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Hypothesis (i) rejected

torsdag 18. maj 2023
af Amelie Sophie Zeller

Finally, the strong wind has decreased again, so that we could open the nets for ringing again today. Henrik came early in the morning and took over the Stationshaven, while I did the rounds in the Fyrhaven. It was a day with very few birds, so we could do a little birdwatching between the rounds.


My little cozy installation in the Fyrhaven.

Henrik watched the morning migration in between and could count about 300 Red-throated Divers (Rødstrubet Lom) and see three Arctic Skuas (Almindelig Kjove). We both could also hear and observe a Serin (Gulirisk), resting in the Fyrhaven on top of a tree. After eight empty rounds, I closed the nets in the Fyrhaven and lastly caught a Lesser Whitethroat (Gærdesanger) in the Helgoland Trap. So, Morten, your theory that a special bird would come when you leave is rejected! At least for now…

Today's ringing data:


Henrik got a visit from his wife and friends today and he showed them a bit of ringing. After lunch we all headed out to the Little Tern Fence armed with two shovels to clear the electric fence of sand. Since there were so many of us, we were able to take turns and save our strength.


When they had left again and I was alone at the station, I set off on a little bike ride to Hvidbjerg Strand. It was nice to do some cycling again and I could also see some resting Eiders (Ederfugl) on the sea. I arrived at the station pretty much at the same time as David, who will do the morning observations tomorrow.

Fiolk på stationen: Henrik with family and friends, David og Amelie

Still in the strong winds

onsdag 17. maj 2023
af Amelie Sophie Zeller

As predicted, the weather today was still similar to yesterday, so we could not open the nets in the morning. Morten was nevertheless early awake and observed the migration in the morning for some time. However, there was not much going on there.


Here is a photo of two migrating Gannets (Sule), one of them still immature.

Since the warm water did not work since yesterday, Morten also took care of it and therefore went to town early in the morning in a very strong wind. We were then really happy when he had fixed it, so that Rose and I did not have to take an ice cold shower!

After another nice breakfast together, Rose and I took care of the map we want to use to plot the nests for the birds inside the fence for the Little Terns (Dwærgterne). At noon I went to the fence as we were a little concerned about the strong winds. I fixed a few signs that had fallen over. The fence is still standing, however, in two places there were larger mounds of sand collecting, which is a problem for the power line. Good news, however, is that several new nests of Little Terns (Dwærgterne) have formed, so I could spot a total of 7 breeding individuals. I also found a new Little Ringed Plover (Stor Præsterkrave) nest. Remarkable were also two huge flocks of Sanderlings (Sandløber), which are currently on the beach and will probably move on in the next week or two.

As the wind slowly started to drop a little bit, Morten opened three nets in the Stationshaven. He only caught one recapture of a Willow Warbler (Løvsanger) that he took blood samples of a few days ago. Tomorrow we will have normal ringing action again, but as Morten will be on a getaway with friends for 2 days, Henrik will do the ringing with me until Friday. Rose left us this afternoon, because she will be in Copenhagen for a few days, but we are happy to see her again on Sunday!

Fiolk på stationen: Rose, Morten og Amelie

Plant-watching on a windy day

tirsdag 16. maj 2023
af Amelie Sophie Zeller

Yesterday afternoon the wind started to pick up and overnight it became so strong that it was not possible to open the nets this morning. So, we all slept in and had a nice breakfast together. We then got a call from Bent inviting us to join him on a trip to Vrøgum Klitplantage and Filsø. We were happy about the offer, as there was not much else to do on this windy day.


We had a nice walk in the wet area and could admire some great plant species, including the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia (Soldug), of which Rose took great pictures through her grandma's botanical magnifier.


It was great to be out and about with people who knew many of the plants, as these are not usual areas for me where I often go at home. We were also able to see two Lapwings (Vibe) and hear many Tree Pipits (Skovpiber).


A small tea and cookie break :)

Arriving at Filsø we observed the breeding Black-headed Gulls (Hættemåge) and Common Terns (Fjordterne). There was also a big number of Great Crested Grebes (Toppet Lappedykker). I had never seen so many of these birds in one place before!

Henrik did the morning observations today in the strong wind. There were a few Gannets (Sule), Red-throated Divers (Rødstrubet Lom), an Arctic Skua (Almindelig Kjove) and a Long-tailed Duck (Havlit), for which it is very late now.

