torsdag den 17. november 2011

En dag i parkerne

Nu hvor sæsonen i Gedser er ovre, er det tid til andre projekter. Et af de projekter jeg bruger tid på i vintersæsonen er at teste fugle for fugleinfluenza i de københavnske parker. Igår kom jeg hjem efter en god tur til Berlin med kæresten, og idag var det så tid til at tage ind til zoologisk museum og hente prøveudstyret, til at teste fuglene med.
Efter at jeg havde hentet udstyret tog jeg straks over i den nærmeste park, hvor fuglene dog ikke virkede specielt glade for at komme tæt på mig. Jeg fik dog aflæst lidt hættemåger og pludselig kom en grønbenet rørhøne løbende for fuld fart hen mod de brødkrummer der lå ved mine fødder, og så var det bare med at være hurtig.

Herefter tog jeg videre til den næste park. Det var glædeligt, at der var ankommet en masse måger til byen, og fik aflæst en hel stribe blandt andet lidt svenske og en enkelt hollandsk. Ænderne var meget tamme her idag, så fik fanget, mærket og testet hele 13 gråænder her.
I den sidste park var der også mange måger og også her lykkedes det at aflæse en god stribe. Det var dejligt at gense rød HX7, som er en stormmåge der hvert år opholder sig i denne park om vinteren, mens den om sommeren yngler i enten Sverige eller Finland. Det lykkedes at fange yderligere 8 fugle her, så ialt blev 22 fugle testet for fugleinfluenza idag.

Iøvrigt er det nu tid til at komme ud og aflæse fuglene i din lokale park eller havn. Så tag en tur ud med brødpose, kikkert og notesbog og få aflæst de fugle, der er i dit lokalområde!

tirsdag den 15. november 2011

Migration slows

Last night I attempted to catch Owls. Again succeeding which was nice. Just 1 Long-eared Owl, better than a night with nothing however (I've had plenty of those).

This morning, 14th November. 11 new birds were caught.

1 Stor Dompap - Northern Bullfinch
1 Fuglekonge - Goldcrest
3 Solsort - Blackbird
3 Lille Gråsisken - Lesser Redpoll
1 Rødhals - Robin
2 Stillits - Goldfinch

Hopefully I can catch another Owl or 2 this (my last) evening.

I will blog tomorrow with an Update

Craig Brookes

søndag den 13. november 2011

Back to it

Last nights owling attempts failed to be brief, a Tengmalm's Owl was heard in the nearby area though.

This morning there seemed to be a few birds around, maybe they'd dropped in at night or maybe just roosted last evening, either way they were in good number and good voice.

39 New birds were caught today. Siskin being the most common with 20 caught. Also Redpoll, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Goldcrest, Robin, Dunnock, Redwing, Fieldfare and Northern Bullfinch.

There was a heavy passage of Brambling and Siskin first thing this morning, this had ebbed to nothing at midday. I went to bed in anticipation of another night Owling. Here's hoping...

Craig Brookes

lørdag den 12. november 2011

Wind, wind, wind

Firstly apologies for no post yesterday, the internet here at the station was playing up and so I couldn't access the particulars needed. Today however it's back up and working, so...

No attempts have been made to catch bird during the last 2 days due to the wind being too high to safely ring birds. Fortunately the garden was empty of birds and therefore not a missed oportunity. Birds have been taking advantage of the clear conditions overhead however and a few Buzzards and a continued passage of Bullfinch over the garden was notable. This evening a Long-eared Owl was seen flying over the garden, also 3 Woodcock have been flushed this night.

We try to catch Owls this evening as the wind should drop into the early hours. Hopefully a Pygmy Owl will have made it's way into a net by the morning... As always I'll update tomorrow.

Craig Brookes

torsdag den 10. november 2011


Again the title sums it up. The garden was empty today. A walk round pre dawn proved the pesky wind too much with promise to get stronger, the nets weren't put up. I got some nets up in the afternoon but it proved my thoughts, the hedges were empty. On the sea a nice passage of Eider and Common Scoter along with a few Red-Breasted Mergansers. The wind is forecast to ebb a little in the next day or 2 and hopefully some Owls can be caught this weekend too.

Craig Brookes

onsdag den 9. november 2011

Continued Emptiness

The title sums it up, unfortunately. I had nets open for a little over 6 hours today and caught 8 Birds, 4 newly ringed and 4 Recaptures.

