great tit (0/1)
Day started better than the day before and first and second round brought us 3 birds (Redpolls and a Robin). During the day we did not catch many birds but we had opportunity to ring a Redwing. It was only 7th one this year. Weather was pretty good in the morning, but after 10 a.m. wind became stronger, what made us close nets just after 1 p.m.
Mikkel however observed more birds than yesterday. He saw almost 4 hundred Red-throated Divers and 2 Ring Ouzels near the camping.
Today we went on a trip to the Fanø lake in order to see Spoonbills and Bluethroats. Unfortunately, we did not see them, but still think this excursion was very pleasant. We saw big flocks of Barnacle Geese and Black-headed Gulls, and some other nice species, like a Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpipers, Shelducks and many Great Crested Grebes. When we were getting done with this little birdwatching, weather changed and looked really great from then, so we decided to go to some other place to look for our ‘’target species’’. We spent some time near the Tanesø lake, but instead of finding bluethroats we climbed on a little hill and took a short nap on grass. So the rarest species that we saw today in the afternoon were probably black geese that we chased in our dreams.
Robin / Rødhals: 1 / 0
Redwing / Vindrossel: 1 / 0
Blackcap / Munk: 2 / 0
Chiffchaff / Gransanger: 1 / 1
Lesser Redpoll / Stor Gråsisken: 1 / 1
Total: 6 / 2
Dofbasen link : https://dofbasen.dk/search/result.php?design=table&soeg=soeg&periode=dato&dato=29-04-2022&omraade=stor&stor=607&obstype=observationer&species=alle&sortering=dato
People at the station; Maciej, Agata, Bello, Bent, Leona and Menno
Nice day, few birds
Today was another slow day migration wise. Not everyday here can be full of birds, unfortunately. The migration over sea was even so slow that Mikkel was to bored to continue the count. Because of the low amount of birds in the nets, I decided to recontinue the seawatch from the ringing lab. In between the ringing I saw quite some migration of divers and scoters, so I decided to give Mikkel a call that it was not that boring actually. Shortly after the call, Mikkel joined me. During that time, there was some high migration of divers. Besides the divers and terns, we also saw some little terns, gannets and little gulls.
Although there were not that many birds to ring, we caught another new wryneck. This brings the total to 9 and we are only one short of the record of 10. We think it should be possible to catch some more, resulting in a new record number for this species.
For dinner we made a nice bonfire to grill some sausages and patotoes.
People at the station: Maciej, Agata, Bello, Bent, Leona and Menno
Black redstart (1/0)
Lesser whitethroat (1/0)
Willow warbler (6/1)
Lesser redpoll (1/0)
20 new birds over 10 species
Bonjour un autre torcol fourmilier!
In the beginning there was nothing. Or more prosaically saying, first round after opening the nets today was completely empty. We were quite scared that the rest of the day would look the same. Luckily, our fears were unfounded, and next rounds even managed to bring us some unexpected joy. The brightest highlight of the day was a Chiffchaff, or should I say Pouillot veloce, as it already had a French ring on a leg! Bird banding indeed is a wonderful activity because of so many things, like being in touch (quite literally) with the nature, constantly learning, getting to see so many different species from such a small distance, meeting so many amazing people and so on, but it is the recoveries like this that remind us why we are doing it. Collecting data about migration is one of the essential things that we learn by bird banding.
Of course, there were some other nice birds today, like for example a Tree Sparrow, that doesn't get caught so often as we would expect. Moreover, I can't say that we are bored, but for sure we are beginning to be used to Wrynecks - today we ringed three another ones. I am sure that we are all getting better in ageing them and don't think we could be in a better place to gain this experience right now. We also liked the Yellowhammer very much, as it was so colorful and pleasant to look at!
In terms of the seawatch, Mikkel did not have any super spectacular observations today. That does not mean however that he did not see anything. He sighted Little Terns and some migration movements of Divers. Other than that, he had a lot of time and opportunities to watch confused Shelducks flying there and back again.
In the meantime Agata made a dinner that we ate about 4 pm, what seems extremely early for a dinner in Denmark, but is completely normal in Poland. We hope that all of our non-polish friends were pleased with it anyway.
It is always astonishing to see from that close how incredibly yellow can be birds so common as the Yellowhammer. Photo: Maciej Wozniak
People at the station: Agata, Leona, Menno, Mikkel, Maciej
Complete list of birds caught today (ringed/recaptured):
Vendehals / Wryneck: 3/1
Gærdesmutte / Wren: 0/1
Jernspurv / Dunnock: 1/2
Rødhals / Robin: 1/4
Sangdrossel / Song Thrush: 0/1
Gærdesanger / Lesser Whitethroat: 1/0
Munk / Blackcap: 1/1
Gransanger / Chiffchaff: 3/2
Løvsanger / Willow Warbler: 2/1
Skovspurv / Eurasian Tree Sparrow: 1/0
Grønirisk / European Greenfinch: 1/0
Tornirisk / Linnet: 2/1
Stor Gråsisken / Lesser Redpoll: 1/0
Gulspurv / Yellowhammer: 1/0