After our trip home and blown by the wind, we were all very tired and had a little nap before Morten invited us to Blåvand for eating pizza to celebrate the Golden Oriole (Pirol). Thanks for that, we had a very nice evening!


The wind for tomorrow looks similar to today, so the ringing will have to wait a bit.

Fiolk på stationen: Bent, Henrik, Rose, Morten og Amelie

Klyder trækkende over Hukket og rastende Gråmåge

mandag 15. maj 2023
af Morten Jenrich Hansen

Lidt vejrforandring som dagen gik med tiltagende vind fra nord over middag, så vi i dag måtte stoppe forsøget på fangst af fugle allerede kl 15.
Amelie og Rose havde dog fået opfyldt deres håb fra i går om at se en Vendehals i hånden.
Der var i løbet af morgenen genfangst af den fugl, der allerede har været i net 3 gange tidligere dette forår og er mærket her sidste sommer.

Andre fugle i hånden var Lille Gråsisken, der blev den art, der trods alt holdt vores dagstotal lidt oppe i dag.
De normale Lille Gråsisken har fint rød pande/krone plet, men enkelte individer har variablet mix af gult i stedet for rødt.

Farverig var en flot gammel han Grønsisken, der også nåede at komme med i fotoalbummet.

I løbet af morgenen kom Morten Bentzon Hansen omkring med morgenbrød til os, da han var på arbejde i nabolaget med ynglefugletælling omkring Kallemærsk.
Altid hyggeligt med besøg og brød på bordet, når der nu var god tid mellem netrunder pga dagens lave antal fugle i nettene.
Midt på dagen kom Per Olsen forbi, så der blev socialiseret lidt ekstra i dag med gode historier.

Bent var her også og sammmen med Rose og Amelie gik de til stranden og fik tjekket terne indhegningen, hvor der var aktivitet  med nu 4 par Dværgterner og 2 par Stor Præstekraver.
Under tjekket på stranden opdagede de en rastende Gråmåge, men det slår ikke helt, at jeg og Amelie midt på morgenen fra Fyrhaven lavde lidt havobs og havde 2 Klyder trækkende i god højde et stykke ude over revlerne ved Hukket.
I forhold til, at arten yngler både i Vadehavet og flere steder ved de Vestjyske fjorder nord for os, så er Klyder forbavsende sjælden at se her fra Blåvandshuk.
Søgning på DOFbasen for forårsforekommster siden år 2000 viser kun én obs pr. forår i årene 2000, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2017, 2018 og 2022; mens 2008 var et ekseptionelt år med 2 forårsiagttagelser!!

Der var plads til sand i skoene på vej til tjek af terne indhegningen.

Vi forbereder os her til aften på en blæsende dag i morgen uden ringmærkning, så der bliver nok planlagt en tur til at se en anden lokalitet og lave en indkøbstur til opfyldning af kolonial- og køleskab.

Dagens ringmærkning:

Folk på stationen: Rose, Amelie, Bent og Morten med besøg fra Morten og Per.

Sun + Birds + Nice People = Lovely Day

søndag 14. maj 2023
af Amelie Sophie Zeller

Contrary to what the weather forecast had predicted, we spent a beautiful sunny day today, which already started with a pretty sunrise.


Since there was still a lot of fog gathering over the sea in the morning, David and Henrik first took a walk through the Mosen before watching the migration at the sea. There weren't many birds to watch today, but highlights of the observations were an Arctic Skua (Almindelig Kjove) and a Woodlark (Hedelærke) flying overhead. Rose and I also stopped by to the morning observations briefly.
Morten and I opened the nets before sunrise. Not many birds gathered here today either. It is about half the number of yesterday. A great find of the day was a calling Serin (Gulirisk). This bird is regularly seen here in Blåvand in spring, but there are usually only a few records per season. We also ringed two nice species today: a Sedge Warbler (Sivsanger) and a Spotted Flycatcher (Grå Fluesnapper). This was especially exciting for me as I had not seen these two species in hand before.




Grå Fluesnapper: You can see that this species has a lot of hairs around its beak which help it to spot insects better.

In the afternoon we watched the birds a bit from the garden. David and Rose also went for a short walk and collected plants, which they identified together. After Morten had closed the nets at the Fyrhaven and only the ones at the Stationshaven were open, not many more birds came.

