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A windy but a rewarding day

fredag 11. marts 2022
Both ringing and counting had a few good birds
af Menno den Uijl

Because of the rather strong eastern winds today, only two nets could be opened. Despite this, we managed to catch 10 birds of 6 species. One of the catches was a lovely adult male Brambling. We also caught the first Chiffchaff this season.


Brambling, by Menno

Because of the easterlies, the observers had a rather busy day. The wind had blown some waders too far to the west for their migration route to their breeding grounds in Siberia. Because this disorientation, they flew south to their wintering area, the Wadden sea, to fatten up for another try. This resulted in an autumn alike day with much wader migration. But not only the wader migration kept the counters busy, also the ducks flew back to the south. Mainly wigeon, pintail and teal were seen. Next to all this, Henrik was able to pick up a black guillemot and gave good whereabouts, so all the observers saw it eventually.

After the sea watch, Henrik found another rarity, two males pied wagtail. This bird is a breeding bird in Britain, but every spring and autumn multiple turn up in the countries around the North Sea. Leona and Mikkel tried to see them and found another one. They were even managing to make some nice pictures.


Pied Wagtail, by Bello

Ringmærkningsliste (Nye/ Genfanget):

4/0 Blackbird

1/0 Chiffchaff

1/0 Great Tit

1/0 Brambling

1/0 Siskin

1/1 Redpoll

= 9 new birds of 6 species

DOFbasen list:


Folk på stationen: Bello, Menno, Leona, Timmy and Henrik

An exotic guest

torsdag 10. marts 2022
af Leona Gottschalkson

Due to the wind that was over 9 m/s we only opened half of the nets. Still, we were able to put a nice ring on 8 new birds of 5 different species. Surprisingly we did not have any recaptures in our nets today. The fat highscore has been beaten today again by a Dunnock which had 5/9 fat-score.

Unfortunately we didn’t capture the many Starlings and Siskins that were seen by Menno and Bello. They saw a Little Gull and with 1160 Black-Headed Gulls and the first Lesser-Black-Backed Gulls of this spring the gull migration of is slowly starting.

While Bello did his daily Training, he was distracted by a strange sighting. An exotic cat had entered our garden. A Serval! He called the zookeepers of Blåvands Zoo which were right around the corner looking for their escapee. They arrived within 2 minutes and went into our garden. First they tried to capture it with a hand catcher but the bushes were too dense. Suddenly we heard a loud bang and asked ourselves if it was tranquilizer munition. We asked them but they said it had to be killed. Later we read a twitter post by the Jutland Police which said that the serval was caught and back with its owners in the Zoo.


Female Blackbird. Photo by Leona.


Serval by the nets in our station garden. Photo by Bello.


Ringmærkningsliste (Nye/ Genfanget):

2/0 Dunnock

2/0 Blackbird

1/0 Blue Tit

2/0 Chaffinch

1/0 Redpoll

= 8 new birds of 5 species


DOFbasen list:



Folk på stationen: Bello, Menno, Leona, Timmy

First redpolls this season

onsdag 9. marts 2022
af Leona Gottschalkson

This morning was sunny as usual. It is already the 8th day in a row that there was a nearly cloudless sky and the sun shining all day long! Also the number of birds we are catching seems to be increasing day by day now. We caught 13 birds in total of 8 different Species. One of the dunnocks we ringed stood out because it had the most fat we have seen so far with a score of 4/9. Today a new species arrived in our nets: The Redpoll! We ringed 4 of them, including a beautiful adult male.

The observers saw their first highlight, a black-throated diver which was the earliest sighting since 2012.

Another news, he carpenter finally arrived to fix the doors. Hopefully the functionality of the doors will last for some time.

In the next days there is more wind to come and we might not be able to open all nets.


Photo of two of the in total four redpolls. The topone is an adult, the lower was the second-year.

