søndag den 11. november 2012

Gulling Blåvand

Blåvand is the westernmost point in Denmark. It is well known for rarities and good numbers of migrating birds. The beach is often filled with gulls which will let you get quite close as they are used to large numbers of tourists looking for amber. On the morning of the 3rd of November we managed to find two Michahellis  (3rd winter) and four Cachinans (2 ad, 4th winter and 3rd winter). Pictures of most of the gulls can be seen below.

3/11 Caspian Gull 3rd winter. Pretty classic bird with boa, dark eye, long tibia and white apical spots already. 
3/11 Caspian Gull 3rd winter (same bird as above). Notice complete black band on P5 and even a dark spot on P4. Long grey tongues into black hand. 
3/11 Yellow-legged Gull 3rd winter. White apical spots, classic bill and head profile.
3/11 Yellow-legged Gull 3rd winter with 3 Herring Gulls. Difficult to assess the color of the legs. 
3/11 Yellow-legged Gull 3rd winter. If difficult to spot when standing it is a lot easier if the bird flies. Quite classic hand with only small white mirror on P10 and complete dark band on P5. Dark wingtip almost as dipped in black paint with clear cut line between black (P10-P6) and grey. 
3/11 Yellow-legged Gull 3rd winter. Classic Stuff!
3/11 Yellow-legged Gull (front) and Caspian Gull (Back) - same two birds as above. A Lucky shot. Notice the above mentioned differences between the wing tips of the two species. 
3/11 Caspian Gull adult bird. All white-headed gulls deserve extra attention in late autumn/early winter. Notice light eye on this bird
3/11 Caspian Gull adult bird. Notice leg color which as we say in Denmark is yellow as piss.
3/11 Caspian Gull adult bird (same as above). Grey tongues into black hand and complete dark band on P5. 
3/11 Caspian Gull 4th? winter. Aged due to more prominent boa and extent of black on bill. Please do comment on age
3/11 Caspian Gull (same as above). Crappy flight shot but one can just make out the black band on P5. 

lørdag den 10. november 2012

Iceland - Autumn 2012 (6)

We both had flights just after midday so only a few stops before the end of the trip. We checked Njardarvik and found a new American Wigeon making the total three birds with the flock of only a few hundred Wigeon. The bay at Njardarvik had a few Kumliens Gulls and some waders (Plovers and Dunlins) but nothing really interesting. We did stop a few more times but did not find anything. 

3/10 American Wigeon at Njardarvik. Three drakes present this day.
3/10 Kumliens Gull at Njardarvik. Probably some of the first birds of the season. At least two birds present. Also good numbers of Iceland Gulls present. 
3/10 Kumliens Gull at Njardarvik.
Iceland in the autumn is tricky. If the winds are wrong then you wont see anything besides local birds and maybe some interesting ducks but if you do get lucky and get the right winds you will have a very good chance of finding something really good!


fredag den 9. november 2012

Iceland - Autumn 2012 (5)

Last full day of birding. After some long days we decided to relax a bit and do the birding hot spots around Reykjavik.We started the day at Seltjarnarnes, a small peninsular in the western part of town, it is a very popular place among the locals as it easily within reach. 
We fed the gulls and were rewarded with a first winter Little Gull and two adult Ring-billed Gulls, all regular birds at the spot. A quick check of the Teals revealed a male Green-winged Teal (found a couple a days earlier). Unfortunately we could not find the adult White-rumped Sandpiper. 

2/10 Little Gull at Bakkatjörn/Seltjarnarnes. My fourth Little Gull in Iceland
2/10 Ring-billed Gull at Bakkatjörn/Seltjarnarnes. Two adult birds seen. I've previously seen a bird at the same place (August 2009).
2/10 Green-winged Teal at Bakkatjörn/Seltjarnarnes. Bird seen in top middle of the picture.
Afterwards we went to the very famous hot dog stand near the new Opera House for lunch. We discussed our options and decided to go to a cemetery which has good numbers of breeding Blackbirds, yes Blackbirds. The population of Blackbirds have now reached 500 pairs in Reykjavik and there is even a couple of pairs in Akureyri also. The cemetery turned out to be filled with birds, mainly Redwings but we also located good numbers of Blackbirds (around 30), Goldcrests and Red Crossbill. Crossbill and Blackbird were both new on my icelandic list... A Robin heard ticking a few times was not tickable, even though we were both sure about the identification. It is simply just too rare...
After the excitement of the cemetery we took a stroll in town and decided to go for a pub crawl in the evening. Our guide was to be one of the most downloaded apps in Iceland "Appy Hour". Yes, its an app that lets you know which pubs/bars have cheap beers at different times. 
A call about the relocation of the White-rumped Sandpiper at Seltjarnarnes made us do a small detour to see the bird. We got very good views of the bird.  

2/10 Dunlin (left) and White-rumped Sandpiper (right) at Bakkatjörn/Seltjarnarnes. 
2/10 White-rumped Sandpiper at Bakkatjörn/Seltjarnarnes. The bird often came too close for my 400 mm.
2/10 White-rumped Sandpiper at Bakkatjörn/Seltjarnarnes. Adult bird in winter plumage. Good views
2/10 White-rumped Sandpiper at Bakkatjörn/Seltjarnarnes. Two Dunlins and one White-rumped present.

torsdag den 8. november 2012

Mixed stuff in Blåvand

The annual DKU-meeting in Blåvand was held on the 2-4/11. Saturday and Sunday mornings we were all out birding. We did not find any rarities but we did find some decent birds. Good numbers of gulls were foraging on the beach and some migration of mainly Little Gulls (150+) were noted. Autumn firsts for me included Horned Lark, Waxwing and Woodlark (really obvious that I have been to long in Greenland...).  

