Tuesday 27 September 2016

Getterön Fågelstation, Sweden, 27th September 2016

Today was busy, busy, busy! Rain in the night forced birds down and it was clear there had been a fall from the number of robins heard as the nets were set. But it wasn't just robins with over 100, but a lot of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs too. The highlights had to be a Yellow-browed Warbler, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, the second of these being a new species for us and a Kingfisher, very scarce in the locale.

 Yellow-browed Warbler

 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker


Kingfisher - juvenile female

In the evening we tried again for Starlings and owls. As usual none of the small groups of Starlings could be tempted away from the main roost. We're still trying for owls.

The wind is due to get up again tomorrow and the gusts look too strong for ringing for the next couple of days.

Clouds roll in with the next weather front

Total: 393 (35)

Kingfisher - 1
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Meadow Pipit - 37 (1)
Wren - 6 (1)
Dunnock - 2 (1)
Robin - 102 (9)
Redstart - 1 (1)
Song Thrush - 4
Reed Warbler - 18 (1)
Lesser Whitethroat - 0 (1)
Garden Warbler - 4
Blackcap - 85 (7)
Chiffchaff - 80 (2)
Yellow-browed Warbler - 1
Goldcrest - 2
Bearded Tit - 0 (1)
Blue Tit - 10 (6)
Great Tit - 1 (4)
Magpie - 1
Tree Sparrow - 2
Chaffinch - 1
Greenfinch - 1
Reed Bunting - 28

Monday 26 September 2016

Getterön Fågelstation, Sweden, 25th & 26th September 2016

It was less windy early on this morning so we had a better chance of birds staying in nets than yesterday! We opened all the nets, and after a rather quiet start things started to improve. Chiffchaffs continue to make up a decent amount of the catch, Reed Buntings have reduced at present and Meadow Pipits are down with the windier conditions.

 Juvenile male Yellowhammer

Great Tit, adult male


Totals: 87 (8)

Meadow Pipit - 8 (1)
Wren - 1
Dunnock - 2 (1)
Robin - 8 (3)
Redstart - 0 (1)
Reed Warbler - 2
Blackcap - 17
Chiffchaff - 24 (1)
Blue Tit - 1
Great Tit - 1 (1)
Greenfinch - 2
Lesser Redpoll - 1
Yellowhammer - 1
Reed Bunting - 19

26th September

A light, moderate SSE wind to start, increasing by 11am and cloud. We expected similar to yesterday, opened and waited to see what happened. The Chiffchaff calls worked quite well, but our attempts to attract finches did not work although we could see several small groups passing overhead. Nets were closed for 11am.

Garden Warbler

Dawn departure of geese.

In the afternoon we went walking at Sumpafallen. It was a beautiful place, but like all woodlands at this time of year there were only a few birds to be seen.

Our target species were Dipper and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and we saw neither. On returning the Getterons via Varberg we drove in to town just as the Cranes were returning from the fields. Some were at the lagoon edge close to the observatory.

Pre-roost activity of Cranes 

Chris had another try for some Starlings. The flock has swelled considerably and they positively drown out the tape lure when they're all roosting for the night. Current estimate is a minimum of 2000 birds. Chris was disappointed to find birds roosting either side of the net run this morning when we hadn't tried last night. Of course they all left almost vertically and none were captured.

Our last attempt was for owls. We tried Pygmy and Hawk owls as they are now passing through but were unsuccessful again.

Total: 95 (12)

Meadow Pipit - 14 (1)
Wren - 0 (1)
Dunnock - 2 (2)
Robin - 6 (4)
Redstart - 1 (1)
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 9
Garden Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 19 (1)
Chiffchaff - 22
Willow Warbler - 1
Bearded Tit - 0 (1)
Blue Tit - 0 (1)
Reed Bunting - 19

Saturday 24 September 2016

Getterön Fågelstation, Sweden, 23rd & 24th September 2016

23rd September
Today we expected more wind than we've had over the last few days and showers to disturb operations from about ten 'o' clock. The wind wasn't too bad in the morning, although it strengthened in the afternoon - and the forecast of showers came to nothing.

There was a surprise in the bushes nets on the first round as we had thought it too late for the species to be around still, but there he was, a young male Nightjar.

 Nightjar, juvenile male

It was a real treat to process the bird in full light for a change!

