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Don't tread on the Goldcrests

tirsdag 11. oktober 2016
af Simon Davies

A very windy, very overcast and slightly damp classic autumn day; we attempted some ringing first thing with just four nets opened and it proved to be pretty productive with 115 new birds caught in just a couple of hours before the weather forced us to close including a brute of a female Northern Bullfinch, 52 Robins and 57 Goldcrests.  

Today's ringing totals (two sessions with very limited nets open)   -   5 Wren / Gaerdesmutte;  2 Dunnock / Jernspurv;  180 Robin / Roedhals;  6 Blackbird / Solsort;  1 Fieldfare / Sjagger;  8 Song Thrush / Sangdrossel;  2 Blackcap / Munk;  1 Chiffchaff / Gransanger;  83 Goldcrest / Fuglekonge;  1 Blue Tit / Blamejse;  1 Great Tit / Musvit;  2 Chaffinch / Bogfinke;  1 Northern Bullfinch / Stor Dompap

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Northern Bullfinch

                I then went out birding between the garden and town where it was an incredible few hours; there were literally Goldcrests everywhere, hopping around on the grass around your feet only moving when you were about to tread on them, flying in over the sea, on the beaches, in every bush and tree and along every fenceline – there must have been thousands and thousands in the relatively small area that I walked, absolutely fantastic!   There were also hundreds of Robins dotted around plus a few Chiffchaffs (several pale, eastern-type birds were seen) and loads of Song Thrushes and Blackbirds with Mistle Thrushes, Fieldfares and Redwings whizzing around but very little else at all, I tried in vain to find something in-amongst the masses but failed miserably!

                There were also huge Brambling, Chaffinch and Siskin flocks passing low overhead to the east into the wind with 300+ feeding on the ground on the outskirts of town; the other feature was big flocks of White-fronted Geese heading south throughout the day (4,000 were counted from the point) while 5,000+ Barnacle Geese were again in the fields and the Slavonian Grebe was still just offshore.

                I then re-opened my four nets in the afternoon and during the next four hours until dusk I managed 178 new birds (walking constantly between the nets) including 128 Robins and a Fieldfare but most of the Goldcrests had left the garden by that time – fortunately!   An awesome day!

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Goldcrests Goldcrests Goldcrests

More Gedser [Goldcrest] pictures at www.wykebirding.blogspot.com

Open nets, close nets, open nets, close nets

mandag 10. oktober 2016
af Simon Davies

Despite the forecast promising more or less blanket cloud and continuous, heavy rain throughout the day it wasn’t quite that bad and there were a couple of half decent weather windows in the morning where we managed to get some nets open for two, hour long sessions which produced a half decent 66 new birds with a Firecrest the highlight in amongst 35 Goldcrests and a flock of 11 Siskins plus a few Robins, Wrens, Chiffchaffs etc.    A few Finch flocks passed overhead while the Slavonian Grebe was again offshore and the big Barnacle Goose flock was still in the fields over towards town.

Today's totals from a very stop, start morning -   7 Wren / Gaerdesmutte;  5 Robin / Roedhals;  1 Blackbird / Solsort;  1 Blackcap / Munk;  4 Chiffchaff / Gransanger;  35 Goldcrest / Fuglekonge;  1 Firecrest / Roedtoppet Fuglekonge;  1 Blue Tit / Blamesje;  11 Siskin / Groensisken

                A walk around Kroghage at lunchtime in the increasingly heavy rain was hard work in the unpleasant conditions but did produce an adult male Redstart which had a decent pale wing panel but I don’t think it was enough for an eastern samamisicus bird, a first winter Little Gull and 4 Stonechats along with a few Robins, Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests etc.

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Red-breasted Merganser

Only just

søndag 9. oktober 2016
af Simon Davies

Rain first thing led to a delayed start but we just managed to get five hours of ringing in through the morning and managed a decent 115 new birds before it started raining again at lunchtime; the total mainly comprised 49 Siskins with several flocks hitting the nets all together, the rest were the usual 12 Robins, 12 Chiffchaffs and 15 Blue Tits.

Today's totals - 1 Sparrowhawk / Spurvehoeg;  5 Wren / Gaerdesmutte;  2 Dunnock / Jernspurv;  12 Robin / Roedhals;  2 Blackbird / Solsort;  2 Song Thrush / Sangdrossel;  12 Chiffchaff / Gransanger;  7 Goldcrest / Fuglekonge;  15 Blue Tit / Blamejse;  2 Tree Sparrow / Skovspurv;  2 Greenfinch / Groenirisk;  49 Siskin / Groensisken;  4 Reed Bunting / Roerspurv

                There was little else to mention through the whole rain interrupted day with a few small flocks of Chaffinches, Bramblings, Siskins and Blue Tits over the garden during the dryish morning with the Barnacle Goose flock spitting up on occasion and noisily passing overhead several times and a Slavonian Grebe close inshore just off the front field late morning.

