mandag den 16. juni 2014

It is now!

One final post from me!   I couldn't resist getting up at stupid-o-clock one last time to open a few nets before Hans comes and takes me to the train station and away; 'extracurricular' birds this morning comprised 2 Starlings, juvenile Blackbird and White Wagtail, a Linnet, a Chaffinch and single Marsh Warbler, Reed Warbler, Blackcap and Garden Warbler.

White Wagtail
Well, that's it, all over!   Its been a fun three months here at the station, thanks for reading my nonsense, the next post will probably be back in Danish!
Simon Davies

søndag den 15. juni 2014

They think its all over...

After staying up to watch England's promising, yet ultimately disappointing World Cup opening game last night and pushing right through to open the nets just an hour or so after the final whistle I was hoping for some reward especially as it was the final official, standardised session of the spring!   It ended up producing a typical 12 new birds with a nice spread of species comprising 3 Icterine Warblers, a Marsh Warbler, a female Common Rosefinch with a huge brood patch, 2 Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler, a Whitethroat, a Willow Warbler, a juvenile Blackbird and another still fluffy, short billed young Treecreeper - the third one in the last week, perhaps all from the same brood?

One of a pair of Swallows that has been hanging around the station for ages now without seemingly wanting to get down to breeding - I've put out trays of nice, wet mud for them to use and created some cosy nest site ideas for them but you can't help some people!
Louis scored with a Shorelark out on the tip in the morning - a nice interlude from the steady stream of drake Eiders pouring back west almost constantly through the day!

Buff Tip

Poplar Hawkmoth

lørdag den 14. juni 2014


A much nicer day with much lighter winds than yesterday produced 14 new birds - typical mid-June fare but better than the previous few days; the total comprised a varied mix of 2 Marsh Warblers, 2 Whitethroats and single Swallow, Sand Martin, White Wagtail, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chaffinch.

Sedge Warbler

The Blackcap in the total was a very recently fledged youngster!
A Woodlark in recently cut grass fields on the edge of town was my first here since 29th March

fredag den 13. juni 2014

I think spring is indeed over!

Strong westerly winds were blasting through the garden today reducing the number of nets I could open; this also contributed to the total of just 3 new birds caught this morning but there weren't many birds around anyway - it is mid-June after all!   2 White Wagtails (one juvenile) and a Marsh Warbler were trapped along with the nice red, adult male Common Rosefinch originally ringed on 5th June.

Marsh Warbler
A Thrush Nightingale was singing in the garden through the morning while a few ducks flew west offshore including small parties of Tufted Duck, Teal and Common Scoter.   Several sharp showers moved through in the afternoon drenching all the clean and nearly dry bird bags I had hung on the line after finally getting round to washing them!

torsdag den 12. juni 2014

Maybe the spring is over now?

A quiet day, sunny with a fresh westerly breeze; only 10 birds were caught in the morning which comprised 3 Blackcaps, 2 Reed Warblers, a Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, 2 Linnets and another juvenile Treecreeper.

There weren't really any birds to photograph so here's a couple of smart moths from the station - Small Elephant Hawkmoth and Swallow Prominent

The afternoon was spent carrying out some more breeding bird surveys on another small island which included this handsome fellow!   A nice breeding plumaged Little Stint and a Little Ringed Plover were new Danish birds for me here alongside the breeding Terns, Gulls and Eiders.

onsdag den 11. juni 2014

Look out of the window

With the weather forecast changing every five minutes in regard to when and if any rain was going to arrive through the day, I had to rely on the often overlooked forecasting method of 'looking out of the window'!    This proved remarkably accurate as I managed to close all the nets ten minutes before heavy rain, thunder and lightning hit the station at 09:30!  
   The ringing session itself was very quiet with just 6 new birds caught; they were a nice mix of species though with the 4th Thrush Nightingale of the spring, a smart male Blue-headed Wagtail, a Linnet, a Chaffinch, a juvenile White Wagtail and a short-billed, still-fluffy juvenile Treecreeper.