4/11 Woodlarks. A total of 12 migrating birds were seen this morning.

4/11 Only the 6th Barn Swallow in November in Blåvand.

4/11 A 1. cal female Waxwing being ringed by Henrik Knudsen (HKn). 

onsdag den 7. november 2012

Iceland - Autumn 2012 (4)

After the disappointment on Heimay we ventured further east. Now accompanied by Edward Ricksen (ER) who had a single day of vacation to kill. We were hoping that the low pressure had brought some birds up from mainland Europe. The lowlands of the south are extremely nice. 

1/10 The lowland near Jökulsárlón in the south is very picturesque.
1/10 Nice scenery near Jökulsárlón
We checked most gardens all the way from Hof (only place with House Sparrows in Iceland) to Sudursveit. Not many birds but at least there were some. Willow Warbler and a probable Lesser White-throat in the first garden and things were starting to look better. At Snappavellir Edward and I found a Blackcap and a Sisken in the upper parts while Yann found a Common Whitethroat (39th record for Iceland) in the lower parts. I managed to fall into a small stream while trying to document the bird (which I did not).   

1/10 A typical garden. The locals are very nice people often letting you walk where ever you want making it a lot easier finding the few birds. Nothing like Denmark!
Sudursveit was gonna be our last garden of the day before we would start heading back towards Reykjavik. It all started very promising when Yann found an Acro before actually getting out of the car. With one of Edwards most likely new species being Marsh Warbler the hunt was on. The bird was calling actively but unfortunately it was foraging within a very impenetrable hedge. We only managed partial views as the bird changed positions quickly and it was a complete nightmare getting any usable shots. During this process I realized that I probably haven't seen that many Acro's in the field in late autumn - often just a quick check of the length of the primary projection.

1/10 YK and ER at Sudursveit. YK was a bit sad that ER had just pulled another species on him (Check further down!).
1/10 Willow Warbler at Sudursveit offering good views and quite easy to photograph.....
1/10 "Marsh Warbler" at Sudursveit. The first "good" views of the bird. Note short/big bill and round head. 
1/10 "Marsh Warbler" at Sudursveit. 
1/10 "Marsh Warbler" at Sudursveit
1/10 "Marsh Warbler" at Sudursveit. Light claws/feet.
1/10 "Marsh Warbler" at Sudursveit. Light claws (zoomed partial of the above image). 
1/10 "Marsh Warbler" at Sudursveit
1/10 "Marsh Warbler" at Sudursveit. Very long primary projection. 
1/10 "Marsh Warbler" at Sudursveit. For 10 seconds the bird was in the top of a bush offering quite good views. 
1/10 "Marsh Warbler" at Sudursveit. Previous records of Marsh Warbler 
1/10 "Marsh Warbler" at Sudursveit. It is possible to see the emargination on P3 on this image. The color of the rump does not seem to differ from the color of the bag/tail. 
1/10 "Marsh Warbler" at Sudursveit. Clearer view of the emargination on P3 but difficult to see because of the angle. 
1/10" Marsh Warbler" at Sudursveit. Emargination 
1/10 "Marsh Warbler" at Sudursveit (Zoom of the above image). 
Any comments on the identification on the Acro would be most welcome!


søndag den 4. november 2012

Brun Tornskade fra start til slut

Klokken 12.10 bliver jeg ringet op af KO, som kan berette om en mulig Brun Tornskade (Lanius Cristatus) i Årslev Engsø fundet af Finn og Lone. 30 sekunder senere er jeg på vej til engsøen for at sikre dokumentationen, da de endnu kun har fået dårlige billeder af fuglen. Efter ankomsten ses fuglen kun sporadisk den første time, men alligevel lykkes det at få lidt brugbare billeder. Mit umiddelbare førstehåndsindtryk af fuglen var 1K Brun Tornskade, og det var også den udbredte holdning på stedet. De første billeder jeg sender via min mobil er de to første billeder herunder. Tilbagemeldingerne til disse billeder er også positive for Brun Tornskade, men der bliver efterspurgt flere billeder. Jeg får herefter fat i et overbelyst uskarpt billede fra Finn, som viser ryggen og halen. Her lignede fuglen virkelig en Turkestan (ssp. phoenicuroides), og det samme synes tilbagemeldingerne at mene. På dette tidspunkt går der også rygter om, at hvide felter er set i vingen. Efter lidt tid begynder fuglen, at være lidt mere samarbejdsvillig og flere kendetegn bliver set bedre, og det kan nu konstateres, at fuglen intet hvidt har i vingen og ombestemmes herefter til Brun Tornskade. Eftersom at RoC er den eneste med Brun Tornskade på sin DK-liste, så han sgu lidt trist ud. En ulykkelig og ca. 100 glade mennesker så fuglen. DK's andet fund af Brun Tornskade og det første siden 1988 (15.oktober).
Brun Tornskade (Lanius Cristatus) 1K. Her ses kontrasten mellem ryg og nakke samt halefarve.
Foto: SSL
Brun Tornskade (Lanius Cristatus) 1K. Intet hvidt kan ses i vingen samt meget mørk maske.
Foto: SSL
Brun Tornskade (Lanius Cristatus) 1K
Foto: SSL
Brun Tornskade (Lanius Cristatus) 1K
Foto: SSL
Over 100 nåede at se fuglen på denne fine novemberdag.

Flere rækker af mennesker.