Her på Blåvand's blog bringes korte nyheder i dagbogsformat om livet og hændelser på fuglestationen.

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Seawatch and Nightjars

torsdag 8. juli 2021
af Samuel Perfect

No moth trapping took place for the first time in several weeks. This allowed me to "lie-in" until 4am so that I could go directly to do the observations instead.

Highlights included 44 Red-throated Divers (Rødstrubet Lom, Gavia stellata), 4 Wigeon (Pibeand, Mareca penelope) the first for several weeks, and a selection of common wader species.

See the link below for a full account of this morning's seawatch totals.


In the evening we headed to Oksby Klitplantage for Nightjars (Natravn, Caprimulgus europaeus). We were not disappointed as we all received good views as well as heard (and recorded) their incredible churring song. Have a listen to the two recordings uploaded to xeno-canto.




Oksby Klitplantage

Moths and seawatch

onsdag 7. juli 2021
af Samuel Perfect

The moth trap was quieter than of late as the wind picked up considerably. Even so 78 moths were trapped of 27 species. The only new species for the year was Agriphila inquinatella. Several Rhodostrophia vibicaria (Lædermåler) are still turning up which is always a delight as it's a species I have never seen before coming to Denmark!


Stock photo of a Rhodostrophia vibicaria (Lædermåler)

It was a busy afternoon with three large guided tours taking place. Fortunately, despite being early afternoon we caught two birds to show to the gathered crowd. It is always a pleasure seeing the awe on everyones face when showing and telling them about our ringing activities as well as why and how we do the work at the bird observatory.


  • Lesser Whitethroat (Gærdesanger, Curruca curruca)
  • Linnet (Tornirisk, Linaria cannabina)

Personnel: Kim, Maria, Bent, and Samuel

Moths, seawatch, and colour ring reading

tirsdag 6. juli 2021
af Samuel Perfect

Three things on the morning agenda as the blog title suggests. First of all 143 moths were trapped involving 56 species. Year ticks came in the form of Swallow-tailed Moth (Natsvalehale, Ourapteryx sambucaria), Snout (Snudeugle, Hypena proboscidalis), and Dwarf Cream Pug (Gråkantet Engmåler, Idaea fuscovenosa). A fresh Bedstraw Hawkmoth (Snerresværmer, Hyles gallii) was also a pleasant surprise.


Bedstraw Hawkmoth (Snerresværmer, Hyles gallii)

For the second day running seawatching produced a good total of 50 Red-throated Divers (Rødstrubet Lom, Gavia stellata). Further noteworthy sightings included a 3cy Caspian Gull (Kaspisk Måge, Larus cachinnans) and a White-tailed Eagle (Havørn, Haliaeetus albicilla) stood on the beach.


Caspian Gull (Kaspisk Måge, Larus cachinnans)


3cy Caspian Gull (Kaspisk Måge, Larus cachinnans) on the left with a 3cy Herring Gull (Sølvmåge, Larus argentatus) on the right


A flock of Dunlins (Almindelig Ryle, Calidris alpina) making a brief stop at the point to feed up before continuing south.

To end the morning's birding escapade I read a total of 20 colour rings on the gulls stood on the beach. I look forward to seeing where they have originated.

See the link below for a full account of this morning's observations.


Personnel: Bent and Samuel

Seawatch and moths

mandag 5. juli 2021
af Samuel Perfect

A total of 235 moths of 66 species were trapped overnight, by far the busiest night of the year! Year ticks came in the form of: Lempke’s Gold Spot (Lille Perlemormetalugle, Plusia putnami), Green Carpet (Grøn kammåler, Colostygia pectinataria), Smoky Wainscot (Sortstribe Græsugle, Mythimna impura), Small Seraphim (Pile-Seksvinge, Pterapherapteryx sexalata), Spilonota laricana, Piniphila bifasciana, Aphelia viburnana, and Celypha rufana.


Lempke’s Gold Spot (Lille Perlemormetalugle, Plusia putnami)


Green Carpet (Grøn kammåler, Colostygia pectinataria),

A rather productive seawatch with some waders passing in good diversity. Highlights included a breeding plumage Curlew Sandpiper (Krumnæbbet Ryle, Calidris ferruginea), and a surprisingly high total of 44 Red-throated Divers (Rødstrubet Lom, Gavia stellata), and 496 Dunlin (Almindelig ryle, Calidris alpina), the highest day count of the year so far.

See the link below for a full account of the morning's observations.


Personnel: Samuel

Waders on the move

søndag 4. juli 2021
af Samuel Perfect

A very quick blog post this time so I can squeeze in a few hours sleep before running through all the motions again.

In total 131 moths were trapped overnight involving 52 species. Highlights included 7 Silver Y (Gammaugle, Autographa gamma), dozens more were seen later in the day suggesting an upsurge in migrant moth activity, 2 Plutella xylostella, Yellow Shell (Okkergul Bladmåler, Camptogramma bilineata), Notocelia roborana (year tick) and Lobesia abscisana (year tick).


