torsdag den 3. oktober 2013


With a chill in the air and leaves falling off the trees as if there was no tommorow it was clear the easterlies were still bombarding the Gedser peninsula

In the UK this would be dream conditions for an arrival of birds in the garden but at Gedser it is almost the opposite.

13 new birds were ringed today consisting of birds that had either been in the garden for a few days (given their impressive fat scores) and had evaded the nets or birds at the opposite end of the spectrum who arrived in poor condition (low fat scores) having braved the elements and had no choice but to use their fat reserves to make the journey.

Birds ringed and processed this morning during our standardised ringing session included:

Wren 1
Dunnock 1
Robin 5
Chiffchaff 2
Goldcrest 1
Chaffinch 3

Ringing birds occasionally reveals some unusual things given the number of birds you tend to see and at such close range. Here are two photos of birds which stood out from the crowd:

Robin with earwig cerci impaled above and below its beak. It was clear from how desiccated the earwig abdomen was that it had been on the bird for some time. However the bird was in great shape and was clearly undeterred by its host with a fat score of 3, photo by Hugh Hanmer.
Another view of the Robin and facial disfigurement showing just how resilient birds are and the it isn't just the elements they are up against on migration, the earwig was removed and antiseptic gel was applied to its wounds on release, photo by Hugh Hanmer.
1st Winter/1K Song Thrush showing abnormal feather growth in Primary 5 and corresponding Primary covert that was symmetrical on both wings, photo by Hugh Hanmer
Compared to yesterday birding was a lot quiter and its seemed the wind was even too strong for cranes with only a handful of flocks heading south compared to record numbers witnessed by observers yesterday.

Having received permission to tape-lure and attempt the catch the ticking bunting at the point Hugh and Jack headed to the sheltered side of the Blackthorn and with help of Louis erected a net. Unfortunately our efforts were unsuccessful so its identity remains a mystery but nothing ventured is nothing gained. I think a sound recording is the next step!

The closest we got to any type of Bunting!.....bird bags hung out to dry, Photo by Jack Ashton-Booth
Rael got on the mower and cut the grass around the garden before the rain arrives this weekend.

We returned to the fugelstation to work on data input and on some domestic duties. Sometimes you need the quiet days to put the good days into perspective :)

Many thanks for taking time to read the blog and we look forward to your continued support.

Best wishes, GFU Team

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