3 Robins and a Goldcrest were new.
A couple of each Robin and Blackbird recaptures.

Sightings include 2 Woodcock, a few Rough-legged Buzzards, a few Sparrowhawks, still Bullfinches and Yellowhammers go over in noticable numbers and a small flock of Redpolls today was the first "proper flock" to be in the garden.

Craig Brookes

Worth the effort.

Last night I made the a last minute decision to stay up and try for owls, a quick check of the weather forecast showed a dropping wind and a clear night. I began to set the nets at 8pm. I took round after round of the all empty nets. At 3 am I had a moment of excitement which soon turned into a moment of terror as a Hare shot out of the bushes straight passed me and into a net. Before I could get to it the Hare had made it's way out of the net the other way thus making a massive hole in one of the special Sparrowhawk nets, I'll fix that later. At 4 am I took a round not so optimistic anymore, the first net produced a Tengmalm's Owl. I carried on walking around and found a Long-eared in another net. No sign of the Pygmy's which I was trying for but not a bad nights work to get these 2.

                                              Tengmalms's owl- Perleugle- Aegolius funereus

I released the Tengmalm's just after 5am and I was hopeful it would sit around and show today, a brief search however hasn't revealed anything. But I know where abouts the bird is sitting, I just don't have the time to look for it. Other sightings through the night were 2 Woodcock and another owl which flew from the top of a bush before I could see anything on it, I only heard the wings clapping against the tree, I suspect a Tengmalm's.

Photo: Craig Brookes.
Posted by: Craig Brookes.

tirsdag den 8. november 2011

Empty Easterlies

This morning a brisk wind gripped the garden. The hedges swayed in the wind. A limited amounts of nets were opened and dawn broke. It was then clear there had been a clear-out. Throughout the day only 5 birds were caught in 10 hours of netting. These were 3 Robins (Erithacus rubecula), 1 Goldcrest (Regulus regulus), 1 Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus c. collybita) and 1 Sparrowhawk  (Accipiter nisus.) Only one recapture from recent days was represented by a Robin.

Sightings included a few Crossbills, Yellowhammers and Bullfinches. Raptors represented by a Red Kite, a Buzzard, a Rough-legged Buzzard, few Sparrowhawks and a young White-tailed Eagle.

Reports of Pygmy Owl's in Northern Denmark are becomming promising and hopefully we can catch one soon.

Craig Brookes

Monday 7th November

Last night (6th Nov) we tried to catch Owls. The wind looked good for us and by 10pm we had caught two. A Long-eared Owl first and then a Tengmalm's Owl. I tried for the rest of the night but failed to catch, see or hear any more.
Tengmalm's Owl - Perleugle- Aegolius funereus

This Morning then (7th) was very quiet. The wind restricted the amounts of nets we had up but I'm not too sure that made much of a difference. The Garden was silent at dawn. No Goldcrests, no Robins, nothing. Throughout the entire morning I managed to catch 12 birds. 4 Robins, 3 Sparrowhawks, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Blackbirds and a Dunnock.

Interesting sightings came in the form of a Long-eared owl leaving the garden (possibly the bird we caught last night?), a Red Kite, 3 Rough-legged Buzzards, few Sparrowhawks again and a notable passage of Yellowhammers and Bullfinch.

Photo: Craig Brookes
Posted by: Craig Brookes

søndag den 6. november 2011

2 in a week.

Today very quiet in the garden.

15 Robins, 4 Goldcrests, 1 Siskin, 1 Blackbird and 1 Common Redpoll (Ssp. flammea).

The title refers to a control (the recapture of an already ringed bird) Robin. Earlier in the week we caught a Robin from Poland and today I caught a Robin from Germany. I imagine this isn't too much of a surprise and it happens quite often? We will have to wait for the ringing information but I would guess this bird bred further North of Gedser and is in fact migrating South again.

It was very quiet bird wise but a few Red kites drifted over. One in particular very high and imagine this didn't turn around as others seemed too? Also a couple of Rough-legged Buzzards and Sparrowhawks but it really seems to be quieting down now, raptor migration wise.

I will try to catch Owls again tonight after the sightings of Long-eared's in the garden during the past week.

Craig Brookes.

lørdag den 5. november 2011

A Little late

I woke late this morning having slept right through all of my alarms - Quite impressive. The nets were set then and it was clear that not many birds were around. 22 birds were caught in total.

14 Robins, 4 Goldcrest, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Bullfinch, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Sparrowhawk.

