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How lucky can we get?

søndag 10. november 2019
Silkehale fanget og ringmærket på en diset dag.
af Lisa Flam

Last night when I went to shower, I heard many birds outside the window. Good thing I had my phone with me- I texted Michael and Yotam immediately to go out and listen, and also turn on the night recording. (We are still processing the results, will take some time, but they will be shared on trektellen.nl.)

The migration was amazing! Geese, Redwings (vindrosler), Blackbirds (solsorte), Fieldfares (sjaggere), Dunlins (almindelige ryler), Common Snipe (dobbeltbekkasin) etc. Early in the morning it continued, while opening the nets we saw hundreds of Thrushes all over! After finishing opening the nets in the Lighthouse Garden I already saw 5 Thrushes in the nets, so of course we went out immediately for first round. On the first round, in addition to some Robins (rødhalse), Blackcaps (munke), Wren (gærdesmutte) etc., there were 12 Blackbirds, 1 Redwing and 1 Fieldfare! This brings us to 5 Fieldfares ringed this season, after 2 years without them being caught at all.

It was a very foggy day today. Most of the bird observation was by sound and not by sight. Michael's spot was on top of the hill in the Lighthouse Garden. The interesting species were Parrot Crossbills (store korsnæb), a few flocks of Pink-footed Geese (kortnæbbede gæs), 1 Woodcock (skovsneppe) (I had one in the net-opening round as well).

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So much mist, we could hardly see the beach! Photo: Lisa Flam

Second round, I looked at one of the nets from a distance and saw a Blackbird and another bird I’ve never seen in the net. I couldn’t believe my eyes- for the ones who read the blog daily, you might have known by now that the last bird on my ‘wish list’ was a Bohemian Waxwing (silkehale). I’ve seen one here before that Mathias spotted during ringing, so I was definitely satisfied, although I was still hoping for one in the net.

I walked to the net and found a WAXWING! Yes, I had tears in my eyes (Yotam was there, just ask him). I might be over-dramatic, but you can trust me it is worth it.

In the last 40 years in the station less then 30 Waxwings were ringed, they were caught during only 5 seasons, last time was 2012 with an amazing number of no less then 23! Henrik Knudsen had a good year. Before that, Iben ringed one in 2005. There were also 3 in 1990 and 1 in 1988. It was a nice bird to wish for, but definitely no guarantee. We were all very excited today to have the opportunity to ring this amazing bird! 

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1CY male Waxwing (silkehale)!! Photo: Lisa Flam 

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Here is a good sign for a 1CY. Look at the 'waxy' tips: an adult would have 5-6 long bright red tips on the end of the feathers. This individual has 2 short red ones (An adult would have longer tips) and 3 light pinkish. Photo: Lisa Flam

After 9:00 it seemed like all bird were gone, and we caught mostly recaptures. But even though, it was a good day!

This time I have to thank Blåvand for making my dreams come true time after time.

And thanks Yotam and Michael for your help!

Species New Ringed Recapture
Bohemian Waxwing (silkehale) 1  
Wren (gærdesmutte)   1
Dunnock (jernspurv)   1
Robin (rødhals) 5 2
Blackbird (munk) 13 1
Fieldfare (sjagger) 1  
Redwing (vindrossel) 2  
Blackcap (munk) 4  
Great Tit (musvit)   2
Total 26 7