torsdag den 24. januar 2013

Danish Wolf

During the latter part of 2012 a Wolf-like creature was spotted in Thy in the northwestern part of Denmark. The birders who saw the animal were sure about the identity and even managed to take some pictures of the animal. For the next week it seemed that everybody in Denmark had an opinion about id of the animals, was it really a wolf or was it just a wolf-like dog. Subsequently the animal was found dead and DNA-analysis showed that it was indeed a Wolf! It was even a match to 3,5 year old animal born in the eastern part of Germany. In the last couple of months several more claims of Wolf in Denmark have been made. Some even with quite good pictures. So maybe sometime in the near-future we could have a population of wolves in Denmark!

24/1 Aarhus University. The first Danish wolf for 200 years. 

mandag den 21. januar 2013

Northwest Jutland

Visiting Icelandic toplister Yann Kolbeinsson had one wish for his stay here in Denmark and that was to see Shore Lark. Via DOFbasen Stephan found several observations from the northwestern part of Jutland so we decided to make a trip there. We started the day at Tømmerby Fjord to have a go at Otter. We did not see any Otter but the ice was covered with tracks. Some flyby Pinkfeet were a new Danish tick for Yann. From here we went north to Han Vejle. On the way we saw four Fallow Deer and some Roe Deer. 

20/1 Roe Deer, Lynge.
20/1 Fallow Deer, Tømmerby.
At Han Vejle we could not find the LS Wood but did get Bearded Tit and two Mink (one white + one brown, first id'ed as an Otter but pictures only showed a Mink). At nearby Vust Holme Yann got his geese with Taiga+Tundra Bean Goose, Whitefronts, Pinkfeets, Barnacles and Greylags.

20/1 Bearded Tit, Han Vejle.
Revlbuske north of Lønnerup Fjord had 19 Horned Larks in a big mixed group with Corn Buntings, Skylarks and Yellowhammers. A most wanted species for Yann having only previously seen the north american subspecies. The fjord had 10 Smew and a single Pintail whilst an adult Peregine was sitting on a nearby field.

20/1 Skylarks, Revlbuske. 
20/1 Horned Larks and Yellowhammers, Revlbuske.
20/1 Shore Lark, Revlbuske.
20/1 Shore Lark, Revlbuske.
20/1 European Brown Hare, Revlbuske

Hanstholm Harbor and Roshage had Glaucous Gulls (2-3), Purple Sandpiper 8 and Shag. We also met team Nordjylland consisting of SSC and RSN + father. They had scared off the Shag so we only got poor views.

20/1 Glaucous Gull 4. cal, Roshage.
20/1 Purple Sandpiper, Roshage.
20/1 Glaucous Gull 2nd cal. year, Roshage.
20/1 Purple Sandpiper, Roshage (RDN). 
20/1 Shag, Hanstholm Harbor. The rarest bird of the day!
A quick stop at the spring west of Lønnerup Fjord gave two Water Pipits and an additional 7 Smew at the dam. The day ended at Bulbjerg with 7 Grey Partridges - the last of Yann most wanted species.

20/1 Water Pipit, Lønnerup Fjord.
20/1 Smew, Hovsør Dæmningen (RDN).
20/1 Smew, Hovsør Dæmningen (RDN).
Back in Aarhus Yann finally got to tick all his new Danish species - it was indeed a big day for him!

20/1 Screen shot from Netfugl.....

torsdag den 17. januar 2013

Danish Nationwide Midwinter Count

The last national midwinter count was in the winter of 2007/2008. This winter all Danish inner waters are being covered from plane again. A total of 25 flight surveys is needed to cover the area. Between 200-300 observers are covering the inland localities making it possible to make total estimates of most waterbirds wintering in Denmark. Very good weather is needed to carry out aerial surveys - calm conditions, with good visibility and not to much precipitation. It is indeed a challenge during a normal Danish winter!! Wednesday I covered Lillebælt with help from Yann Kolbeinsson - one in each side of the plane. An area filled with birds... 

