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Erratic weather...

torsdag 31. august 2017
...and a "handfull" of reward
af Christian Schano

Vejr: direction - N (11); speed - 6 m/s; cloud cover - 7/8; visibility - 18 km; temperature - 11.7°C

Aaarg.. today, we could not even finish the count due to the... sorry, I have to say it again... the weather! We expected a little bad weather and did not expect much from the seamigration counting, although we were interested in seeing how the north wind will influence the number of passerines. At sea, we counted for about 1.5 hours but at some point, low visibility and rain, as well as the absence of birds forced us to stop the count, no big highlights at all. A bird that definitely needs an honorable mention was a Peregrine Falcon that took a wader (looked like a Sanderling). Very exciting to see it taking of with its prey.

Unfortunately, we did not ring in the morning despite a good amount of passerines to the garden and the counting station as well as nice weather in the early morning. As Henrik and me headed back to the station (due to the rain at around 8 o'clock), we had some good talks about rare birds and their appearances at different weather conditions. This made me really eager to ring again (and the weather for the upcoming days looks promising too), which, for some reason, Jonas must have felt. He spontanteously showed up and coincidently, the weather got better that moment. He decided to open the nets for two hours. By then, quite some birds were in the garden still, but of course, as we opened up the nets, most of them had already disappeared. Summarising, weather changed very often and in the end, it was just enough to catch a hand full of birds, amongst them, a beautiful male Common Redstart. However, the big numbers of birds in the garden in the early morning was gone by then (we assumed they must have left as soon as the rain stopped again). 

Ringmærkning: Common Redstart (1), Song Thrush (1), Blackcap (1), Lesser Whitethroat (1, Ringed in 2015 by Henrik as a 2k+).

Redstart

See you tomorrow, Christian

The calm before the storm..

onsdag 30. august 2017
...and my god.. it was calm!
af Christian Schano

Vejr: direction - NV (311); speed - 4 m/s; cloud cover - 1/8; visibility - 15 km; temperature - 15.9°C

I am afraid, I soon will start to struggle to find a first sentence other than "Again, we had XY weather, but not many birds", but it unfortunately really is true. So luckily, this sentence just saved me from starting so similarly for the third time in a row. Wader migration seems to have come to an end, but Common Scoters and Gannets kept us busy. Unfortunately, this was not because they were incredibly numerous, but just couldn't decide whether it is best to rest, to fly south or to fly north. Gannets were a bit more frequent today (about 250 birds), but numbers of Common Scoters did not change drastically compared to the previous days. Today however brought our first Grey Wagtail of the autumn, which we could only hear, but not see due to the quick pass and our focus on a Great Skua, again flying over the beach very closely (we are fearing it might be the same bird that we spotted over the last couple of days and might be sick as the remiges seemed to be in bad condition). This skua also meant that counting gulls and tern proceeded extremely difficult today, as they avoided the beach. Well, it seemed, we were not the only ones who saw a skua at close range today, I coincidently got a nice picture from Sandra today (I will normally not post anything that is not directly related to the "fuglestation", but in this case, I thought an exception is okay :) ).

Ringing was quiet aswell, we had 6 species, summing up to 13 individuals, but no real highlights aswell, although we enjoyed talking about rarities a lot :).
Ringmærkning: Robin (1), Garden Warbler (3), Blackcap (5), Chiffchaff (2), Willow Warbler (1), Spotted Flycatcher (1). 

Skua1

Let's see what tomorrow brings, Christian

Many people, few birds

tirsdag 29. august 2017
.. a day to enjoy good company!
af Christian Schano

Vejr: direction - S (172); speed -  5m/s; cloud cover - 6/8; visibility - 10 km; temperature - 17.4 °C

Although warm and not too windy, the first impression of only few birds did not improve over the day. Oystercatcher and wader migration was, again, extremely poor. Maybe, the majority of Oystercatchers has already passed. During the first hour, we had company of our two guests who stayed overnight, they helped us with the migration counts and in counting at the sea as well as inland. As it is Tuesday, we were later also joined by the "Tuesday-Group", aswell as by David, who had visited us quite a few timesover the last two weeks. They were not even at the counting spot for 15 minutes and Henrik K found a young Little Gull, such a nice bird (but probably the most distant one I have ever seen). A few Velvet Scoters (found by Henrik and David), the Little Gull and an Osprey (3rd for the season, found by the Tuesday-Group), were the highlights of today's count, so nothing much to see this morning. However, 21 Kestrels on migration need an honorable mention, aswell as four Caspian Gulls found at the beach during the gull counts by Henrik K. 

