Gedser Fuglestation Blog
Her på Gedser Fuglestations blog bringes korte nyheder i dagbogsformat om hændelser på fuglestationen.
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A zero bird day
Today we have had no birds at all because we have not been able to open any net, it has been raining the whole day. We have used this indoor time to wash all the bird bags and clean the house.
We are so desperate that today we have activated the big trap, someone left an egg in the fridge and because Gail and me are vegan we have not eaten it, so we have placed it inside the trap. No success yet. This afternoon Hans brought us some pieces of chicken to put inside the trap (not very vegan) and we will try tomorrow.
At the time of writing the blog, the weather looks very bad for ringing tomorrow, so probably no nets up again, but I really believe that wednesday is going to be an EPIC day of ringing, I can feel it!!
We have some news about the birds that we have ringed in the station, because they have been visiting other ringers in other countries:
A Munk ring by me has been found in Germany, 727 km from the station!! YAY!!
and a Fuglekonge ringed by Vagn has been found in the Netherlands!! 535 Km from the station! Awesome!!
Nicely done birds!!
To complete the day, Gail and I went for night catching, very good weather for that: rain and no moon (too little wind for being optimal) but we did not see a single bird during the whole walk... so we just picked some apples on the way instead and felt much better about ourselves...
I hope you had a lovely day!
Where are the birds?!
Another day with few birds, despite our best efforts. I think word may have gotten around the bird community that we’ve got nets out and they are avoiding the garden. Either that or all the strong westerly winds we’ve been having this autumn have pushed them all into taking an alternative migration path.
It’s all good though, Ramón and I keep ourselves busy between rounds, being creative, doing yoga, running etc. The temperature has risen again and it’s a beautiful still night, so we have the nets open and are playing tengmalm’s owl calls. Fingers crossed!
Not too much more to say about today – it’s been very quiet on the bird front as you can see below.
Not much to say..
When we went to bed last night the weather forecast for today looked not good for ringing. When we woke up to double check it still looked bad for ringing. After checking the radar we decided that we could open the nets for two hours, so 265 meters of nets were open at 10:00 am. By 12:00 they were closed again, and in these two hours we only ringed a single bird and captured five more birds that were already ringed.
Sadly, there is not much more to say about today. We were studying birds a bit, went for a run and after that, we did some yoga.
For the second consecutive day we are not going to try for owls, it´s a bit windy and we want to be fresh for tomorrow´s ringing.
Find the data of today below.
In theory today was slightly warmer, but the wind chill meant that it certainly felt a lot colder. The first few rounds were spookily quiet. As we were only finding four or five birds each round, I took over responsibility for the rounds while Ramón stayed cozy and warm to do some work on the computer. I was reaching the end of a particularly empty round - only one robin - and approaching the high net I heard some chirping. I rounded the corner to find the net absolutely heaving with long-tailed tits. A blue tit and great tit had also joined the party. Luckily Ramón was on-call with the walkie talkie! I quickly nipped around the last few nets of the round to check there wasn’t anything else waiting and discovered another net chock-full of long-tailed tits! Needless to say we were very happy with so many birds, especially such lovely birds as these. In total we caught 37, all of the subspecies Aegithalos caudatus caudatus, which has a completely white (fluffy) head. We released them all together which was fun!
This excitment aside, Ramón saw a fieldfare hopping around the garden, but it managed to evade the nets. We are now having an evening off of owl hunting as icy wind and rain is whipping around the house. We’re very cozy inside with the wood burner going!
News from France!
Today it was pretty cold when we opened nets, but not as much as yesterday. Again, really good weather for ringing, with a few more clouds it would have been perfect, but I do not think it would have made a difference. We have only ringed 12 birds today and had 8 recaptures. We think that the weather is too good for the birds to stop here and they keep flying south, this combined with the low temperatures equals no birds in the garden. But no one can say that we do not try: 277 of 284 possible net meters and after standard we played sound from 13:00 to 16:00 and did not catch a single bird (although we only had 48 net meters after 13:00).
Last night we also tried but failed, we had some nets opened and two speakers working until 01:00 am but did not catch any owl… and at the moment we keep on trying.
After closing the nets, we fixed one of the broken ones and set it up in a strategic place in the garden to try and catch owls there.
We are pretty knackered with all the extra effort of ringing in the morning and trying for owls at night, so probably we will not stay up so late tonight.
The highlight from today came when Hans told us that a Rødhals ringed by me has been found in West France! Pretty cool! And first time for me!! Good job Rødhals!!
We will keep you updated.
The data of today, and as you can see, Anders Zuschlag keeps on upgrading the database!! Thanks a lot!!
Winter is coming
Today was a day for thermal underwear. We woke up to a clear sky, crisp frosty grass and a definite bite to the air. We opened the nets not really knowing what to expect, but soon realised that we weren’t going to be ringing many birds – the garden was almost completely devoid of birds! Over the course of the morning we managed to catch a good handful of solsort (blackbirds), skovspurv (tree sparrows) and stillits (goldfinches), and it was nice to have time to study together the birds that we had.