Sightings again included Red Kites, Rough Legged Buzzards, Buzzards, a Kestrel, notably few Sparrowhawks, a few more Yellowhammers and Bullfinches. 2 Highlighs today include a Long-Eared Owl in the Garden and a flock of 14 Waxwings which I heard as they headed out over the sea and turned around due to bad conditions. I played the call of Waxwing and they did respond by landing in the tree directly next to the speaker but the net billowed in the wind and so the birds didn't fancy sitting in it.

Craig Brookes.

fredag den 4. november 2011

Wrong winds

The wind stopped any full attempt at ringing today as dawn broke, however I managed to get a few nets up late morning and caught a few birds.

4 Robins, 4 Goldcrest, 3 Sparrowhawk, 2 Redpoll (caberet and flammea) and a lone Blackbird.

As I was setting nets I flushed a Long-eared owl, later on I possibly flushed a different individual. Other sightings today include: a Serin (probably yesterday's bird), no fewer than 10 Red Kites, 25+ Rough-legged Buzzards, 25+ Sparrowhawk. There was also quite a movement of Yellowhammer and Bullfinch with at least 30 of each. The Bullfinches seem to be mixing with flocks of Chaffinch and Brambling. A juvenile Little gull was seen late afternoon.

I will try to catch Owls this evening. I'll update on this in tomorrow's post.

Craig Brookes
Today (3rd November) was a weird sort of a morning. By first light I had seen no fewer than 50 Sparrowhawks whizzing around, through or over the garden and I anticipated catching a few throughout the day. When I took the first net round slightly after light I could make out 2 Sparrowhawks right next to each other in the net, as I approached closer through the mist and haze I could make out they were not in fact Sparrowhawks but Woodcock.

Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola)
Adult birds.

This was a nice suprise. Duely ringed and released I carried on with the daily Robin ringing of late until I heard an unseasonal call, at first I put it down to my lack of sleep and tiredness, but I heard it again. Just as I was getting back to the house Benny came to me excited and said he'd just heard a strange bird flying around, I knew at once he'd had it too. It was a Serin, a very very late bird. Later in the morning the tapes were on to try and attract it. Within minutes I had heard and seen the bird again and was hopeful. Finally at 1pm I took a Serin from the nets.

Serin (Serinus serinus)
Adult female.

 A very happy man indeed with 2 species seldom caught in one day. Both of which were new species for me to handle.

 Photo's: Craig Brookes
Posted by: Craig Brookes

onsdag den 2. november 2011


A Pea-souper today, you couldn't see a thing. But the title reads 'super' this reflects the days ringing.

So the first net round in the dense fog and the dark yielded a little over 70 birds. The day turned out to be quite good although the dense mist failed to clear many birds were in the garden and so found the nets.

In total 118 New birds were ringed.
86 Robins,
13 Redpoll,
8 Sparrowhawks,
6 Greenfinch,
4 Wrens,
1 Dunnock.

Many more Sparrowhawks hunted in the garden but obviously didn't feel like migrating in such horrible conditions when they had an all you can eat Robin-buffet in the garden.

We also controlled (caught an already ringed bird) 2 birds from 2 different countries.

The first a Juvenile Robin which was originally ringed in Poland.

The second a Juvenile Greenfinch which was originally ringed in Sweden.

I wouldn't have been able to cope with so many birds in such a short time if it wasn't for the help I recieved from Frants, Benny and Hans. Thanks guys.

Craig Brookes


This morning (1st November) it was clear that overnight many birds had left Gedser and therefore Scandanavia for warmer climes. Whilst setting the nets only the resident Robin and a few Blue Tits were heard.

Throughout the I only managed to catch 12 new birds in 11 hours (Dawn until dusk). These were, 4 Robins, 3 Sparrowhawks, 2 Chaffinch, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Coal Tit and 1 Great Grey Shrike. A few recaptures were represented by a Robin, a Blackbird and some Goldcrests.

Lanius excubitor
"Only girls wear gloves."

The weather was great this afternoon and this lead to quite a good passage of raptors. At least 10 Common Buzzards "Braved it" to make the crossing as did a number of Rough-legged Buzzards and no fewer than 40 Sparrowhawks. Finches represented by 35+ Bullfinch, 200+ Chaffinch, 200+ Brambling, 800+ Siskin, 150+ Greenfinch, 50+ Redpoll and 20+ Goldfinches. Buntings represented by 2 Yellowhammer and a lone Reed Bunting.

I tried to catch Tengmalm's or Pygmy Owl in the evening/morning of the 2nd and failed. It at least seems there was some migration of passerines overnight though so the standardised ringing should be better.

Photo: Craig Brookes
Craig Brookes