We completed our usual morning session, leaving the Meadow Pipit nets open a little longer while they continued to catch, but there was no possibility of trying for a Starling roost in the evening as the gusts were too strong.

Total 91 (21)

Nightjar - 1
Meadow Pipit - 24 (3)
Wren - 2 (1)
Dunnock - 4 (2)
Robin - 1 (6)
Redstart - 0 (1)
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 4
Lesser Whitethroat -1
Garden Warbler - 0 (1)
Blackcap - 21 (1)
Chiffchaff - 12 (2)
Blue Tit - 3 (3)
Bearded Tit - 0 (1)
Reed Bunting - 17

24th September
At setting up time the wind was blowing at 13 metres per second from the NWN, but due to reduce. We dropped all the usual station nets but our Meadow Pipit nets were too exposed so remained furled.

We got a some birds from the nets that were least exposed, with a few recaptures and mainly Blackcaps and Robins. We tried a variety of calls to encourage birds into nets, including Twite, Redpoll, Hawfinch, Meadow Pipit and Reed Bunting, but Chiffchaff seemed to be the only one that worked on a net positioned in a sheltered spot.

Goldcrest, juvenile male

The wind was still quite strong as the morning progressed so we closed early at 10am. The Barnacle Geese were mostly in the most sheltered area of the lagoon, closest to the observatory.

Barnacle Geese
Total: 41 (14)
Meadow Pipit - 0 (1)
Wren - 2 (1)
Robin - 9 (5)
Redstart - 1
Songthrush - 1
Reed Warbler - 3
Blackcap - 10 (2)
Chiffchaff - 10
Goldcrest - 1
Blue Tit - 3 (3)
Bearded Tit - 0 (1)
Reed Bunting - 1 (1)

In the afternoon we headed inland, back to the beech forest where we'd tried for Pygmy Owl. On the way we noticed a collection of raptors near the road. The attraction wasn't clear but there were five Red Kite and nine Buzzard.

Red Kite

Common Buzzard

At the woods we had hoped to see Black Woodpecker, but had to be content with Nuthatch, Marsh Tit and some other birds of the forest. There were also some interesting fungi.

Thursday 22 September 2016

Getterön Fågelstation, Sweden, 21st & 22nd September 2016

21st September

We thought there may be quite a few birds around today and Margareta came to lend a hand with extracting birds. However, the morning seemed slow and we wondered whether we would exceed the hundred mark. It was quite surprising to find out just how many had been processed.

The catch included our first Goldfinch, a very young Lesser Redpoll with an unusually pale head and an adult Lesser Whitethroat.

 Lesser Redpoll with unusually pale head - post-juvenile moult not yet started.

 Adult Lesser Whitethroat

Juvenile Goldfinch

We have been using the new ringing guide by Demongin in conjunction with Svennson and have been usung some useful indicators for some species. To date we have ringed 300+ Reed Buntings, a species that we don't often get at home. Detailed below are useful ageing and sexing indicators.

 Two examples of adult type second tertial feather.

 Juvenile angular pattern for comparison.

 Female pattern of crown feathers, dark centre ending in point.

Male pattern, black feather with brown fringe to top.

This is useful in addition to looking for white neck feathers emerging, as females also show a small amount of white. This method is completely unambiguous.

In the afternoon we drove up the coast to a spot where waders come in quite close to the shore.

Curlew Sandpiper


Pink Thrift

Total: 140 (12)

Meadow Pipit - 19
White Wagtail - 1
Wren - 11
Dunnock - 5
Robin - 25 (7)
Song Thrush - 1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 8 (2)
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Blackcap - 20 (1)
Chiffchaff - 12 (1)
Goldcrest - 1
Blue Tit - 3
Great Tit -  2 (1)
Tree Sparrow - 2
Goldfinch - 1
Lesser Redpoll - 1
Reed Bunting - 26

22nd September

There was a cloudy start to the day, low wind coming from the South East and a steady trickle of birds. Bo dropped in for a while to extract. There were quite a lot of recaptured Robins and Blackcaps, birds still feeding up before the next leg of their journey.

We could hear finches flying overhead and the Bearded Tits were flying around a lot, seeming quite restless.

 Female Blackbird. UK code 3, Denmark 1k and Sweden 10.