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Grey Plover

Fairly bright and very breezy

lørdag 8. oktober 2016
af Simon Davies

Fairly bright and very breezy; the nets were pretty productive as we managed a respectable 177 new birds through the morning, again with no real highlights though, the bulk of the birds made up of another influx of 55 Blue Tits including a Swedish ringed bird (most likely from Falsterbo as tens of thousands have been passing through there in the last week) while the rest largely consisted of 19 Wrens, 14 Dunnocks, 22 Robins, 23 Chiffchaffs and 18 Goldcrests.

Today's totals - 2 Sparrowhawk / Spurvhoeg;  19 Wren / Gaerdesmutte;  14 Dunnock / Jernspurv;  22 Robin / Roedhals;  4 Blackbird / Solsort;  7 Song Thrush / Sangdrossel;  1 Blackcap / Munk;  23 Chiffchaff / Gransanger;  18 Goldcrest / Fuglekonge;  55 Blue Tit / Blamejse;  5 Chaffinch / Bogfinke;  2 Brambling / Kvaerkerfinke;  1 Greenfinch / Groenirisk;  2 Siskin / Groensisken;  2 Reed Bunting / Roerspurv

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The Swedish Blue Tit

                Overhead migration was much reduced (Blue Tit flocks not withstanding) with small numbers of Finches and Thrushes passing over but the morning’s highlight was definitely good views of a very smart adult RED-BREASTED GOOSEwhich was picked out from the point coming in to land with the huge flock of 3,000+ Barnacle Geese in stubble fields on the edge of town, we drove down the road for a brief look mid-morning and had excellent scope views.

                I then walked a big loop through town and across the fields in the afternoon for little reward with my first Short-eared Owl of the autumn along the cliff top and a flock of 13 Woodlarks at Birkemose the highlight along with 3 lingering Swallows and a Merlin of note.

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The Red-breasted Goose is in there somewhere!

More Gedser pictures at www.wykebirding.blogspot.com

Wind and rain makes a delay

fredag 7. oktober 2016
af Nigel Judson

Woke for a 06.00 start to find the strong winds still with us, but today accompanied by persistent rain. Frequent weather checks meant that a wind and rain restricted ringing session didn't start until 09.30 and finished at 14.00. The conditions meant a reduced catch with Robins, Dunnocks and Goldcrests making up the majority of the 69 birds caught.

Here are the totals:-

1 Tree Pipit / Skovpiber, 3 Wren / Gærdesmutte, 12 Dunnock / Jernspurv, 18 Robins / Rødhals, 4 Blackbirds / Solsort, 6 Song Thrushes / Sangdrossel, 1 Blaclcap / Munk, 2 Chiffchaffs / Gransanger, 16 Goldcrest / Fuglekonge, 2 Chaffinches / Bogfinke, 5 Siskin / Grøsisken, 1 Reed Bunting / Rørspurv.

October magic

torsdag 6. oktober 2016
af Simon Davies

The blazingly strong wind remained but had shifted slightly to the north which, with more cloud and occasional drizzle produced a bit of a different day; the ringing was a bit of a struggle in the wind but we managed 97 new birds largely due to a good influx of 36 Dunnocks and a few Finches.   One of the Firecrests from two days ago was also re-trapped.

Today's totals - 8 Wren / Gaerdesmutte;  36 Dunnock / Jernspurv;  7 Robin / Roedhals;  7 Song Thrush / Sangdrossel;  1 Redwing / Vindrossel;  1 Blackcap / Munk;  14 Chiffchaff / Gransanger;  3 Goldcrest / Fuglekonge;  1 Blue Tit / Blamejse;  9 Chaffinch / Bogfinke;  1 Brambling / Kvaerkerfinke;  5 Siskin / Groensisken;  4 Reed Bunting / Roerspurv

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Reed Bunting

                The ringing total was by no means respective of how many birds were passing low over the garden, it was a spectacular morning with tens of thousands of mainly Finches heading east in huge flocks; the bulk was predictably made up of Chaffinches, Bramblings and Siskins but the flocks overhead contained good numbers of Reed Buntings, Linnets, Redpolls, Meadow Pipits, Song Thrushes and Redwings along with many Dunnocks calling high up in the sky.   Other notable birds picked out through the morning included 70+ Mistle Thrushes, 5 Woodlarks, 3 Grey Wagtails and a Rock Pipit while a single Rough-legged Buzzard was also seen.