Ringmærkningsliste (Nye/ Genfanget):
2/1 Dunnock
0/1 Robin
0/1 Wren
0/1 Blue Tit
0/1 Tree Sparrow
0/1 Yellowhammer
4/0 Redpoll
1/0 Siskin
= 7 new birds of 3 species


DOFbasen list:

Folk på stationen: Bent, Bello, Menno, Leona, Timmy

8 birds ringed on the 8th day of the season

tirsdag 8. marts 2022
And a Black-tailed Godwit spotted by the counters!
af Leona Gottschalkson, Timmy Micallef

Today was the best ringing day so far with 10 birds in total, 8 new birds and 2 recaptures. Few birds still, but an increase nonetheless. We ringed the first Tree Sparrow for the season, as well as the first Brambling (female). At the counts, Menno and Bello found few but interesting birds such as a Black-tailed Godwit – a rather rare sighting during spring here. They also enjoyed Snow Buntings and Red Crossbills, with six more of the latter flying over the station garden as we completed the standard ringing hours around lunchtime. 

Bent and Svend joined us mid-morning too. There is always work to be done in and around the station, apart from the standard ringing and counting. We're sure it would be impossible without their longterm dedication. Thanks to them for the nice fika too!

Later in the afternoon we set up (Timmy’s) trail camera to monitor for mammals and birds. Perhaps we'll get a glimpse of nocturnal visitors which frequent the site. Following a couple of Woodcock sightings in recent days, we also tried to capture one in the evening, with a strategic net open for some time before dinner. It was not successful, but we will keep attempting to ring a few of them when possible.

Finally, the kitchen mouse is still around…so capturing that is a work in progress too.


Ringmærkningsliste (Nye/ Genfanget):

2/1 Dunnock

1/0 Blackbird

0/1 Robin

1/0 Tree Sparrow

2/0 Chaffinch

1/0 Brambling

1/0 Siskin

= 8 new birds of 6 species


DOFbasen list:



Folk på stationen: Bent, Svend, Bello, Menno, Leona, Timmy

The birds didn't fly much today

mandag 7. marts 2022
A calm day with nice weather
af Menno, Mikkel Bello


Today there was very little wind. Although ducks are known to drift out of the waddensea when there are Southwestern winds. But today with little wind, it seemed that some ducks drifted out of the waddensea and would like to correct for this change. We had some nice groups of ducks, even in mixed flocks. Although most of them flew with their own species. The wind also meant that there was very little movement of common scoter and red throated divers, unlike the other days when these species made up for most of the count. The wind resulted in a rather slow day at the ringing, although 4 new birds were caught, including the first Blackbird for the season. Hopefully many more will follow!

Photo of Teals - By Bello

After the standardised work at the station, Bent found a group of four white tailed eagles just outside of the station. They could be observed nicely, and out of the wind and in the sun, it felt like April.

Ringmærkningsliste (Nye/ Genfanget):

1/0 Blackbird

0/1 Robin

2/0 Blue Tit

1/0 Chaffinch

= 4 new birds of 3 species

DOFbasen list:


Folk på stationen: Bent, Bello, Menno, Leona, Timmy

Sunny and active Day

søndag 6. marts 2022
Ringing, observing, training
af Leona Gottschalkson

Today we were able to open all the nets. It was above 0oC so it felt really warm and the birds were more active than in recent days. We managed to capture 7 birds of 5 different species. The Wren we recaptured today was ringed last autumn, while the Dunnock we recaptured was ringed on the first day of this season. After the first round, John came over and brought us cake. He then joined us on the rounds and visited the observers.

The observers saw two Gannets, Red Throated Divers, a White Wagtail and an oystercatcher. Also they saw 2 porpoise, which was really nice. After that all of us and John ate the cake.

Henrik and David reported that they saw a firecrest in the vicinity of Blåvand, so Bello went on a walk and tried to find it. He couldn´t find it, but instead he observed 3 mistle thrushs, 1 Long-tailed Tit and 1 White- tailed Eagle.

