Monday, August 31, 2009

Birding - 30/08/09

Ulf processes one of the more colourful birds caught at dusk in the reedbed. This was one of two yellow wagtails that we caught.

Yellow wagtail

Blowing hard from the south-west this morning so we decided to visit Dagshög and see some waves. A few birds about including greenshank (1), razorbill (1) and red-backed shrike (1). Just two or three kilometres north of us, the second patch red-necked phalarope of the year was cavorting. We remained in ignorance throughout the day. I must get that pager organised...

After lunch I headed down to Sandön, as I had been invited by Henrik Ehrenberg to observe the ringing in the reedbed. Before the kick-off I had time for a look around and was pleased to notice a 1K Caspian gull on one of the islands. I have never been a big fan of large gulls, their enormous variability has always given me a bit of a headache. But now I am a born again patch-lister there is no excuse for not doing the homework and putting in some effort. Just got to find a Caspian on the patch now...

Supporting caste at Sandön included some waders; oystercatcher (2), curlew (42), bar-tailed godwit (10), dunlin (2), knot (1) and grey plover (3). Also great crested grebe (2), little grebe (1), goosander (9), osprey (2) and water rail (1).

Working in the reedbed required chest waders, mercifully Ulf Ståhle had a spare pair. Curiously the water level rose and fell quite a bit during the evening - a combination of the brisk SW wind and heavy showers in the river catchment. Doing the net rounds was a bit like re-making 'The African Queen' at times. The first 4-5 hours were very quiet (too windy) and we caught just three reed warblers. Dusk improved the score though with two yellow wagtails, one white wagtail and about a dozen swallows.

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