Lobesia abscisana

The light southeasterly wind produced a rather decent passage of waders past the point, the commonest of which was Dunlin (Almindelig Ryle, Calidris alpina) totalling 332!


A surprise Yellow-legged Gull (Middelhavssølvmåge, Larus michahellis) was also stood on the beach.

It was also a five tern species seawatch day, represented by: Common Tern (Fjordterne, Sterna hirundo), Arctic Tern (Havterne, Sterna paradisaea), Sandwich Tern (Splitterne, Thalasseus sandvicensis), Black Tern (Sortterne, Chlidonias niger), and Caspian Tern (Rovterne, Hydroprogne caspia)!

See the link below for a full account of this morning's observations.


In the afternoon I went for a bike ride to Tipmose to photograph some invertebrates and flowers, I have yet to go through all my pictures so here's a Common Toad (Skrubtudse, Bufo bufo) for your amusement for now...


Common Toad (Skrubtudse, Bufo bufo)

Personnel: Samuel

2nd Manx of the year!

lørdag 3. juli 2021
af Samuel Perfect

A total of 156 moths of 48 species were trapped overnight. Highlights included year ticks in the form of Red-necked Footman (Blodnakke, Atolmis rubricollis), Flame (Brændeugle, Axylia putris), True Lover's Knot (Spættet Lyngugle, Lycophotia porphyrea), and Common Wave (Gulhvid Stregmåler, Cabera exanthemata).


Red-necked Footman (Blodnakke, Atolmis rubricollis)


A suprise Great Green Bush-cricket (Stor Grøn Løvgræshoppe, Tettigonia viridissima) was also lurking in the trap when I checked it at 4am!

The standardised seawatch was even quieter than yesterday although a Manx Shearwater (Almindelig Skråpe, Puffinus puffinus) shearing north at close range livened things up as it was only the second individual past Blåvands Huk this year! Additional noteworthy sightings included 17 Gannets (Sule, Morus bassanus), 140 Common Terns (Fjordterne, Sterna hirundo) mostly heading in a southbound direction, and an adult White-tailed Eagle (Havørn, Haliaeetus albicilla) perched on the beach perhaps looking for some food to scavange as it was in the same spot as a Red Fox (Rød Ræv, Vulpes vulpes) which was feeding on a washed up Harbour Porpoise (Marsvin, Phocoena phocoena) carcass the day before.

See the full account of this morning's seawatch in the link below.


Personnel: Samuel

Seawatch and moths

fredag 2. juli 2021
af Samuel Perfect

The moth trap was once again quite busy with 113 moths of 52 species trapped. Highlights included several firsts for the year in the form of Archer's Dart (Strand-Landmand, Agrotis vestigialis), Riband Wave (Vinkelstreget Løvmåler, Idaea aversata), Grey Pine Carpet (Grå Fyrremåler, Thera obeliscata), and Epiblema grandaevana.


Archer's Dart (Strand-Landmand, Agrotis vestigialis)

As I was releasing the moths into the long grass I chanced upon this stunning male Sand Lizard (Markfirben, Lacerta agilis) perched at the top of some grass stems waiting for the sun to warm it. It remained motionless for half an hour allowing me to get some great photographic oportunities of it!



Sand Lizard (Markfirben, Lacerta agilis)

The morning's seawatch also produced a few noteworthy sightings including an adult Bar-tailed Godwit (Lille Kobbersneppe, Limosa lapponica), 44 Red-breasted Merganser (Toppet Skallesluger, Mergus serrator), 12 Red-throated Diver (Rødstrubet Lom, Gavia stellata), and a trickle of Common Scoter (Sortand, Melanitta nigra). On my return to the observatory, there was a smart male Redstart (Rødstjert, Phoenicurus phoenicurus) feeding in the car park!

Bent also dropped by today. His walk around the recording area produced some noteworthy sightings including Little Ringed Plover (Lille Præstekrave, Charadrius dubius), three Red-backed Shrike (Rødrygget tornskade, Lanius collurio) and seven Ringed Plover (Stor Præstekrave, Charadrius hiaticula) including a fully grown 1st calendar year individual which may not have been born on site.

See the link below for a full account of this morning's observations.


Personnel: Bent and Samuel

First standardised observation of the "Autumn"!

torsdag 1. juli 2021
af Samuel Perfect

The morning period was rather busy as I tried checking the moth trap very early in order to conduct the first standardised observation of the "autumn" from sunrise!

As it turns out the northeasterly wind produced the largest catch of the year to date with 176 moths of 60 species! Highlights included several firsts for the year in the form of: Bedstraw Hawkmoth (Snerresværmer, Hyles gallii), Silver-ground Carpet (Bakkebladmåler, Xanthorhoe montanata), Clouded-bordered Brindle (Rustugle, Apamea crenata), Dotted Fan-foot (Græs-Snudeugle, Macrochilo cribrumalis), Barred Straw (Citrongul Havemåler, Eulithis pyraliata), Donacaula mucronella, Glyphipterix thrasonella, and Archips podana.



