Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Broadwater GP - 25 November 2015

RMA and ESA joined us for the rather windy morning with Broadwater being the ideal, sheltered site. We arrived in a shower that soon cleared, but since more rain was expected within a couple of hours we only put up four nets - ready for a speedy take down if necessary. The species list was dominated by Goldcrests and the Latvian recording enticed eight Redwing down to be captured.
There was a high proportion of retraps including a couple of Coal Tits and a good number of Long-tailed Tits.

 3M Coal Tit

Totals: 25 (18)

Blackbird - 2
Redwing - 8
Chiffchaff - 1 (1)
Goldcrest - 11 (5)
Blue Tit - 1 (1)
Coal Tit - 1 (2)
Long-tailed Tit - 0 (9)
Chaffinch - 1

Friday, 20 November 2015

Broadwater GP - 20 November 2015

We're not quite ready to lead any sessions out yet, as we are still sorting ourselves out after two months away from home, so were delighted when MRB and Margaret asked if we would like to join them and BC for a morning at Broadwater. We feel as though we've spent far too much time indoors over the last few days - having got used to the fresh air and ringing routines in Denmark, so of course, we went.

There were 29 birds and the Latvian Redwing tape did us proud, attracting ones and twos, most rounds, over the course of four hours.

Redwing age 3

There were eight Goldcrests, a species that we had a lot of experience of in Denmark, but there was another less welcome reminder of our time there as the two Goldfinches seemed to have the fungal infection that we has been recording, mainly in robins, at Gedser Fuglestation. Neither MRB or BC had seen the infection before.

Totals: 27 (2)

Wren - 2 (1)
Redwing - 12
Blackcap - 1
Chiffchaff - 1 (1)
Goldcrest - 8
Coal Tit - 1
Goldfinch - 2
Lesser Redpoll - 1
Goldcrest - 6

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Gedser Fuglestation - 15 November 2015

This was to be the last full day of ringing at Gedser, but rain continued until well after midday so nets were not dropped until around 2pm. That meant that we could use tapes as it was much too late to do a standard session.

We caught a few birds, quite a lot of Blackbirds, with many being recaptures.

 Age 3 male Blackbird (1k Solsort)

There wasn't too much damage after the storm, we had one net down due to the net working too far down the pole until it went over, but the other nets were still safely furled with nothing more than leaves caught on a few. 

 A fallen tree just missed the storage shed.

Totals: 22 (10 )

Tårnfalk / Kestrel - 1
Rødhals / Robin - 0 (1)
Solsort / Blackbird - 4 (7)
Vindrossel / Redwing - 3
Munk / Blackcap - 1
Gransanger / Chiffchaff - 1
Fuglekonge / Goldcrest - 5 (1)
Grønsisken / Siskin - 5
Lille Gråsisken / Lesser Redpoll - 1
Stor Dompap / Northern Bullfinch - 1 (1)

We have thoroughly enjoyed our autumn at Gedser and have met some wonderful people who put so much time and effort into making the observatory a success. It is a superb ringing site with plenty of nets and sheltered areas so that it is usually possible to open some nets, whatever the direction of the wind. It has been fantastic to monitor the progress of birds on migration, processing mainly passerines, with such obvious visual migration going on all around us. During the time we have been here, 10th September to 15th November, a total of 7547 birds were ringed, 5881 of these by Chris and myself with 2745 of these being Goldcrests. It has been brilliant! Thanks to everyone involved with the fuglestation - you are all fantastic.

 Chris in the ringing lab - such a luxury, we usually ring out of our car boot.
One of my favourite birds of the autumn.

We hope to come back again one day.

But, much as we would love to, we can't be here every year so there are volunteering opportunities here for licenced ringers.

Gedser is one of only three main observatories on Denmark and is located at the most southerly point of Scandinavia. It is an important departure point for raptors and passerines and the observatory is just a short walk from the tip, a viewpoint for staggering numbers of ducks and geese passing close to the coast. Busiest ringing days are during Autumn - late September into October with large volumes of common migrants such as Robin, Siskin and Goldcrest, although every year is different. Our stay in Autumn 2015 was remarkable for the numbers of Goldcrest that passed through, 700+ on one day alone. More unusual species should be encountered although we somehow only got one Yellow-browed warbler when so many were turning up in Western Europe and the UK - and there was also a Red-flanked Bluetail! If you think that this could be the place for you next migration season,  have a look at either our or the Gedser Fuglestation blog for more information. We're also happy to answer any questions and provide details of the fuglestation management.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Gedser Fuglestation - 14 November 2015 Great Grey Shrike (Stor Tornskade)

We couldn't do standard ringing again. After a start to the day when we thought there may not be any sheltered nets, we were extremely excited to find that we had caught a Great Grey Shrike (Stor Tornskade). Not bad when we only got 13 birds.