Today's ringing data:


In the evening Rose, Morten and I finished the day with a wonderful, delicious dinner in the garden.


We are looking forward to the day tomorrow and I hope that the Wrynecks (Vendehals) that we hear calling all day long will be found in our net :)

Fiolk på stationen: Morten, Rose, Henrik, David og Amelie


Turteldue på morgenobsen og Græshoppesanger i nettet

lørdag 13. maj 2023
af Morten Jenrich Hansen

Det blev ikke så varm en dag som i går, da eftermiddagen bød på vekslende perioder med havgus, men Amelie og jeg holdt gejsten og nettene oppe fra før solopgang til spisetid kl 19.
Det gav en fin ringmærkningsdag med en total på 41 mærkede fugle og 7 genfangster.
At dagens første fugl i hånden, blot et kvarter efter åbning af nettene i stationshaven, blev en Græshoppesanger og dermed bedste ringmærkningsart i dag kunne vi ikke vide, men fotograferet blev den da i dagens første lys.
Græshoppesanger er en art, der årligt bliver registreret i området om foråret med enkelte syngende fugle, men sjældent flyver ind i havernes net.
Vi skal således tilbage til 2014 for at finde seneste forår, hvor arten er blevet ringmærket her.

Midt på dagen fangende vi så en juvenile Grønirisk, der får titlen som den første unge vi ringmærker i år.

Væk fra ringmærkningens verden holdt Henrik skansen på Sydhukket med morgenobsen.
Det gjorde han rigtig godt, da han både kunne melde om en trækkende Hvepsevåge ude over havet, en Hedelærke og ikke mindst dagens fugl - en Turteldue, der først fløj forbi obsposten og op mod fyret for lidt senere at komme retur ned bag Vesterled.
Der lykkedes det for vores overnattende gæster, Jens og Jes, at få den at se, inden de tog videre på deres rundtur i det jyske.
De var hyggeligt selskab og så flinke, at vende bageren i Blåvand og aflevere både brød og kanelstang til fuglestationen.

En anden fin fugl, som det lykkedes at få gode oplevelser med, var en Skovhornugle.
Den blev opdaget rastende i træerne af et par Krager, der hurtigt moppede uglen så meget, at den fløj ud i det åbne lige foran fuglestationen, over p-pladsen og forbi Henriks obspost, så han lykkedes at få et foto af den, før den forsvandt ned i sommerhusområdet.
Henrik fik også tid til at tjekke Mosen inden han tog hjemad, så der blev føjet endnu en årsart til listen for området med en Grå Fluesnapper bag Vesterled

Amelie nåede at udnytte blå himmel og sol til en tur op i fyret for at nyde udsigten inden havgusen kom ind fra havet.
Solen midt på formiddagen havde også lokket en Stålorm frem i haven, mens Rose ikke var helt frisk i dag og holdt sig mest i sengen. Ærgeligt for hende, at hun har mistet en tur til Naturmødet i Hirthals pga influenza, men forhåbentlig kan hvile og en plads i solen på bænken ved fuglestationen hurtigt for has på den tilstand.
Vi prøver i hvert fald alle igen, at få en god dag ud af i morgen, hvor der skulle være svag vind og overskyet hele dagen.
Det skal udnyttes til en ny marathon dag med åbne net.




Dagens ringmærkning:

Folk på stationen: Jens, Jes, Henrik, Rose, Amelie og Morten

Summer in Blåvand

fredag 12. maj 2023
af Amelie Sophie Zeller

Today we had a wonderfully sunny day here at the bird station. Like every morning, we started at 5 am to open the nets. Not so many birds gathered in the Stationshaven today, but all the more in the Fyrhaven. We also caught a Tree Pipit (Skovpiber), which has been the first one to be ringed in this season.


In the morning observations Henrik heard a Red-rumped Swallow (Rødrygget Svale), but unfortunately Morten and I could not see or hear it from Fyhaven. It is only the 9th individual that has been documented in Blåvand and it's the first time that there are two records in one spring season. He also heard the first Grasshopper Warbler (Græshoppesanger) of the season sing near the observation spot.
At lunchtime Bent and I set off to check on the Little Terns (Dwærgterne) and Common Ringed Plovers (Stor Præsterkrave). We also looked that the fence was still “fox-proof” everywhere.