Ringing was carried out by Bent, but as on other ringing stations in Europe (Falsterbo in Sweden and St. Martin's therme & Lodge in Eastern Austria), numbers were pretty low today. 
Ringmærkning: Pied Flycatcher (1), Common Whitethroat (2), Blackcap (1), Dunnock (1), Bullfinch (1), Garden Warbler (1). In total: 7 individuals of 6 species.

As promised, I post (two) pictures today. Please see for yourself, that everyone, despite the low numbers of birds, is fully focused and concentrated. I really appreciate how everybody withstands the quietness of the day and even pushed harder to accomplish the count as good as possible. 

DSC 0742

DSC 0745

Hope to catch up with all of you tomorrow, Christian

It "turns" the other way now...

mandag 28. august 2017
...or maybe "terns" :)
af Christian Schano

Vejr: direction - V (260); speed - 3 m/s; cloud cover - 4/8; visibility - 18+ km; temperature - 15.1 °C 

We had near perfect conditions at the sea migration today, no wind, no rain, but... unfortunately, no birds as well. Common Scoters and Oystercatchers reached a record-low today (since I am here). However, we were really satisfied with 11 Arctic Skuas, they carried us through the morning, as the count otherwise would have been extremely "unexciting". The definite highlight were two Caspian terns, that we luckily could spot at acceptable range and, due to the few other birds, managed to follow them astonished with our scopes before we took on counting the (nearly nonexistent) rest of the birds. As Henrik shouted: "they turn the other way", while looking at the terns, but I Interpretetd "they TERN" the other way", the title of today's blog was born. Gannets again gathered up right infront of us, but numbers were a little lower than the previous days. 

Bent was assisted by Sandra for her final two hours in the morning before he carried on ringing alone (as Sandra and me headed to the airport to get her to her plane). All in All, he had 12 Species with 25 individuals.

Ringmærkning: Dunnock (5), Robin (1), Song Thrush (1), Reed Warbler (1), Lesser Whitethroat (1), Common Whitethroat (4), Garden Wabler (3), Blackcap (3), Spotted Flycatcher (1), Coal Tit (1), Blue Tit (3), Yellowhammer (1). In total: 25 birds of 12 species.

There will be more time for pictures tomorrow, I promise, so tune in tomorrow,

Christian

Two weeks pass fast

søndag 27. august 2017
but only if time is well spent...
af SSt & CSc

Vejr: direction - NV (308); speed – 5 m/s; cloud cover - 5/8; visibility - 18+ km; temperature – 15,1 °C

Today, Sandra and Christian only joined Henrik at around 7 o’clock, but we have already missed 4 Arctic Skuas by then. So far, it has been the best day for them (since we came here), with a total of 9 birds within the three hours of counting. Otherwise, the migration was extremely slow and stopped nearly entirely around 8 o’clock. However, while checking the gulls, we found a Yellow-legged Gull and at least four different Caspian Gulls, one of which had a colour ring Henrik was able to read (ringed in Hiddensee, Germany in 2013). So, even when the day might look slow for some species, others are still nice to watch :). Additionally, for most of the counting period, we had nice company of Søren, who made sure we counted correctly :). As it was Sandra’s last full day, we decided to take a creative goodbye-picture of three counters today, while Sandra remains, metaphorically speaking, as a shadow (Her shadow is the waving one).

