Gedser Fuglestation Blog
Her på Gedser Fuglestations blog bringes korte nyheder i dagbogsformat om hændelser på fuglestationen.
A lull in the wind
The wind died out completely overnight and we were able to open all the nets this morning. It was strangely warm in fact! We only got a brief respite from the weather as it started to drizzle around 10am, meaning that we only got a few hours of ringing in. In that time we got more birds than over the previous few days, but still not so many… We played sounds in an attempt to lure a flock of siskin or redpolls down into the garden, but it didn’t work in the short time we had the nets open. Maybe another day it will.
We didn’t get any unusual birds – just a smattering of the usuals. After lunch I walked to Gedser for some supplies and discovered that the wind had come back in full force – and then some! It is insanely windy here at the moment! We can hear it howling around the house, and we are very glad to be cozy inside with the fire going. Hopefully it’ll die down enough for us to open nets again in the morning.
We didn’t take any photos today, but the data are below.
Last day of standarised ringing
Today it was not possible for us to open the nets. We woke up at 06:30 am to check the garden but it was incredibly windy, then every 30 minutes we checked again to see if we would be able to open the nets, but in the end we could not. There were gusts between 17 - 15 m/s all the morning, and besides that, in all our rounds around the garden we only heard a few blackbirds and the usual tree sparrows.
So far, in terms of numbers, we have only ringed 387 birds in 15 days of November, and almost every day after standard we have tried with several speakers to lure them into the nets. So far no luck, but we are not giving up.
We will try tomorrow again!
I hope you had a good day,
Another lovely but quiet day
I think it’s safe to say that the ringing season is over, after another in a long series of very quiet days. It was a beautiful autumnal day though, and the lack of bird activity meant we could go for a lovely run in the sun – it was just about warm enough for shorts and t-shirt!
I think female solsort (blackbirds) are very underappreciated. They have a really stunning plumage.
Nothing else of note has happened today, so I’ll keep it brief - the data speaks for itself.
A quiet but lovely day
Today was a very slow day again. At around 9 am we got 9 Grønsisken and 1 Stillits and in the rest of the rounds 3 more new birds in total. We have been recapturing the same nice female goldcrest for many days in a row and so every day now we are waiting for her to show up. We are pleased to see that she is doing well in the garden and has a good fat score.
The weather was sunny and nice, after standard time we decided to close down because there was literally nothing flying over, so we used the day to do other things.
We hope for another busy day or to catch another unusual species to tell you something more exciting, but for now here is the data:
Nothing much happened today, so I will keep it brief! We had a brief moment of excitment first thing this morning when we released the buzzard. It had clearly digested the chicken it had eaten yesterday and was a lot more active! We kept it overnight in a box in the outside toilet (too warm ín the house) because we caught it so late in the day that it was too dark to release it by the time we had ringed it and taken all the measurements. It was very cool to see it fly off.
Other than that, it was very windy so we were unable to open many nets, and there weren’t any birds around anyway, so we closed after standard time, leaving us the afternoon to work on other things.
That’s all for now!
Today the garden was very cold and windy and ridiculously quiet. We ringed only two birds and both were caught in the first round. During the rest of the time that the nets were open, we recaptured three other birds from a few days ago. That was all the action from today in the garden.
At around 15:30, Gail was heading out for a run and as she headed out the door she saw that there was a buzzard in the trap! But in the 10 seconds that we needed to get ready and run to the trap, it escaped, so Gail went for the run but I stayed home. After 15 minutes I checked the trap again and the buzzard was inside again! This time I just ran for it and got there in time, before it escaped! But I was alone with a buzzard, so I send a message to Hans and Gail (who ran back as fast as possible!) who came and helped with the ringing process.
Gail put the ring on perfectly and together with Hans helped to take the rest of the measurements. It had been obviously eating as if there was no tomorrow from the bait because it was to heavy for the scale in the lab, so I had to run to the kitchen to get a bigger scale to weigh it.
Our first impressions are that the bird is a 3K+, but we need to study the pictures more to come to a solid conclusion. As male and female buzzards overlap quite a lot in size (although males are usually smaller), we do not think that will be able to sex it.
Catching the buzzard made today an amazing day!
No owl catching tonight because it is very windy.