                Wildfowl also continued to move with big flocks of Barnacle Geese still heading south (with a huge flock of 1,400+ feeding in stubble fields on the edge of town) but also today there were several decent flocks of White-fronted Geese also heading south while Eiders, Wigeon and Brent Geese carried on piling through offshore – another awesome vis mig day!

                Nothing really happened in the afternoon as the drizzle became heavier making it difficult but there were still plenty of birds at Kroghage but nothing very exciting with a single Redstart and 7 Grey Plovers the highlights in amongst the Robins, Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests.

More pictures from Gedser www.wykebirding.blogspot.com

Accidental Owl

onsdag 5. oktober 2016
af Simon Davies

A carbon copy of yesterday with the blazing force 7 NE wind still howling through the garden making the ringing a bit tricky but we still managed to end up with 131 birds mainly due to the first noticeable catch of 49 Blue Tits (in one net at the same time!) and another little arrival of 29 Chiffchaffs; the highlight though was a cracking Tawny Owl caught in the high net at first light.

Today's totals - 2 Sparrowhawk / Spurvehoeg;  1 Tawny Owl / Natugle;  11 Wren / Gaerdesmutte;  14 Dunnock / Jernspurv;  10 Robin / Roedhals;  29 Chiffchaff / Gransanger;  6 Goldcrest / Fuglekonge;  49 Blue Tit / Blamejse;  1 Tree Sparrow / Skovspurv;  4 Chaffinch / Bogfinke;  4 Siskin / Groensisken

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Tawny Owl

                Overhead passage though was very much reduced with only flocks of Barnacle Geese reminding us of yesterday; a Woodlark over the garden was the highlight with only Blue Tits appearing in any big numbers along with a few Siskins and Chaffinches.

                Spent the afternoon tramping round Kroghage where there were plenty of migrants highlighted by a Great Grey Shrike, at least 2 Firecrests, a sandy, pale Lesser Whitethroat looking good for one of the eastern forms which only showed briefly a couple of times, 2 Redstarts and an adult male Black Redstart in amongst a good scattering of Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests, Robins, Dunnocks, Siskins and Reed Buntings while big flocks of Barnacle Geese kept heading high over to the west.

For more Gedser pictures www.wykebirding.blogspot.com

Eyes to the sky

tirsdag 4. oktober 2016
af Simon Davies

Generally bright and sunny with clouds scudding rapidly across the blue sky in the strong, cold force 7 NE wind; the nets were steady but unremarkable as we struggled to 91 new birds in the tricky conditions with 2 Firecrests the only birds worth a mention.  

Today's totals - 19 Wren / Gaerdesmutte;  7 Dunnock / Jernspurv;  23 Robin / Roedhals;  1 Blackbird / Solsort;  5 Song Thrush / Sangdrossel;  1 Blackcap / Munk;  8 Chiffchaff / Gransanger;  13 Goldcrest / Fuglekonge;  2 Firecrest / Roedtoppet Fuglekonge;  6 Blue Tit / Blamejse;  1 Tree Sparrow / Skovspurv;  3 Chaffinch / Bogfinke;  1 Brambling / Kvaerkerfinke;  1 Lesser Redpoll / Lille Grasisken

Overhead though, it was an awesome day with the skies constantly full of birds, dominated again by 800+ Cranes seen over the garden through the morning (a brilliant 4,265 were counted from the point - a new Gedser record count!); also very obvious were 500+ Barnacle Geese (6,990 were counted at the point!) and 200+ Brent Geese (820 were counted at the point!)

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                Other birds were not so obvious but did include a Richard’s Pipit which went over calling (at one stage it was flying in the middle of a flock of Cranes!) along with small numbers of Swallows, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits Mistle Thrushes, Stock Doves, Reed Buntings, Chaffinches, Bramblings and Siskins etc.   Raptors were represented by several Rough-legged Buzzards (73 was the day's total) and Red Kites with a steady trickle of Common Buzzards, Sparrowhawks and Kestrels.

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                I went out to the point after lunch where there were tens of thousands of Eiders pouring south in huge flocks - 43,000+ were counted through the day along with big numbers of other Geese and Ducks; a flock of 17 Little Gulls were off the tip before I got restless and went for a walk north up the coast and across the fields where birds included 15 Grey Plovers, 30 Dunlin and 6 Sanderling on the beaches, 6+ Rough-legged Buzzards, a Hen Harrier, a Red Kite and two first winter Little Gulls across the fields north of Gedser and a smart Great Grey Shrike hunting along the eastern edge of town all with the backdrop of constant flocks of noisy Barnacle and Brent Geese, Cranes and Eiders all pouring south – fantastic!