SandraLast

So, from tomorrow on, Christian will write the blog on his own, so I hope, I can keep up with the creativity of the pictures :). Stay tuned,

Sandra & Christian

Little wind, little birds

lørdag 26. august 2017
..but a nice (big) one for us...
af SSt & CSc

Vejr: direction - SV (233); speed - 5m/s; cloud cover - 6/8; visibility - 15 km; temperature - 16.4°C

Henrik, again, was on his own for the migration count today. He had a quiet morning without many birds and no speciality, other than some low-numbered species mentioned earlier over the last few days (such as 2 Caspian Gulls and  Arctic Skuas, for example). 

Ringingwise, Michael helped out today and motivated Sandra and me to find a Barred Warbler. After two birds, we couldn't believe our eyes when approaching the F6 net in the lighthouse garden: there REALLY was a Barred Warbler in the net. Lucky us, it was the first bird Sandra has ever seen and she could even hold it in her hand briefly for a couple of record shots right before we released it (see picture). Beside this clear highlight for the three of us however, the day did not bring that many other birds, even though, compared to the last days, numbers were absolutely okay. We just couldn't find an explanation on why the birds are not migrating on such a nice and beautiful day. 

Ringmærkning: Blackbird (1), Blackcap (2), Barred Warbler (1), Garden Warbler (2), Willow Warbler (1), Lesser Whitethroat (1), Common Whitethroat (4), Bullfinch (4), Dunnock (4). Intotal: 20 individuals of 9 species.

Barred Warbler

Again, after an amazing day that also generated a nice female Merlin, but only few passerines for Henrik, we had a great feast at the station, all in all, we were 10 people tonight (which is also why you all had to wait this long for the blog). I'ts been a very nice evening and if tomorrow is just a little bit like today, we can definitely call it a good day too. Unfortunately, it is Sandra's last full day tomorrow, she will leave the station monday morning to travel back to Austria. We hope to be able to share some good stories again with you tomorrow, so.. stay tuned
Sandra & Christian

Positively surprising twist...

fredag 25. august 2017
..a day of "colourblindness" and anticipation to bad weather!
af SSt & CSc

Vejr: direction - V (271); speed - 9 m/s; cloud cover - 7/8; visibility - 15 km; temperature - 15.9° C

Today, Sandra, Henrik and Christian went out for migration counting as no ringing took place at the station. There is nothing to brag about really, the day was incredibly quiet. We had some nice views of Velvet Scoters, a Great Skua and a couple of Arctic Terns but waders and ducks generally stayed almost absent today. Sandra and Henrik had a tempered (in a positive and funny way) argument about ring colors and apparently we summarised, that black and blue rings are more difficult to keep apart than one may think. The gull counts generated two Mediterranean Gulls, which we were specifically happy about after a quiet day, but no Caspian Gulls were counted by us (although Matthias from Gemany could see two in the morning). 

While Henrik spent some time at the beach in the afternoon and cought up with the missing waders (he had 500+ Oystercatchers and generated some brilliant pictures), Sandra and Christian travelled to Filsø and enjoyed a big group of Red Deer (174 animals) on the way back. After arriving at the station, we were warmly welcomed by a nice dinner, prepared by Kim and Maria. Those of you who read our blog regularly may remember that we unfortunately destroyed Henriks umbrella last Saturday which he was not angry about, but we obviously had to come up with something (funny). Sandra bought a new umbrella for Henrik and it arrived at the station today. As soon as Henrik opened the package, all the frustration from colour rings and a quiet morning were blown away and, we assume you can see for yourselves (see picture by Kim Stendorf), he was really happy with it :).

Henrik

Tomorrow looks like a promising day for ringing, so, stay tuned,
Sandra & Christian 

 



Gull-Topia..

torsdag 24. august 2017
and Wren-wrestling :)
af SSt & CSc

Vejr: direction - SO (135); speed - 10 m/s; cloud cover - 6/8; visibility - 18+ km; temperature - 16,1°C 

Today, Henrik was all on his own at the migration count. However, he was rewarded for his actions. Although the day was calm with low numbers of birds, he had an amazing list of gulls today, TEN species (Herring Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Greater Black Backed Gull, Common Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Kittiwake, Little Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Caspian Gull, Yellow Legged Gull). Raptor migration was nice as well (Marsh Harrier, Peregrine falcon, okay numbers of Kestrels...).