Bent screwed the solar panel a little tighter. We could safely observe a breeding Common Ringed Plover pair (the same as last time). The second breeding pair that Bent saw a few days ago and whose eggs we found while putting up the fence, we could not observe today. However, there was a second pair inside the fence, so maybe the eggs belong to them. For Little Terns we could see a breeding female whose mate was also there. We also saw a pair that will probably start breeding soon. In total we counted 6 Little Terns and 4 Common Ringed Plovers. On the way back Bent spotted another Red-backed Shrike (Rødrygget Tornskade) and a Stonechat (Sortstrubet Bynkefugl). Morten, in the meantime, heard the first Icterine Warbler (Gulbug) of the season. When we arrived at the station, Morten surprised us with ice cream, which was the perfect break for in between, thanks for that!
We kept the nets in the Stationshaven open until the evening hours, but we didn't catch many more birds.

Today's ringing data:


Morten cooked a delicious lasagna for us today and we had three spontaneous visitors this evening. Jens and Jæs who are staying for one night and Rose who is staying for a few days.

Fiolk på stationen: Morten, Bent, Henrik, Rose, Jens, Jæs og Amelie

A Golden Surprise in the Nets *Spoiler Alert*

torsdag 11. maj 2023
af Amelie Sophie Zeller

Yesterday at dinner it became very foggy at Blåvandshuk. Maybe the bog witch was brewing beer! Still, this morning it was very damp, but it didn't rain, which allowed us to open all the nets. Due to the poor visibility, we couldn't really watch the migration from the Fyrhaven today. Henrik however had not observed too big numbers, a good species of the morning was Corn Bunting (Bomlærke). Bent was at Filsø this afternoon and was able to observe a Dotterel (Pomeransfugl).
Although we were not getting huge numbers of ringed birds today either, the numbers were higher than the last two days with 26 new birds ringed and 8 controls. Checking the nets at Fyrhaven for the second time, I heard a Golden Oriole (Pirol) singing, which is a common sound of summer for me, as it accompanies me on my walks along the Isar in Freising. However, the Golden Oriole is a rare guest, especially in western Denmark, and an even rarer breeding bird.

In the third round at the station garden, we were delighted to catch a Wood Warbler (Skovsager). This beautiful bird is just on its way to its breeding habitats, which are mainly in the east of the country or further north, like Sweden and Finland. This bird was the first of the season to be caught here. Morten's comment after ringing the bird was that it must have been "the bird of the day". But he was wrong. When I was at the first net at the Fyrhaven and took out a very tangled Lesser Whitethroat (Gærdesanger), Morten went to the next net. I heard him running excitedly to the net...Because he had just seen the Oriole in the net and was able to get it in time before it had a chance to escape.


This 2k male Golden Oriole is the first that has ever been ringed at the station! Please also see Morten's Facebook post on the Blåvand Fuglestation page, for which he did some research today. There you will find some more information about the bird's abundance in Denmark.
After the excitement of the morning, the number of ringed birds decreased, but that didn't bother us, because we were incredibly happy about the Oriole. We are now looking forward to tomorrow and are curious to see what other "specialties" may surprise us in the coming days and weeks.

Today's ringing data:


Fiolk på stationen: Morten, Bent, Henrik og Amelie

Besøg fra Askov Højskole og årets første Rødryggede Tornskade for Blåvandshuk

onsdag 10. maj 2023
af Morten Jenrich Hansen

Vinden fra sydøst var i løbet af natten løjet nok af til, at vi kunne åbne alle net i dag.
Plus 11 grader var temperaturen, da vi før solopgang gik rundt og åbnede i de to haver, men den lune nat og sydøstenvinden havde nu ikke bragt mange fugle til os:
Amelie og jeg havde kun et par enkelte fugle at ringmærke pr. halvtime, så vi fik set lidt på trækket over havet i morgentimerne mellem netrunderne.
Ikke noget stort træk af Rødstrubet Lom og kun få Suler i forhold til i går, men vi fik da set en part af trækket af Fjord/Havterner, der typisk for det træk kom i den første time efter solopgang.
Fik talt 670 trækkende nord, men det er kun en lille andel, da vi jo også gik rundt og passede nettene i den time.
Bedste obs fra havet i dag blev 3 Sortterner.