Bedstraw Hawkmoth (Snerresværmer, Hyles gallii)


Glyphipterix thrasonella

As alluded to earlier, immediately after checking the moth trap I headed down to the coast to conduct the first standardised observation of the "autumn", a favourable north easterly breeze greeted me and resulted in a fairly productive start to the season. Highlights included a single Little Ringed Plover (Lille Præstekrave, Charadrius dubius) flying north, 40 Red-breasted Merganser (Toppet Skallesluger, Mergus serrator), and a huge gathering of gulls stretching all the way from the Blåvand Horses in the south to well into the military area in the north.

See the link below for a full account of this morning's sightings.


The most unusual sighting of the day goes to a fully leucistic or albino Common Scoter (Sortand, Melanitta nigra) which flew south with a flock of 60 normal Common Scoters! Follow the link for a bit of shaky phone-scope fottage).



A fully leucistic or albino Common Scoter (Sortand, Melanitta nigra) with a flock of normal Common Scoter

Personnel: Bent and Samuel.

Moths and gulls

onsdag 30. juni 2021
af Samuel Perfect

A quieter day following yesterday's escapades. Once again the moths took up much of the morning and included 83 mothsof 34 species. Although the totals were down on yesterday evening some noteworthy species were still caught including Shark (Grå Hætteugle, Cucullia umbratica), Elephant Hawkmoth (Dueurtsværmer, Deilephila elpenor), and Swallow Prominent (Poppelporcelænsspinder, Pheosia tremula).


Elephant Hawkmoth (Dueurtsværmer, Deilephila elpenor) with two Small Elephant Hawkmoths (Lille Vinsværmer, Deilephila porcellus)

There has been quite a lot of interest lately in the moth trap I have been using so just to inform readers exactly what I do I have built a wooden box with two pieces of perspex angled inwards at the top of the box (this design is known as a "Skinner" moth trap). I then placed a mercury vapour bulb over the box and distribute some egg cartons in and around the trap for the moths to perch on. It's then a simple matter of leaving out overnight and checking it early the following morning. It tends to take an hour or two to sift through the results in the morning, identify as many of the moths as possible, log them in an excel spreadsheet, and take some photos of a selection of the catch. Once all have been logged I release them back into the long grass and bushes unharmed ready for them to polinate, mate, and (in some cases) migrate the following evening.


My homemade "Skinner" Moth Trap

The forecasted rain held off longer than expected so a wander down to the beach was made to catch up with some gull activity in the hope of reading some colour rings. There were 1000's of gulls present but the task of reading rings was surprisingly tricky given their skittish behaviour. Perseverance finally allowed me to read a total of four Lesser Black-backed Gull (Sildemåge, Larus fuscus) colour rings and find a resting Caspian Tern (Rovterne, Hydroprogne caspia) in the process. I kept an eye on the sea in the meantime but very little seemed to be on the move. See the link below for a full account of this morning's sightings.



Caspian Tern (Rovterne, Hydroprogne caspia)


colour ringed Lesser Black-backed Gull (Sildemåge, Larus fuscus)

People: Samuel

Moths and field trip

tirsdag 29. juni 2021
af Samuel Perfect

The moth trap produced 108 moths of 48 species including the first Sand Dart (Kyst-Landmand, Agrotis ripae), Clay (Rusten Græsugle, Mythimna ferrago), Acleris bergmanniana, Anania hortulata, and Scoparia pyralella of the year.


Sand Dart (Kyst-Landmand, Agrotis ripae)

As well as the year ticks, I am catching quite a few colourful species, although I tend to pay them less attention and focus on the trickier ones to identify. As a result, I took a brief moment to take some quick pictures of some of the more familiar (if not more colourful) moths for our readers to enjoy.


Puss Moth (Hermelinskåbe, Cerura vinula)


Pine Hawkmoth (Fyrresværmer, Sphinx pinastri)


Clouded Buff (Rødfrynset bjørn, Diacrisia sannio)

Once Bent arrived, we headed out together for a visit to Filsø and Vrøgum Kær for a mix of birds, invertebrates, and flowers. Bird highlights on our trip included singing Cuckoos (Gøg, Cuculus canorus), White-tailed Eagle (Havørn, Haliaeetus albicilla), Red-necked Grebe (Gråstrubet lappedykker, Podiceps grisegena), singing Bluethroat (Blåhals, Luscinia svecica), and last but not least a suprise 2nd calendar year male Montagu's Harrier (Hedehøg, Circus pygargus) hunting over Kallesmærsk Hede! Follow the link below for a shaky video of the harrier.


Further highlights included our main targets of the day, Early Marsh-orchid (Kødfarvet Gøgeurt, Dactylorhiza incarnata) and Heath Spotted-orchid (Plettet Gøgeurt, Dactylorhiza maculata)!



Heath Spotted-orchid (Plettet Gøgeurt, Dactylorhiza maculata)


Bent amongst the Heath Spotted-orchids (Plettet Gøgeurt, Dactylorhiza maculata)

To finish the day a stunning sunset as a backdrop to the lighthouse at Blåvand.


People: Bent and Samuel

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