Another weekend on Mandø. This time as a part of PGW 3 with approximately 30 other birders. We stayed at Æ Towt (link here) again which is recommendable as it is affordable, nice and with rarities in the garden. The team was the same as last weekend with former Aarhusbirder Rune Sø Neergaard (RSN), half-Swede Simon Sigaard (SSC) and Runes father Mogens (MoN). Henrik Læssøe (HLæ) partly joined us on Saturday and Sunday.
To avoid the masses SSC and I decided to check the bushes along the central dike on the island. We started in the south and worked our way north. This was our game plan both Saturday and Sunday. Good numbers of migrating and resting birds were seen on Saturday with good numbers of Meadow Pipits, finches and Reed Buntings going south. Mixed in with the more common stuff was Lapland Bunting 6, Grey Wagtail 6, Hawfinch (new island tick for me), at least 20 Rock Pipits and latish Reed Warbler 2 and a single Whinchat. Song Thrushes, Robins and Dunnocks were the most common birds in the bushes with smaller numbers of Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Redwings. Best birds were three Yellow-browed Warblers discovered in a fairly small area of willow near Halevej (a total of at least 12 YBW on the island on Saturday).
|27/9 Yellow-browed Warbler. Such attractive warblers.|
After lunch we twitched a Little Bunting found by Henrik Kristensen (HKr) – my third in Denmark and my third on Mandø. The rest of the day we checked Mandø Town but ending up sucking other peoples cherries seeing an already found Yellow-browed Warbler and a Red-breasted Flycatcher. As the sun set we gathered for a beer in our garden. A new YBW started calling and we got fairly good views – a fitting end to a very nice day in the field. In the evening we had dinner with the rest of the birders at the old Mandø-center.
|28/9 Listening to YBW and having a well-earned Beer, from left SSC, HLæ, Mon, RDN. Photo RSN|
Sunday started as Saturday ended. Just outside our house the YBW from the day before started calling, very nice. The walk along the dike produced fewer birds than the day before with nothing really noteworthy seen. Two of the three YBW from the day before were present at Halevej and we found a new 1cy Red-breasted Flycatcher in a small area of willow on the northern part of the island.
|28/9, Merlin. 3-4 birds seen during the weekend.|
|28/9, Lapwings - my Master Thesis bird.|
|28/9 Red-breasted Flycatcher. Three birds on the island. We found this one.|
|28/9 Red-breasted Flycatcher. Attractive little birds.|
|28/9, Red-breasted Flycatcher. 2013 has been a very good year for this species in DK.|
We were both hungry after this and decided to head back for lunch checking ditches and bushes on the way. Almost at home we flushed a pipit which instantly called with an aberrant Tree Pipit call. Nobody said anything as the bird flew up and landed on the roof of a barn. I quickly started taking pictures while SSC looked at the bird. The bird was then flushed twice by some farmers before settling down in the garden next to our house. I asked Simon what he saw and he said that the face didn't look like an Olive-backed Pipit. Just to make sure I checked the bird on the screen of the camera and saw something quite promising. Even an un-striped, quite dark back. The bird actually looked quite good. We agreed on getting a second opinion from RSN. He thought it looked promising and the bird was called out to the birders on the island as a probable. We joined the search for 20 minutes but then decided to download the pictures to a computer. It looked very good and shortly after Kristoffer Hansen (KrHa) rediscovered the bird quite close to the place where we found it. The bird was seen and heard the rest of the day though often only in flight. SSC got his long-awaited first rarity bird although he did his best to bury it in the ground.
|28/9, the 7th Olive-backed Pipit in Denmark. Last year RSN found the 6th also on Mandø.|
|28/9, OBP. Bird sat on the barn for 10-15 seconds before being flushed by farmers on a 4X4.|
|28/9, OBP's are probably overlooked in DK given their inconspicuous nature and superficial resemblance to Tree Pipits.|
|28/9, time to go back into the ditch.|
|29/9, SSC and myself pointing at the crime scene. Photo RSN.|
On the way back we made a brief stop east of Hedensted to see a Glossy Ibis found the previous day. A nice end to a birding weekend better than most.
|29/9, Glossy Ibis. The worst picture on our blog? Photo RSN.|