After standard time finished we played krognæb (pine grosbeak) and gråsisken (redpoll) songs on the speakers, with zero success...but if you don’t try…! We know that krognæb have been seen elsewhere in southern Sweden and northern Denmark over the last few days, so we are desperately hoping that they will make their way here!
We decided to call it a day around 2.40pm, giving us time for some net maintenance and other odd jobs. Now we are enjoying the woodburning stove in between rounds of the very chilly garden as our quest for owls continues. Tonight we are playing perleugle (Tengmalm’s owl) calls in the hope of luring some into the nets.
Data below as always!
Well, owl-lo there!
Last night after checking the weather, we decided to send a message to Hans saying that we would be very happy if he could visit us at 08:00 am because the weather was looking very good for catching hundreds of birds and sincerely, we were a bit scared that we could not handle them alone. We left absolutely everything ready and also, we started the first round 10 minutes before schedule because we could see already a few birds on the nets. So, one box each in the hand, we started the first round. However, disappointingly, after al our prepararations in the whole day, we only caught 54 new birds.
But we had a bird species that has only been ringed twice in the history of Gedser… we caught a Mosehornugle, Asio flammeus (Short-eared owl)!!
The only time that has ringed before was exactly two years ago, 29/10/2019 by Anton Liebermann, and not in the nets but by night catching, so we were extremely happy and not disappointed that we did not have more birds in the nets. To catch the owl was a team effort, while I was extracting a Gærdesmutte, Gail went ahead on the round and called me very loudly, which she never does, so I ran very quickly to her. She was holding the net to stop the Mosehornugle escaping and she let me extract it! Gail is a hero!!
Some other people came to visit us, but mainly just to see owl, we are not so cool.
Gail and me have not much experience on owls, but after checking the books and studying more a bit later on, we confirmed that our first impressions were correct and decided that it was a beautiful juvenile female.
The rest of the day was surprisingly slow in terms of birds, so after standard time we started playing Krognæb, Pinicola enucleator (Pine grosbeak), a bird species that has been seen in North Denmark and that will make Gert very very happy, so we want to get it so he (and us, of course) can see it!
After closing the nets we went for a lovely run in the great afternoon weather and did some yoga. Life is good! No complaints!
As always, the data from today.
PS: the title of the blog was suggested by our most british person of the station...
It's raining wren (hallelujah...)
It’s a good thing that Ramón and I love wrens, because today they far outnumbered robins in the nets. They are these amazing little pellets of energy, zooming around the garden on tiny wings, and we get a lot of joy out of their jizz! It was a very good day in general – the wind finally dropped enough for us to open more nets, and is no longer coming from such an unhelpful direction – meaning that we got a lot of birds (138 new rings), and a very good diversity of species (18 in total). A definite highlight for me was a juvenile female yellowhammer, a species that I have never seen up close and personal, and thus was a new species for me to ring!
We also found a family of long-tailed tits in one of the high nets, and carefully collected up the whole group and then released them together after ringing them. It’s important to release them together as they may not find one another again otherwise.
We managed to catch a couple more sparrowhawks, both male, one first year and the other second year. Two more escaped from the nets before we could get to them, including a very large female who had been carrying her lunch and left it behind in the net – a decapitated redwing. Gruesome!
It has been a very enjoyable day, and exciting to be getting more than just the usual species. We are still holding out for a rarity though!
You can find our species list for today below.
A windy and sparrowhawky day!
When we opened the nets today at 06:30 am due to the time change, we could not believe how little wind there was, so we got a bit excited and opened a lot of nets, but in the first round we closed almost everything and left only 65 meters of nets opened because there was a lot of wind. A lot.
We have had a lovely day at the station! We ringed three male sparrowhawks, two of them 1K and one 2K, which it was very nice for comparison. The rest of the birds ringed were the usuals ones, but they are always nice to see.
In the picture you can see the wing of a 2K sparrowhawk with some juveniles feathers that have been retained.
We found some time to fix some of the paths at the station, so we are ready and we will have no slides when the big days come and we are running to extract the birds from the nets.
Gail collecting the wood chips to put on top of the muddy places around the garden.
We have had no luck yet at catching owls, but we will keep you updated. Tonight we will not try because the weather shows periods of rain and it is still very windy.
The data of today:
I hope you had a good day!
Today was incredibly windy! As a result we weren’t able to open any net until the afternoon, save for the two sparrowhawk nets which we opened around 8.30am. Even with the nets open we caught very few birds – it was just far too windy for anything to be flying around! We did, however, catch a very handsome adult male sparrowhawk. It was nice to see the clear distinction in breast patterning, eye colour, and overall appearance in relation to the juvenile sparrowhawks that we have so far had in the hand. Later in the afternoon we caught a redwing and a number of goldcrests and robins, but in very low numbers, and many of them recaptures from the last few days.
That left us with time for yoga, writing, and making epic quantities of apple compote from the windfalls around the garden.
Tomorrow is looking similarly windy so we have low expectations, but you never know!