 Adult Great Grey Shrike (2k+ Stor Tornskade)

 We had not been able to open any nets until 10:00am, and even then we had to close twice due to squally showers. Earlier, it was really looking as though there was no chance of any birds, and certainly not a new species! Neither of us had ringed Great Grey Shrike (Stor Tornskade) but this bird was processed by me, Denise.

When I recorded this video I would never have imaged the day could bring such a fantastic bird!

Totals: 13 (1)

Rødhals / Robin - 2
Fuglekonge / Goldcrest - 1 (1)
Stor Tornskade / Great Grey Shrike- 1
Gråsisken / Redpoll -1
Nordlig  Gråsisken / Common Redpoll - 2
Lille Gråsisken / Lesser Redpoll - 6

Friday, 13 November 2015

Gedser Fuglestation - 13 November 2015

Another day of strong wind. The direction had shifted slightly so that even the two sheltered nets where we'd been using audiolures were being affected, particularly by the strong gusts that definitely exceeded the forecast.

We did make a attempt to encourage some finches in first thing in the morning but soon gave up and closed for the day.

Totals:  7

Fuglekonge / Goldcrest - 1
Lille Gråsisken / Lesser Redpoll - 6

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Gedser Fuglestation - 12 November 2015 - some speedy control returns

Yet more very windy weather, but this time with some sunshine. Birds seemed to be more willing to make the crossing and, as we've seen before little alighted in the garden. Hence the very low total for the day.
It really does feel as though migration is almost done. We noticed that the snow poles have been put out alongside the road - it's soon be time for us to be making our way back to the UK too.

Totals:   ( 9 ) 1

Spurvehøg / Sparrowhawk - 1
Fuglekonge / Goldcrest - 0 (1)
Bogfinke / Chaffinch - 1
Grønsisken / Siskin -2
Nordig Gråsisken / Common Redpoll - 1
Lille Gråsisken / Lesser Redpoll - 4

We have had news of some birds that we controlled earlier in the season -

 13/10/2015 - Rødhals / Robin (first year, 1k) CX49203

Ringnr. Stockholm CX...49203
Dato 27-09-2015 09:00
Art Rødhals (Erithacus rubecula)
Sted Bredmar / Byn, Landsort
Område SV57: Stockholm, Sweden
Alder 1k
Køn Ukendt
Ringmærker(e) Swedish Bird Ringing Centre
Afstand 589 km
Tid 0 år 0 måneder 16 dage (=16 dage)
Retning 220° SW

On the 29th October we captured Grønsisken / Sisken, first year female 1k hun  CX96622 and Fuglekonge/ Goldcrest, first year male 1k han, TL0973.

Ringnr. Stockholm CX...96622
Dato 24-09-2015 11:00
Art Grønsisken (Carduelis spinus)
Sted Fyren, Falsterbo
Område SV63: Skåne, Sweden
Alder 1k
Køn Hun
Ringmærker(e) Swedish Bird Ringing Centre
Afstand 106 km
Tid 0 år 1 måneder 5 dage (=35 dage)
Retning 211° SSW

Ringnr. Stockholm TL....0973
Dato 11-10-2015 09:00
Art Fuglekonge (Regulus regulus)
Sted Ottenby, Ottenby
Område SV71: Öland, Sweden
Alder 1k
Køn Han
Ringmærker(e) Swedish Bird Ringing Centre
Afstand 334 km
Tid 0 år 0 måneder 18 dage (=18 dage)
Retning 239° WSW

A Fuglekonge / Goldcrest, first year female 1k hun, TL0266 was caught on the 30th October.

Ringnr. Stockholm TL....0266
Dato 09-10-2015 08:00
Art Fuglekonge (Regulus regulus)
Sted Ottenby, Ottenby
Område SV71: Öland, Sweden
Alder 1k
Køn Hun
Ringmærker(e) Swedish Bird Ringing Centre
Afstand 334 km
Tid 0 år 0 måneder 21 dage (=21 dage)
Retning 239° WSW

We have been very impressed by the speed of returns achieved by the Danish and Swedish organisers of the ringing schemes.

Good birding!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Gedser Fuglestation - 11 November 2015

For the second day running we have been unable to complete a standard session due to the weather, however today we did drop a couple of sheltered nets and play for Redpoll as flocks were heading down to the tip, then working their way North again having decided not to cross the Baltic.

We recaptured three Goldcrest (Fuglekonge) and encouraged some Redpoll (Gråsisken) and Sisken (Grønsisken) down to the nets. The catch included a partially leucistic Lesser Redpoll (Lille Gråsisken) with  patchy white colouration on the head, no black leg colouration and pale flanks.

Partially leucistic Redpoll

 The lack of black colouration in the legs was quite stricking although claws 
were the usual very dark colour.

Totals: 62 (3)

Fuglekonge / Goldcrest - 0 (3)
Blåmejse / Blue Tit - 1
Grønsisken / Siskin - 5
Gråsisken/ Redpoll species (believed intermediate) - 3
Nordig Gråsisken / Common Redpoll - 12
Lille Gråsisken / Lesser Redpoll- 41