Blue-headed Wagtail

Thrush Nightingale

Juvenile Treecreeper
A Grey Wagtail flew over the station before the rain (actually the first one I've seen in Denmark!) while on the sea 700+ Eiders flew west, 11 Curlews went east and there were a few Sandwich Terns and Swifts around.

Orache Moth - a pretty rare vagrant back in the UK but common here

tirsdag den 10. juni 2014

Sparrowhawk Warbler

A real mixed bag of weather to start the day with thunder and lightning to the north and south of the station only producing one short, sharp shower at dawn but the easterly wind picked up noticeably and filled the nets with leaves; a few hours later though it had reverted back to being calm, sunny and warm.   These changeable conditions only produced 16 new birds through the morning's ringing session although it was a nice, varied mix with the definite highlight being a stunning Barred Warbler - a presumed 3K+ bird with very bright eyes.
   Other birds caught included a female Blue-headed Wagtail, 3 White Wagtails (2 juveniles), an Icterine Warbler, 3 Whitethroats, a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff.

Although I've seen and ringed a few autumn juveniles, this is the first spring Barred Warbler I've seen - brilliant!

Blue-headed Wagtail

 The day didn't stop with the ringing as around 07:30 I picked up a cracking GULL-BILLED TERN flying low NE across the fields just to the west of the station, giving great albeit brief views as it swept past - I found out later that this was a first for Gedser!

There wasn't too much else seen through the day with a few wildfowl at sea including small flocks of Goldeneye and Common Scoter, a few signs that Finches are starting to move around with 9 Common Crossbills and a Redpoll over the garden and a few Swifts heading back south already.

Eyed Hawkmoth

mandag den 9. juni 2014


Still summer!   The warm, sunny conditions with a light easterly breeze produced 24 new birds through the morning with the highlight being the second River Warbler of the last few days - this time caught at lunchtime as I was closing the nets, there was a bigger audience this time with half a dozen birders near enough to come and have a look.    The total also included 2 Red-backed Shrikes, 2 White Wagtails, a Robin, a Redstart, 2 Reed Warblers, 3 Icterine Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff.

The second River Warbler in the last few days and the 6th for the station

Red-backed Shrike - the first male to be caught this year
The Mistle Thrush was still in the garden along with a Nuthatch while birds from the surrounding area included a couple of singing Quail, a singing Golden Oriole from near Birkemose and a Black Kite cruising around.

søndag den 8. juni 2014


A good ringing day with a light easterly and patches of cloud moving across the sky; I managed 22 new birds through the morning which is a bit better than the last few days although the quality wasn't as high as yesterday!   Birds included a Sand Martin, a Robin, a Song Thrush, a Reed Warbler, 5 Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat, an Icterine Warbler, 5 Blackcaps and a Red-backed Shrike.

The first Song Thrush in the garden since 18th May
Sightings in the area today included a couple of Penduline Tits heard over the tip and a singing Red-breasted Flycatcher at Frisenfelt from Louis while a Mistle Thrush in the garden was the first for a long time.
There seems to be some differing opinions on the Harrier seen yesterday; here are a couple of pictures by Mathias Blicher Bjerregard.


lørdag den 7. juni 2014

Spring just keeps on giving

A beautiful, calm, sunny, hot summer's day produced a typical 11 new birds in the nets through the morning but there was some real quality in the meagre total with the highlight definitely a cracking River Warbler caught at dawn - only the 5th to be ringed here at the station.   The rest of the birds included the first Nuthatch to be caught this year, a Marsh Warbler, a Garden Warbler, a Willow Warbler  and a Robin.

River Warbler

The day's other highlight came at around 07:45 when a 1st summer Pallid Harrier flew east along the coast, pausing occasionally to circle and gain height giving good views from the station and to Louis et al out on the tip.   Other birds recorded from the point included an Osprey south, 4 Marsh Harriers, a Peregrine, a Golden Oriole mooching around and a selection of returning wildfowl with the most noteworthy being 700 Common Scoter.
The afternoon was quieter with an increase in Swifts noted over the station - probably birds already thinking of heading south again and some good breeding bird activity for the Atlas project that is running for the next three years with Lesser Whitethroats, Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs, Chaffinches and Yellowhammers all seen feeding chicks/fledglings.

fredag den 6. juni 2014


The wind had picked up overnight to a very strong South-westerly by dawn but we managed open a good number of nets especially on the leeward side of the garden; that's where the good news ended though as a single Greenfinch was the only reward for the session!

