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Blockage in the Birding Pipes

søndag 21. april 2024
af James Wareing

That the bird pipes are still blocked is the headline of today. The birding frustration is certainly building up here at the station now. Weather forecasts are regularly scoured to produce some sort of positive omen that could portend the change in birding fortunes. It is almost bordering on lucky socks territory to change our luck. In the meantime, we did our best to make our fun own entertainment wherever we could find it.

In fact, levels of action were so low that Maxim arranged for his parents to come and visit him from the Netherlands and take him out for dinner (thus avoiding his duty of writing the blog). So the task of summing up an eventful day has been left to me. 

The seawatch was greeted with temperatures around two degrees to start with and this acted to gradually reduce the number of birders. With low numbers of birds, this was a true test of birding stamina and Henrik and I produced a synchronised sigh of relief when the alarm went off to signify that our three hours were complete. Science is still science, and no data is good data…at least we consoled ourselves with that.

Entertainment was though provided by a White-tailed Eagle that landed on the beach. This generally causes quite a commotion amongst the gulls and shorebirds owing to the undoubted alpha animal status of the eagle. It was though a chance for the pluckier/foolisher birds to show off their daring credentials. Two hooded crows, I like to imagine as a dare, gradually approached the eagle from behind. It reminded me of the children’s party game ‘what’s the time Mr Wolf’, with the crows cautiously getting ever closer to the tail of the eagle. As they did so, they put on a rather unconvincing act of pretending to feed before making an attempt to pluck off a tail feather.


At the start of the ringing it looked like we could be in for quite a special day. Blackcap and Blackbird were followed by Chiffchaff and Chaffinch. It looked as if Morten was working through his ringing bingo card alphabetically and we were eagerly anticipating the next round to feature Dunnock and Dunlin. Alas, the fun stopped there. Later in the morning we did though have our third Wryneck of the year to bring today’s total to nine ringed birds.

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