mandag den 2. september 2013

Get to Gedser.

Needless to say, there was no ringing today.

Waking to phenomenally wet and windy conditions early this morning, I rolled over and returned to bed. I had planned to go bird watching around Gedser all day but in these conditions that just wasn't an option, visibility was less than 1km and the torrential rain along with howling Westerly winds decided for me.

Early afternoon, after a slow rise I decided that the weather was now fit enough for some migration counting at the tip; I knew there would be challenging conditions but shelter can normally be found around the exhibitions house or huddled behind a bush, I opted for the former and found a pleasantly still micro-climate overlooking the sea.

I watched from 13:45 - 18:00, wave after wave of rain showers passed by and Gedser Odde certainly felt Mother Nature's wrath. Visibility fluctuated during the day from a 'pea-souper' as we say back home ( Zero visibility) to almost 10km. Blue sky appeared once, late afternoon but the sun stayed hidden all day. After all this moaning you could be expecting me to carry on with a negative frame of mind, quite the contrary. I had a fantastic afternoon, just watching, quietly, migration in full flow!

Okay, numbers were not exceptional, but the views of some of the birds I had today were just jaw-dropping. The Long-tailed Skua of previous days continues to perform; today it chased a sandwich tern over the building at the tip calling, coming within 5 metres of me. Sensational. It repeated 'the hunt' as I left the tip this evening flying along the road at head height missing me by only a few feet. 3 Merlins harassed the Sand Martins nesting on the cliffs and also gave prolonged, fantastic views.
Arctiv Skua 1cy - Louis A. Hansen

Long-tailed Skua 1cy - Louis A. Hansen

Merlin 1cy - Louis A. Hansen
Migrants noted today were:

Honey Buzzard 8
Marsh Harrier 2
Kestrel 3
Osprey 4
Merlin 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Pintail 10
Wigeon 7
Eider 21
Common Tern 9
'Commic' Tern 1 (Common or Arctic)
Knot 1
Dunlin 1
Grey Plover 3
Swallow 18
House Martin 7

Resting birds today were:
Wheatear 17
Long-tailed Skua 1 - aforementioned juvenile.
Common Gull 3
Sandwich Tern 32
Black-headed Gull 6
Eider 78
Greater Black-backed Gull 2
Common Scoter 1 (ad male)
Whimbrel 1
Yellow Wagtail 180 - resting in the harvested crop field at the tip.
Sparrowhawk 4
Merlin 3 (all juveniles, hunting together)
Marsh Harrier 1 adult
Osprey 1 returned and perched for over 1 hour.
White Wagtail 12
Herring Gull 6
Greylag Goose 13
House Martin 25
Sand Martin 50
Cormorant 85

A Harbour Seal put in a brief appearance in the slack water, between the millpond-like Western side of the tip and the rough swelling Eastern side.

Today was one of those bird watching days when you're torn whether to leave or not, the "What will I miss?" ticks over in your head. As the autumn wears on, Gedser will become even more alive with birds than it already is as millions of birds pour out of Scandinavia and onto Southern Europe or further afield, now's the time, get to Gedser and see for yourselves!

 Below is a photo of a Lesser Blacked-backed Gull from yesterday. Very under recorded here in Gedser, please if you are down here, glance over the gulls so you don't miss a special one.

Lesser Black-backed Gull 1cy (Larus fuscus)

Photos (all from Yesterday) - Louis A. Hansen

Blog: Craig Brookes

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