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For more blue sky birding pictures from Gedser today www.wykebirding.blogspot.com



mandag 3. oktober 2016
af Simon Davies

Crystal clear overnight with light winds meant there was a bit of a clear out of yesterday’s birds but a very decent total of 209 new birds were caught through the day most of which came during a hectic first hour after which it tailed off fairly rapidly in the fine conditions; the highlight was the first Short-toed Treecreeper of the autumn along with evidence of where our birds come from with a Swedish ringed Blackcap and better still, a Finnish ringed Robin.   The main numbers consisted of 95 Robins, 30 Chiffchaffs and 27 Goldcrests along with a few Chaffinches, Bramblings, Siskins and Song Thrushes.

Today's totals - 20 Wren / Gaerdesmutte;  3 Dunnock / Jernspurv;  95 Robin / Roedhals;  4 Song Thrush / Sangdrossel;  6 Blackcap / Munk;  30 Chiffchaff / Gransanger;  27 Goldcrest / Fuglekonge;  1 Blue Tit / Blamejse;  4 Great Tit / Musvit;  1 Short-toed Treecreeper / Korttaet Traelober;  9 Chaffinch / Bogfinke;  4 Brambling / Kvaekerfinke;  5 Siskin / Groensisken

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Short-toed Treecreeper

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Finnish ringed Robin

               At least 400 Cranes passed overhead in the fine weather with the skies through the middle of the day full of their magnificent bugling calls, seemingly coming from all directions at some stages; other birds over the garden included a Red-throated Pipit calling mid-afternoon, a few Tree Pipits, Swallows, Mistle Thrushes, Grey Wagtails and Fieldfares with good numbers of Finches, a fairly constant stream of small Blue Tit flocks which fortunately never came down to net height, a few Brent and Barnacle Geese flocks, small numbers of waders including Grey Plover and Curlew and good numbers of Common Buzzards and Sparrowhawks floating around with several Rough-legged Buzzards mixed in.

                The ringing abruptly ended around 16:00 as within five minutes the weather went from fine, sunny and warm to cloudy and spitting with rain with a blustery force 7 NE wind; this rapid change in the weather caught out a few birds trying to head south as 320+ Cranes were circling high over the town in the evening unsure what to do now that the fine migration conditions had disappeared almost instantly.   A few Goose flocks were doing the same and 6 Rough-legged Buzzards were over the fields to the north of Gedser in the early evening.

More Gedser pictures at www.wykebirding.blogspot.com

Keep attacking

søndag 2. oktober 2016
af Simon Davies

Rain overnight followed by light south-easterlies throughout the day with varying amounts of cloud cover and a few more spots of rain here and there produced another monstrous day of ringing with an excellent total of 806 new birds caught; the bulk of the birds were made up of 392 Robins, 101 Chiffchaffs and 209 Goldcrests along with 19 Song Thrushes, 17 Blackcaps and 29 Chaffinches while other bits and highlights included the third Yellow-browed Warbler of the autumn, 8 Redstarts, 2 Reed Warblers, a Garden Warbler, 2 Willow Warblers, 3 Siskins and 5 Lesser Redpolls.

Today's monster totals -  11 Wren / Gaerdesmutte;  2 Dunnock / Jernspurv;  392 Robin / Roedhals;  8 Redstart / Roedstjert;  19 Song Thrush / Sangdrossel;  2 Reed Warbler / Roersanger;  1 Garden Warbler / Havesanger;  17 Blackcap / Munk;  1 Yellow-browed Warbler / Hvidbrynet Loevsanger;  101 Chiffchaff / Gransanger;  2 Willow Warbler / Loevsanger;  209 Goldcrest / Fuglekonge;  3 Blue Tit / Blamejse;  29 Chaffinch / Bogfinke;  1 Brambling / Kvaekerfinke;  3 Siskin / Groensisken;  5 Lesser Redpoll / Lille Grasisken 

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                There was little time to look around to see what was elsewhere but the occasional glance overhead produced a good mix of birds including a Woodlark, a nice flock of 22 Mistle Thrush, 4 Cranes, a couple of Honey Buzzards, a few Common Buzzards and Sparrowhawks and several flocks of Barnacle Geese and ducks with small numbers of Grey Wagtails, Tree Pipits, Swallows and Skylarks with the usual passage of Finches, White Wagtails and Meadow Pipits.   Also picked out in the garden were a second, unringed Yellow-browed Warbler and a Firecrest.

                With the huge number of birds, limited number of people and a cautious approach to the weather we didn’t open a few nets and closed some halfway through so the number of birds caught would have been a relatively small percentage of the actual number of birds passing through the garden – an awesome day!

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More Gedser pictures www.wykebirding.blogspot.com

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