After we closed the nets, in the afternoon, Bello and myself trained in the garden.



2 male Siskins. Photo by Leona.


Ringmærkningsliste (Nye/ Genfanget):

0/1 Dunnock

0/1 Wren

2/0 Blue Tit

1/0 Great Tit

2/0 Siskin

= 5 new birds of 3 species


DOFbasen list:



Folk på stationen: Bello, Menno, Leona, David, Henrik, John, Timmy

God dag med god variation

lørdag 5. marts 2022
Højdepunkter så som ringmærket Spurvehøg, Mosehornsugle og Kaspiske Måger
af Mikkel Bello

Menno og jeg startede observationen kl 0700 sharp i dag! Der gik ikke længe, før Henrik sluttede sig til. Vi havde betydelig mindre tal af Rødstrubet Lom i dag (433), Henrik så (467). Sigtbarheden var god, og det virkede ikke så koldt som de sidste par dage.

Vi havde ikke siddet i lang tid, før Leona og Timmy ringede, da de havde fanget en Spurvehøg voksen han, som viste sig at være den kun 16. ringmærkede på stationen de sidste 10 år (2012-2022).


Spruvehøg,Han - Foto af Leona

Der skulle ikke gå meget længere tid før Henrik fandt en Mosehornsugle trækkende mod syd, så var dagen reddet! Blisgås (2) skal dog også nævnes. Det stilnede meget af til sidst, men vi var godt tilfredse.  


Mosehornsugle - Foto af Bello


En god dag var det også for Timmy og Leona ved nettene. Udover høgen, fik de et par Sortmejser og en Gulspurv fanget. I alt 7 fugle i nettene.

Efter at Menno og jeg havde handlet, tog Menno ned på stranden for at finde en Kaspisk måge, der gik ikke længe, før han skrev at han havde fundet en voksen fugl, og jeg sluttede mig til ham. Vi fik fine billeder, og opdagede yderligere 3-4 andre voksne fugle. Vi havde mindst 4 fugle, som vi kunne holde styr på samtidigt. Vi havde muligvis 5 styk, men det må billederne afgøre. På vej tilbage fra stranden finder jeg 3 Havørne højt over heden, Menno og jeg var glade!


Kaspisk Måge, Voksen - Photo af Bello

Alt i alt en mægtig dag, i aften bliver der gjort rent, og Menno og Leona klare maden.




Ringmærkningsliste (Nye/ Genfanget):

1/0 Spurvehøg

1/1 Sortmejse

0/1 Blåmejse

0/1 Gulspurv

0/1 Skovspurv

1/0 Bogfinke


DOFbasen list:



Folk på stationen: Bello, Menno, Leona, Henrik, Timmy

Long-tailed Tit!

fredag 4. marts 2022
Only the third (standardised) to be ringed during spring since 1984!
af Timmy Micallef

Today we managed to open all nets at both the station and the lighthouse, amid calm conditions. We ringed the first Siskins for the season (first winter male and female) and the highlight of the day was the last bird caught – a Long-tailed Tit! It is only the third ever to be ringed in Blåvand during standard hours of the spring season. The first was ringed back in 1984, second in 2015.

We also recaptured a few Robins we ringed this season, inlcuding two ringed here during autumn 2021. The morning count also went well. Apart the main species at sea (gulls, divers and ducks) the watching today included Gadwall, Goosander, Red Crossbill and more finch species.

Bent observed two White-tailed Eagles sitting on the dunes north of the lighthouse, which were actively mobbed by some Ravens. Meanwhile Bello found a Hen Harrier swooping low over the area and alike Bent, saw up to four Stonechats too.

By the evening a Coal Tit appeared in the station garden, just outside the study. Another potential species to get to ring tomorrow, while we eagerly await the migration of more and more birds, namely Goldcrest and Blackbird - at least when it comes to standard bird ringing during March.




Long-tailed Tit!