Song Thrush

Total: 121 (17)

Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Meadow Pipit - 20
Wren - 1
Dunnock - 5
Robin - 9 (8)
Redstart - 0 (1)
Blackbird - 1
Song Thrush - 2
Reed Warbler - 5 (1)
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Whitethroat - 3
Garden Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 24 (4)
Chiffchaff - 18
Goldcrest - 1
Bearded Tit - 1 (3)
Blue Tit - 1
Great Tit -  1
Tree Sparrow - 2
Reed Bunting - 24

In the afternoon we went about 17km up the road for a walk in a beech woodland nature reserve. The landscape was very interesting with mature trees growing over and between rocky outcrops.

 Beech woodland

 The site has seen habitation in the past.

 An elaborate means of transporting water.

Stream with one of two mill stones discarded on the bank.

In the evening we made a change from trying for owls (and largely failing - with the exception of one Long Eared Owl) and tried for waders on a coastal area outside the reserve. Unsurprisingly we were unsuccessful. The observatory doesn't target waders as they rarely get much - still at least we gave it a go. Tomorrow we'll target Starling in the evening.

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Getterön Fågelstation, Sweden, 19th & 20th September 2016

19th September

The wind was changeable overnight and  blowing from a North Westerly direction by the end of the morning. It was quite busy with a lot of birds seen in the bushes, as well as being caught. Bo dropped something off, and got roped in to a quick dash round the bush nets to extract, saving us a little time. We were pleased with our total, and we may have to resort to the bicycles if we get a higher number of birds when no help is available.

 Juvenile male Sparrowhawk


 Male Bearded Tit with black mask feathers moulting through

In the afternoon we went off with Bo Kanje, Kirsten and Margareta to see Pygmy Owl habitat. There was also a chance to see some of the local nature reserves and tourist attractions. We did set a net where the Pygmy Owls were but we caught nothing and did not even hear them calling. Many thanks to Bo, Margareta and Kirsten for their efforts - both with the owls and the evening picnic. It was great!

 One of many locations where Bo (pronounced Boo) monitors raptors and owls,
 including box nesting birds.

 Goshawk nest

 Tourist retreat complete with saunas, spas and vineyard.

 Nest box for Pygmy Owl. Sparvuggla, the Swedish name, means Sparrow Owl.

Sparvuggla habitat

A wonderful place, but watch out for the elk flies.

Total: 216 (21)

Sparrowhawk - 1
Tree Pipit - 1
Meadow Pipit - 27
Wren - 2
Dunnock - 6 (1)
Robin - 25 (5)
Song Thrush - 1
Redstart - 0 (1)
Sedge Warbler - 3
Reed Warbler - 9 (1)
Lesser Whitethroat - 0 (1)
Whitethroat - 0 (1)
Garden Warbler - 3
Blackcap - 42 (5)
Willow Warbler - 3
Chiffchaff - 50 (1)
Bearded Tit - 0 (2)
Blue Tit - 5  (1)
Great Tit - 3 (2)
Tree Sparrow - 2
Chaffinch - 1
Brambling - 1
Reed Bunting - 31

20th September

It was a chilly start to the day due to the wind blowing in from North North West. We were not sure if there would be birds still around from the 'fall' yesterday or whether there may be new arrivals. Once we got started, it was clear that there had been an influx of Wrens and Robins, with rather more Robins! In the reed bed, Reed Bunting responded well to the audio-lure.

 Wren - referred to affectionately as meatballs in Denmark
 which makes this a Swedish meatball!
 Bearded Tits - two dapper chappies!

Great Spotted Woodpecker - juvenile male

We were surprised to recapture the Barred Warbler that was ringed on the 8th of September. This bird has not been reported since it was captured. Its weight, 25.5g, and fat score have not changed.

The wind has increased this afternoon and it is unlikely that we'll do any netting this evening.

Total: 230  (29)

Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Tree Pipit - 1
Meadow Pipit - 22
Wren - 19
Dunnock - 4
Robin - 59 (4)
Redstart - 0 (2)
Sedge Warbler - 2
Reed Warbler - 15 (1)
Whitethroat - 1 (1)
Garden Warbler - 5 (3)
Blackcap - 32 (10)
Barred Warbler - 0 (1)
Willow Warbler - 3
Chiffchaff - 23
Bearded Tit - 1 (3)
Blue Tit - 2 (4)
Starling - 1
Greenfinch - 1
Reed Bunting - 38