Wednesday, 31 August 2016

GEDSER - 31st August

A beautiful, calm, sunny, hot day produced an increase in the birds in the nets (at least for the first few hours of the day anyway) as we ended up with 75 new birds including the first Firecrest of the autumn and another juvenile Red-backed Shrike; the remaining birds in the total had a much more ‘Septembery’ feel to them being made up of increased numbers of Robins, Dunnocks, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs which are starting to replace other Warbler and Flycatcher species.

                Overhead it was pretty quiet in the calmer conditions with c30 Sparrowhawks and several Kestrels along with single Honey Buzzard and Marsh Harrier although the majority of the birds were seen to the west of the station, often over Gedser town with several of the Sparrowhawks heading due west over the garden towards town.   Five Crossbills, several Siskins and good numbers of Tree Pipits were also over the garden.

                The afternoon was also unremarkable with an adult male Peregrine over the fields to the north of Gedser the only different bird of note while a decent flock of 40+ Yellow Wagtails at Birkemose included at least two really smart adult male thunbergi.
Firecrest - fantastic birds!


Yellow Wagtails (flava's)

Marsh Harrier

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

GEDSER - 30th August

Still breezy, although the westerly wind was nowhere near as strong as yesterday allowing most of the nets to be opened where we managed 50 new birds comprising the usual spread of migrants with the first Wheatear to be ringed this year the only unusual species.   Raptors were again obvious over the garden as 8 Honey Buzzards, 30+ Sparrowhawks, a couple of Marsh Harriers and several Kestrels were counted through the morning along with good numbers of Tree Pipits and a flock of Crossbills heard but not seen.   Also of note were 5 Wheatears and a juvenile Red-backed Shrike in the front field.  

                I had a little look out on the point straight after we’d closed the nets at lunchtime but there was no evidence of any raptors passing over the tip but quite a few Sparrowhawks and Kestrels were again cutting SW over the fields completely avoiding the tip so I again went out and watched for a while over the fields just north of Birkemose where there was a dark juvenile Honey Buzzard, a couple of White-tailed Eagles, 3 Marsh Harriers and small numbers of Sparrowhawks and Kestrels but they were passing on a very broad front and often cutting back and turning round so very difficult to get an accurate count.

Kind of a funny angle but I was leaning out of the car window as this Kestrel hovered above the verge

Heron on the pond

which I may have flushed....



Monday, 29 August 2016

GEDSER - 29th August

A blazing strong SW backing W wind hammered the station throughout the day and obviously severely limited our ringing activity in the morning as the few nets we could open produced 18 new birds with a Thrush Nightingale the highlight.  

                With the quiet nets I could afford to spend some time vis migging at a couple of spots – at the point (0830-1000 and 1230-1330) and overlooking the fields just to the north of Birkemose (1400-1500); my totals for the day included a steady passage of raptors with 2 Honey Buzzards (adults), 3 Ospreys, 41 Sparrowhawks, 18 Kestrels and 4+ White-tailed Eagles – many not actually reaching the point rather cutting SW across the fields.   A few ducks also went south during the morning session with 13 Teal, 11 Shoveler, 5 Wigeon and single Pintail and Velvet Scoter with 53 Common Scoter while the handful of waders included 3 Golden Plover, an Oystercatcher, 2 Dunlin and a Ruff.

                There were plenty of passerines moving south as well, especially through the morning session but it was very tricky working out what was actually moving and what was flying in circles and foraging in or over the fields but estimates included 3,000+ hirundines (Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins), 50+ Tree Pipits, 250+ Yellow Wagtails, a handful of Swifts and 47 Crossbills (two flocks of 20 and 27).   Also of note was a steady trickle of Sandwich Terns, Common Terns, Black-headed Gulls and Common Gulls.

                The bird of the day though just escaped me with very brief views of a very orangy ringtail Pallid / Montagu’s Harrier seen disappearing over the brow of a hill just north of Gedser town never to be seen again but I was nowhere near working out which one it was!

                A walk north up the beach late afternoon produced the first Merlin of the autumn, 11 Common Sandpipers (which were inches away from being 10 as a Sparrowhawk smashed into the flock causing them to ditch in the sea!), 2 Whimbrel and 4 Dunlin.

White-tailed Eagle



Sunday, 28 August 2016

GEDSER - 28th August

Thunder, lightning, torrential downpours and a strong, gusty, swirling wind seemingly coming from every direction at once from first light curtailed any ringing activity for several hours preventing the standardised ringing from being carried out; once we got a few nets open there were a few birds around as we ended up with 40 new birds made up predominantly of 24 Willow Warblers along with small numbers of the usual migrants – Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat etc.

                There wasn’t too much else to mention through the rest of this quiet day with 4-5 Sparrowhawks seen around the garden and a couple of Whinchats along the front fence.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

GEDSER - 27th August

The settled weather continued but the wind (not that there was much) had switched round to the NW which did wonders for the numbers of birds caught through the morning as 121 new birds were trapped; the total was highlighted by the second Grasshopper Warbler of the autumn and another juvenile Red-backed Shrike while the bulk of the birds were made up of 29 Lesser Whitethroats, 17 Whitethroats, 20 Blackcaps and 15 Willow Warblers.   There were a few Sparrowhawks whizzing around with several of them migrating off to the south while a flock of 9 Crossbills were the only other birds of note seen through the morning.

                A Woodlark in one of the newly created stubble fields to the north of Birkemose was the only bird of note during a drive round in the afternoon before an Osprey circled low over the point in the evening, thought about heading out to sea but decided it was too late in the day and drifted back inland.

Grasshopper Warbler



Yellow Wagtail

Red Squirrel

Friday, 26 August 2016

GEDSER - 26th August

It remained hot and sunny but the now southerly wind was a bit stronger than yesterday and the nets were a bit quieter than yesterday; the 28 new birds did however include 2 Wrynecks (sixth and seventh for the autumn) and the third Wood Warbler along with single Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler and Tree Pipit.   It was quiet around the garden and overhead as well with a Sparrowhawk and a few Swifts the only signs of any migration.

                I went for a random drive around the fields looking for any raptors in the afternoon and after failing miserably to find anything I got back to the station to find a cracking juvenile Honey Buzzard flying around the garden!   This proved to be the start of a little burst of activity in the evening with 4 Marsh Harriers and 20+ Sparrowhawks coming in from the north – the harriers continued south out to sea but seemingly none of the Sparrowhawks were prepared to head out this late in the day and either turned round or angled off to the west across the fields.   Also in the evening a Temminck’s Stint flew low over the pond in the front field and two Knot flew west.
Wood Warbler


Snap shots of the Honey Buzzard

Sparrowhawks finally coming through!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

GEDSER - 25th August

Hot and sunny again with a light SE cooling breeze; the settled weather did nothing really for the numbers of birds in the nets with 45 new birds caught through the morning – all single figures with 9 Blackcaps and 8 Lesser Whitethroats the most numerous species.   12 Crossbills flew through early on and at least three Sparrowhawks were around but there was little evidence of anything really moving right through the day; when are we going get a taste of the hundreds of raptors which moved through Falsterbo yesterday?

                A walk up the coast in the afternoon was also quiet with 9 Common Sandpipers and 2 Whimbrel on the beach and one small flock of Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler offshore.
Sandwich Tern

Goosander and Eider

Wigeon, Shoveler and a Teal