Bent kom ud for at være guide for en busfuld kursister fra Askov Højskole.
De ankom lidt før kl 11 og jeg prøvede sammen med Bent, at give dem en god introduktion til ringmærkningens historie og formålet. Trods de få fugle i haverne i dag lykkedes det da, at kunne vise en genfangst af en Løvsanger, som Bent havde ringmærket i juli sidste år, samt en ny Gærdesanger, der fik ring på.
Efter en frokostpause ved bordene på gårdspladsen tog Bent hele holdet med rundt til stranden og omkring Mosen.
De virkede ganske tilfredse med både ringmærkningsseancen og gåturen til Sandløbere og Dværgternerne på stranden, samt de Sortstrubede Bynkefugle omkring Mosen.
Sidstnævnte sted lykkedes det dem også at se den første Rødryggede Tornskade for området i år.

Undervejs på den tur begyndte der at komme nedbør med finregn, så da de kom retur til stationen for en afsluttende eftermiddagskaffe havde Amelie og jeg lukket alle net.
Askov folkene måtte derfor nyde kaffen uden at få vist flere fugle i hånden, men alligevel var de generøse og afleverede en frugtkurv, nogle stykke hjemmebagt kage, et par ruller bisquets og et par øl til os på fuglestationen som tak for rundvisningen.
Jeg drikker en af de øl til dagens aftensmad, som Amelie lige nu er i gang med at lave i køkkenet.
Hun forkæler mig med hjemmebagt naan-brød og en god gryde dahl!

Så er der tanket godt op til i morgen, hvor vi drømmer om at få en god dage med mange fugle i nettene.
Vinden skulle løje helt af i nat, med lidt tågedannelse, og så svinge rundt fra sydøst, over syd til vest i løbet af natten og videre om til nord i løbet af morgentimerne - det burde give fugle til os.
Vi har vasket og tørret vores fugleposer her i eftermiddag, så vi er i den grad klar til mere end 20 fugle i hånden i løbet af i morgen!

Blandt dagens genfangster var der en gammel Gærdesanger. Mærket i sommeren 2020 og også genfanget i haven i både foråret 2021 og 2022.
Endnu et eksempel på et individ, der vender tilbage til samme område år efter år fra vinterferien i Afrika.

Dagens ringmærkning:

Folk på stationen: Amelie og Morten, plus Bent med stort besøg fra Askov Højskole

Slow day...

tirsdag 9. maj 2023
af Amelie Sophie Zeller

After the beautiful sunny day yesterday, rain was forecast for this morning. But since the rain passed us directly and the wind was from the southeast, we had hoped that it would rain a lot of birds into our nets, that would make a stop in front of the rainclouds over the sea. After the first two rounds, however, we realised that this was not the case.

The sunrise at the fyr was particularly beautiful today.

It was a very slow day at ringing, so we had plenty of time to watch the seabird migration from the Fyrhaven. We could count some Gannets (Sule), Terns (Havterne/ Fjordterne) and also Red-throated Divers (Roedstrubet Lom). After the first few rounds, Morten took care of the nets on his own, as I went to check the Little Terns fence.

A female Common Redstart (Rødstjert) that was ringed here a few days ago.

It seems like we have done a good job yesterday. The fences are stable and there are no gaps too big for the fox to slip in.

The Common Ringed Plover Mama (Stor Prasterkrave) is persistently warming the eggs. The activities yesterday do not seem to have disturbed her. I was also able to observe another pair outside the fence but did not spot a nest. Maybe they were looking for a suitable place. Hopefully they will find their way into the fence. There were only 5 Little Terns (Dwaergterne) today, but a pair was very interested in a particular spot and you could see that they were also fighting for that spot with another Tern. The birds are just now picking out the best nesting spots. We are curious to see how many pairs will come together in the coming days and weeks. On my way back to the station I also saw a male Viper (Hugorm).
In the afternoon we made ourselves a bit comfortable and left the nets open, where there was still not much going on, though. Morten kept a good eye on the sky, hoping to find something nice.

Today's ringing data:


Tonight it is supposed to rain a bit and the wind direction will probably change from Wednesday to Thursday and also get very low, so we expect Thursday to be a good day for ringing and also for observations.

Fiolk på stationen: Morten og Amelie


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