The numbers of today:
A blåmejse from Lithuania and a harbour porpoise
Today was much the same as yesterday – a beautiful autumn day with very few birds in the nets. The birds we caught were all the usuals, but always nice to see. We did, however, catch a very handsome 2k+ male blåmejse (blue tit) with a ring from Lithuania! We aren’t really sure why it has ended up here from Lithuania – it doesn’t seem like a very logical route, but who are we to judge?!
We took advantage of the lack of birds this afternoon to go for a run in the light along the coast. It was such a gorgeous crisp day, and the sea was like a mill pond. We paused at the point where we were going to turn around and head back, and while we were taking a moment to enjoy the view a porpoise emerged from below the waves for a few breaths. We assume it was a harbour porpoise as there aren’t many marine mammal species in the Baltic Sea and the other three are seals. It’s always a good day when it includes a porpoise.
Not much else to add, so I’ll leave you to enjoy the data, which as always are included below.
Despite the perfect conditions this morning, there were surprisingly few birds in the garden. Even in the first round, usually the busiest, we got less than ten birds. A nice diversity of species for the number though. We decided to close sooner after standard time than usual as it gets a bit demoralising walking around the garden and finding the nets almost completely empty time after time! Ramón glimpsed the great grey shrike again, and found gristly evidence of its hunting success, which it must have lost when it flew into and out of a net again this morning...He took a picture too gruesome to post here but needless to say they are fierce predators!
We had another nice visit from Line who stopped for a chat, and in the afternoon after we closed the nets I chopped some wood (we use the wood burner in the house as our only source of heat) and went for a lovely walk to get supplies from the shop in Gedser.
We also used a big chunk of time to get through the majority of the datasheets left that we had to check through. Helped a lot by a cheeky bit of very nice Scottish whisky!
It seems very difficult to predict which days will bring birds, but hopefully we’ll get a few more tomorrow.
Watch out birds!
Last night before going to bed we checked the weather (as we do every night) and we saw we were going to have south westerly winds again, so not the best for us. When we were opening the nets, the wind was blowing a bit too much to open all the nets (better safe than sorry), although it did not make much of a difference because after catching five stillits and three grønsisken in the first round, the garden was almost completely depleted of birds, but we always try..
After standard time, we played birds sounds with the speakers as every day, but today nothing was moving above us. We were catching none, one or two birds maximum each round, but at least we were doing a lot of data check between rounds. So at 14:30 I wanted to close the nets because I completely lost all hope, but Gail said that we should try one more round, just in case. She was totally right because we caught a Stor Tornskade, Lanius excubitor (Great Grey Shrike)! It´s beautiful, but it has a brutal bite. So thanks to her we caught this one! Thanks Gail for never losing hope!!
After completing and suffering the ringing process of the Stor Tornskade we went for a run and did some yoga. Vibeke, Line and Gert also visited us today which it was very nice. We were very happy to see you all! Gert showed us some of the pictures that he took of Krognæb, Pinicola enucleatror (Pine Grosbeak) in Skagen - fantastic!
Now we are trying to catch owls again, but no luck yet. Although you never know!
As always the numbers of the day:
Si si siskins!
Today dawned chilly, the northerly winds bringing more cold air from Sweden and Norway. The first round of the day seemed relatively quiet - a good number of fuglekonge (goldcrests), a couple of solsort (blackbirds) and a beautiful vindrossel (redwing) - until we got to the second high net near the end of the round and found it full of grønsisken (siskin) once more. We rapidly set about de-birding the net layer by layer, our hands gradually losing sensation due to the damp cold, and then rushed to the lab to get started. Ramón left me ringing while he went around the nets again so as to not leave any birds too long in the cold. I am very happy and proud to have just been upgraded to a C-licence, which is largely due to the excellent tuition I’ve received from Ramón. He is a very patient and generous teacher. So I can now be happily left in charge of ringing on my own in the lab if needs be. Useful when there are just the two of you!
The day settled down after that and we got very few new birds each round from 11am onwards, despite playing a variety of songs to attract them. Around midday we ran to the tip with the scope because we heard that there was a king eider (neither of us have seen one before) in amongst a flock of eiders sitting in the water. Unfortunately we were unable to relocate it as the flock was so far out to sea, but it was nice to have a brief trip up there nonetheless.
Other than that we caught several dompap (bullfinches), which we reckon are some of the most beautiful birds in the garden, and an elegant pair of female stillits (goldfinches). They look very angry in this photo!
As always we are now trying for owls… And as always the data from today are shown below.