Four Little Gulls flew west along the shore and more fledglings were out and about in the area with young Yellowhammers and White Wagtails and their parents making lots of noise around the garden.

As there were no birds to photograph, here's a record shot of a Hedgehog as it sprinted past me like a rocket this morning; its a terrible picture but enough to clinch the identification!

torsdag den 5. juni 2014

Changing weather

A nice, pleasant start to the day being sunny with a light easterly breeze but through the morning the wind picked up and swung round to the SW bringing with it a short spell of heavy rain just before lunch.   Managed to get a full ringing session in before that arrived though but only caught 10 new birds which included a smart red, male Common Rosefinch, 2 Icterine Warblers, 2 Garden Warblers and a Reed Warbler.

Out of 13 caught so far this spring, this is the second red one

Garden Warbler
Louis had the only other really noteworthy bird today as a Little Egret flew east past the tip in the morning - still a very scarce bird here at Gedser with only three previous records I believe.

Latticed Heath at Kroghage today

onsdag den 4. juni 2014

Breeding birds

A nice morning, calm with a bit of cloud produced a moderate 13 new birds; these included a Redstart, a Marsh Warbler, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Willow Warblers and 2 Icterine Warblers - plus a Swedish control Icky with a nice shiny, new looking ring.

The first juvenile Linnets and Starlings of the year were also caught this morning.   The Starling wasn't impressed!
Hans, Louis and myself then spent a very pleasant few hours surveying the breeding birds out on Rødsand where we found good numbers of seabirds with eggs and chicks  - looks like a productive year out there!

tirsdag den 3. juni 2014

Quality not quantity

Calm and warm again but with intermittent cloud cover coming and going through the morning which extended the usual couple of hours catching time to at least 09:00; still only managed 22 new birds but the total today did include a cracking Greenish Warbler - only the third to be ringed here after two last spring.
   Other birds caught included 3 Icterine Warblers, 2 Garden Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, a Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroats, 3 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs and the first 2 juvenile Greenfinches of the year.

Greenish Warbler
There wasn't too much else to shout about through the day - June is all about quality not quantity after all; although a Caspian Tern did fly west past the station and five singing Common Rosefinches were counted between the station and town and included a smart red one at Frisenfelt.

mandag den 2. juni 2014

Summer's day

A real summer's day being calm, warm and sunny throughout which produced a familiar pattern for the morning's ringing with 20 new birds caught, all before 07:30 and after which.....nothing!   The total included a female Red-backed Shrike, 2 Marsh Warblers, a Reed Warbler, 5 Willow Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Icterine Warblers, 3 Blackcaps and 4 Whitethroats.

Three Hawfinches were in the garden while a Thrush Nightingale bounced out of a net early in the morning.

It was quiet again on the tip through the morning with Louis recording single Hobby and Honey Buzzard with the usual Marsh Harriers, White-tailed Eagles and Buzzards floating around; a Tree Pipit south was slightly unseasonal while drake Eiders and Goldeneye are already heading back south after presumably doing the business up north!

Louis did find the bird of the day however, with an elusive Great Reed Warbler at the sewage works between the station and town in the afternoon.

Black-veined Moth

søndag den 1. juni 2014


A very different morning than of late with completely overcast skies and a very light westerly wind; these perfect netting conditions produced 30 new birds through the morning - still a good total for June!   Birds included another Hawfinch, a female Red-backed Shrike, only the second Sedge Warbler of the spring, 2 Reed Warblers, 5 Icterine Warblers, 8 Whitethroats, 3 Garden Warblers and a White Wagtail.

The fourth Hawfinch of the spring - there were at least 4 in the garden this morning, possibly local breeders who lost their nests in the recent gales

A close up of those amazing inner primaries
There were literally no other birds to report through the day, even Louis drew a blank out on the tip!