Siskin female and male. Photos by Leona.


Ringing list (new/ recapture):

0/4 Robin

1/0 Great Tit

1/0 Long-tailed Tit

2/0 Siskin


DOFbasen list:



Folk på stationen: Bent, Bello, Menno, Leona, Timmy

Three firsts for Leona

torsdag 3. marts 2022
Another frosty but less foggy day in Blåvand.
af Timmy Micallef, Mikkel Bello

The morning fog was less heavy today but lingered until a bit after sunrise, so Bello and Menno could not view the sea properly during their three-hour count. Despite the slight delay they got to observe hundreds of Red-throated Diver and Common Scoter, apart from the plentiful Herring Gulls that always line the beach. They even spotted four swans, probably Whooper Swans although too far to identify with certainty. Some other migratory movements included numerous Siskin and three Redpoll.

Leona and myself were unable to open any nets until later in the morning, due to the chilly conditions until almost 10am (sub-zero temperatures between -4 and -2 degrees Celsius). Therefore, the standard ringing hours were not possible, yet we opened the station nets when it got warm enough and the frost started to thaw. Leona also managed to observe her first Long-tailed Ducks, following a back and forth with Bello over the walkie-talkies with Bello when he found a couple of them close to the beach. By mid-afternoon we only managed to ring a Robin and recapture a first-winter female Blackbird.

Reed Bunting and Mistle Thrush (another lifer for Leona!) were observed during the day, while a couple of Starlings are already prospecting – with one briefly singing around the station and sitting in a nest box for some time. Bent also came by today and we fixed a few things with some of the nets and data inputting. Interestingly, he also found the first Adder this year in the sand dunes. A nice group of Red deer were seen just outside Blåvand by Bello and Leona at dusk - it was also first time for Leona seeing this species.

Tomorrow should be almost fog-free with a light breeze from the SE direction. It should be possible to get the standard counting and ringing hours done…let’s see what happens!


Long-tailed Duck, Female and Male 



Red Deer Group 

Photos by Bello 


Ringing list (new/ recapture):

1/0 Robin

0/1 Blackbird


DOFbasen list:



Folk på stationen: Bent, Leona, Menno, Bello, Timmy

Heavy fog!

onsdag 2. marts 2022
Fog, frost and sun - a calm birding day.
af Timmy Micallef

With most of the nets open (a few sites were too frosty and cold to open), the bird ringing continued today. However, we only managed to ring a Goldcrest and a Robin (firsts for the season), while yesterday’s Dunnock was recaptured – a healthy bird which added more than a gram in weight. Also yesterday, Bello spotted a Woodcock flying low over the station garden, so today we kept two nets open at the station during the afternoon hoping to ring one or two more birds after the standard ringing hours (hoping for a Woodcock…). We did not have any luck, yet a number of species were recorded during the bright sunny afternoon hours.

A first-winter White-tailed Eagle came in rather low nearby, which was observed and photographed (below) by Bello. We also heard Curlew and Greenfinch. Menno even found a colour-ringed Herring Gull (from Russia) on a short walk on the beach, although it was too far to make out the entire colour-ring code. A Coal Tit and Rock Pipit also appeared, improving the species diversity on this calm day.

The heavy fog limited the visibility between 20-50 m for most of the morning, until around 11am. Such conditions made it quite impossible for Menno and Bello to count, and it appears tomorrow morning will bring similar conditions. Either way we shall be ready and see what the day brings!

On a lighter note, we seem to have a furry friend in the kitchen, probably a mouse. I guess the newly installed kitchen is too great a temptation for the little guy!



First-winter White-tailed Eagle observed over Blåvand today, just as conditions improved following the thick fog during most of the morning. Photo by Bello.


Ringing list (new/ recapture):

1/0 Goldcrest

1/0 Robin

0/1 Dunnock


DOFbasen list:



Folk på stationen: Bello, Menno, Leona, Timmy

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