tirsdag den 11. august 2015

Birding the storm

Prior to dawn this morning a magnificent electric storm sat just offshore here in Gedser, deep rumblings of thunder and flashes of lightening told us that there would be no standardised ringing today. Instead I decided to bird the tip, migrant ducks and waders often pass by the tip relatively close in harsh conditions and given the northerly airflow chances were good to see a decent number of species.

The first hour was a washout, literally no birds moved from their night roosts at the tip and migration hadn't started. It was quiet for the two following hours too until the wind direction shifted from East north easterly to northerly. Immediately numbers picked up and the variety of ducks also.

Sortand (Common Scoter), Ederfugl (Eider) and Krikand (Teal) were the most numerous with Pibeand (Wigeon), Taffeland (Pochard), Troldand (Tufted Duck), Gråand (Mallard) and Knarand (Gadwall) making up the rest. Numbers were still quite low with only a few hundred ducks altogether, in one or two weeks time, thousands of ducks can be counted in a day out on the tip and it really is a fantastic spectacle.

Wader were almost absent excepting the 5 Hjejle (Golden Plover) that took full advantage of the carrying wind and shot straight across the water.

It became evident mid-morning that the rain had departed for the day dropping in some migrants with Lesser whitethroat and willow warblers both sat in the sugarbeet field by the tip. A grounded Wheatear (Stenpiker) wasn't totally unexpected but the Bynkefugl (Whinchat) that sat on the closed mist net outside the house was. Some nets were opened for a few hours and 14 new birds were captured.

Red-Backed Shrike - 1
Whitethroat - 1
Willow Warbler - 1
Icterine Warbler - 1
Lesser Whitethroat - 10

These birds were good extraction practice for Jon, the trainee who has been with us for the last two days. He will soon travel to Papua new guinea for work on his post-doc. Best of luck out there Jon, if you're reading this. Amazing stuff.

Lydia has also been more than a little excited today at the arrival of her parents, I'm not sure if she's mentioned it to any visitors around the station? But they arrived safely this evening to see their very excitable daughter. In the coming days Lydia will travel around Denmark with her family and I will cover ringing duties.


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