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Today’s topic: Majestic birds

mandag 15. april 2024
af Lisa Hein

Good afternoon my fellow feather-fanatics! Let's start off with Maxim's optimistic forecast from yesterday's blog post. He was certainly right in that we would open the mist nets and Morten gave it his full determination in the morning. It would be overestimation to call it a quiet morning. The one bird that graced us with its presence managed to slip out of the net before we could get our desperate fingers on it (mind you, it all got our running out of the house). Fear not, Morten restored his pride in the end with the capture of the first White Wagtail of the season.


Meanwhile, James and I braved the elements during the morning sea watch, battling against the winds and increasingly numb limbs. As bird sightings were as rare as hen's teeth (really, English people use some strange phrases), prompting us to take turns behind the scope. The luck was not with James as he had just gone inside to cure himself with a steaming cup of tea, when a White-tailed Eagle sore past. What a reward for all of us who endured outside!

The rest of the day unfolded quietly at the observatory. While some of my fellow bird enthusiasts sneaked off for an afternoon nap, I used the lull in activity to dive into the fascinating world of pigeons and doves. Did you know that these under-rated birds are secretly geniuses? They can recognise themselves in the mirror, putting them on par with the great apes, oceanic manta rays and even your average two-year-old toddler! And because I know you all share my excitement, I will give you a clue as to why you never see a fluffy baby pigeon: turns out, they're just cosying up in the nest for up to five weeks until they are almost a replica of their adult parents before they feel they are ready to face the outside world.

I am sure the pigeon-lovers among you loyal readers appreciated this little escape into the world of pigeons and doves. And for those of you who did not so much, I am sure your new knowledge will still come in handy at the next dinner party, when conversation is going a little slow. Until then, happy birding!

Today's ringed birds: White Wagtail, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, two Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest (recapture)

People at the station: James, Morten, Maxim and Lisa