16/1 Common Eiders - part of a flock consisting of 4.500 birds east of Svanegrund (north of Endelave). The most numerous species noted were Common Eider, Scaup, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter and Long-tailed Duck.
16/1 A huge flock of Scaups in Lillebælt! The flock consisted of three smaller flocks, this being the largest.  It is probably the largest flock wintering in Denmark this year with at least 10.300 birds. 

onsdag den 9. januar 2013

Nordisk Lappedykker

Søndag 6/1 var SSL og jeg på vores årlige vintertur rundt i Kommunen - det blev til en af de bedre. Østhavnen havde de sædvanlige Skærpibere, Husrødstjerter og Snespurve. Det er dog stort set umuligt at tjekke måger derude, som situationen er nu. Ved Thors Mølle dippede vi endnu engang Vandstær, og vi besluttede os for at køre til Skovmøllen - i år skulle Vandstær på listen. Vi fandt hurtigt en Vandstær og tog derefter en kort tur til Moesgaard Strand for at tjekke op på en Sortstrubet Lom meldt ud derfra. Der var pænt med ænder og lappedykkere samt hele tre Suler på vandet. Efter ti minutter fandt Stephan en Nordisk Lappedykker på stor afstand. Anden gang, at vi begge to ser arten i Kommunen, da vi begge så de populære sommerdragtsfugle i Brabrand Sø i foråret 2007. Fundet er ca. det 20. i Kommunen. Fuglen er siden søndag set af omkring 10 personer, hvilket gør den til et hæderligt twitch efter aarhusianske forhold! Dagen sluttede ved Egå Marina, hvor vi fandt en Bjergpiber, som næsten må være ny, da arten ikke blev set på lokaliteten i hele 2012, selvom flere ledte efter den. 


lørdag den 5. januar 2013

Greenlandic Gyr Falcon

Greenlandic Gyr Falcons are probably my favorite birds of prey (at least of the ones I've seen). They live in really remote places and stay there for most of the year being quite rare outside their breeding areas. I've seen on them on both coasts of Greenland and on Baffin Island in Canada. Birds are often seen inside settlements outside the breeding season. Last year (2012) a pair with their young favored a rocky area just north of Thule Airbase and it was possible to get within a few meters of the birds (unfortunately the birds left a few days before my arrival). The bird depicted below was sitting on some wires outside the airport in Clyde River on Baffin Island. A trip to high arctic does not provide many species but surely some of the best!

Clyde River, Canada - August 2009
Clyde River, Canada - August 2009
Clyde River, Canada - August 2009
Clyde River, Canada - August 2009

tirsdag den 1. januar 2013

Costanera Sur, November 2012

Patagonia isn’t the most species rich region in the world but it is home to some fantastic endemic birds and bird families. In addition there are some fantastic mammals making the region a must for birders/mammalwatchers. Most people visiting the region use internal flights to cut down travelling time. We did the entire tour in a minibus thereby enabling us to visit places as Isla Pengiuno and Torres del Paine, both places not normally visited by birders doing the traditional tour.
I landed in Buenos Aires a few days before the actual tour started to acclimatize and see the city. The Costanera Sur nature reserve ( is placed within walking distance of the town center. I stayed in the old part of town, San Telmo, which is only a 20-25 minutes’ walk from the Brazil entrance to the reserve. In my three visits to the reserve I recorded, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Grey-necked Wood-Rail, Black-hooded Parakeet, Dark-billed Cuckoo, Gilded Sapphire, Checkered Woodpecker, Narrow-billed Wood-creeper, Solitary Black Cacique, Black-backed Grosbeak and lots of more common species. The lack of water in the reserve meant that most pools were dried out and the hoped for ducks could not be found.

Bran-coloured Flycatcher, November 2012. I found a breeding pair within the reserve.
Brown-chested Martin, November 2012. Very common in Costanera.
Baywing, November 2012. Very common
Creamy-bellied Thrush, November 2012. Up to five birds seen daily. Not as common as Rufous-bellied Thrush.
Glittering-bellied Emerald, November 2012. The most common hummer in the reserve. Gilded Sapphire only seen on a couple of occasions.
Green-barred Woodpecker, November 2012. The most common woodpecker in the reserve. I saw Checkered Woodpecker on all three days as well. 
Hooded Sisken, November 2012. Very attractive!
Double-collared Seedeater, November 2012. Quite common within the reserve.
Rufescent Tiger-Heron, November 2012. A pair has been breeding in the reserve for three years now.
Yellow-browed Tyrant, November 2012. Only seen a few times.
Black-backed Grosbeak, November 2012. Only a few records prior to this bird from the reserve.