On the other hand, the Austrians got what they deserved for being three people at the nets again: not many species and only few individuals, including a little bit of rain at the end of the ringing period. Sandra faced the challenge of taking her first Wren out of the net, a welcome practise on a calm day. The picture shows a rather ruffled, but this is due to the wind and not because of Sandra's handling :). 

Ringmærkning: Garden Warbler (2), Wren (1), Blackcap (2), Willow Warbler (5), Pied Flycatcher (1), Bullfinch (1). In Total: 12 individuals of 5 species. 


Wren

In the evening, Kim and Maria arrived for their regular stay at the station, they will be here for a couple of nights now. Kim already told us a lot about his passion about butterflies and moths, and we are excited to (hopefully) be able to join him finding some moths over these days. 

Looks like we are all going for migration counting tomorrow rather than ringing, so.. stay tuned, more eyes might see more nice birds to report.
Sandra & Christian

One ring to rule them all.. 52 rings actually!

onsdag 23. august 2017
About good weather and great ringing!
af SSt & CSc

Vejr: direction - NO (40); speed - 2 m/s; cloud cover - 4-5/8; visibility - 15 km (little foggy); temperature - 11,8°C

Migration counting was very quiet today. An early Arctic Skua in bad light and a Spotted Redshank was as good as it got today, so David and Henrik were not rewarded for their hard work this time unfortunately. However, Tree Pipits and Yellow Wagtails were more common today, compared to the previous week.

On the other hand, ringing was phenomenal, at least compared to the previous days, and much appreciated by us (the Austrians), as we had a nice spectrum of species and individuals. Among them was a really nice Nuthatch, which is quite an uncommon sight at Blåvand Fuglestation. Spotted Flycatchers and a Common Treecreeper were pushing the happiness really quickly and Reed Warblers were a nice identificiation challenge, first time for Christian to have one in the hand. 

Nuthatch

Ringmærkning: Dunnock (6), Robin (2), Common Redstart (3), Blackbird (2), Reed Warbler (2), Lesser Whitethroat (1), Common Whitethroat (1), Garden Warbler (8), Blackcap (2), Willow Warbler (14), Spotted Flycatcher (2), Pied Flycatcher (1), Nuthatch (1), Common Treecreeper (1), Tree Sparrow (2), Bullfinch (3), Yellowhammer (1). In Total: 52 individuals in 17 species.

Due to the nice weather we managed to get some nice clips for the video we are making about the Blåvand Fuglestation as well, so... stay tuned for this one in a few weeks. See you tomorrow,
Sandra & Christian 

Back to life.. back to ringing!

tirsdag 22. august 2017
Finally, some ringing again...
af SSt & CSc

Vejr: direction - NV (313); speed - 10 m/s; cloud cover - 6/8; visibility - 18+ km; temperature - 14.6°C

Today's migration counting went slowly. It was still pretty windy in the morning and satisfying flocks of waders and terns stayed out for the entire count. Not even Oystercatchers and Black Scoters appeared in decent flocks and instead, only showed in low numbers. However, Teals and Kittiwakes were a little(!) more frequent than the previous week and thus gave a little bit of diversion to the usual sightings. The most interesting birds today were 5 Velvet Scoters and a Great Skua. The Skua stayed at the beach for several hours and after counting, we could get some nice record shots from a fairly satisfying distance. Here is a collection of some of the shots we took:

Great Skua

Bent and Sandra were happy to finally pick up ringing again and were successful compared to the previous days, which unfortunately have been too rainy and windy for ringing. A welcome surprise was a Willow Tit, not only for Sandra, Christian and Bent, but also for Henrik and Jørgen. This picture shows the Willow Tit and Bent's Fingers :).


Willow Tit Denmark 22 08 2017 0001

Ringmærkning: Willow Warbler (1), Willow Tit (1), Blackcap (2), Garden Warbler (1), Whitethroat (1), Bullfinch (2), Blackbird (2), Dunnock (2), Lesser Whitethroat (1). Total: 9 Species and 13 individuals.

We are hoping for the best tomorrow, so far the weather looks very promising, so.. stay tuned,

Sandra & Christian


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