Friday, 14 October 2011

Life is good

From the tital you can see how I feel about things at the moment, the last few months have been a crazy blur for me. I’ve met some amazing people whom I know call friends and I have learnt so much. Firstly in Kvismaren, an amazing few months with a great team. I would like to mention Martin and Anders (The September team) as they dug deep and tried hard for little amounts of birds at times. Always in good spirit though – Great guys!


I was then lucky enough to be able to join the team at Falsterbo (Southern Sweden) for a fortnight. Here I again met some awesome people, had a great laugh, made some good friends, saw and ringed many new birds. On my first day here we caught 650 birds throughout the day. Including 11 Tengmalm’s Owls. Christian kindly let me ring most of the Tengmalm’s and for that I am very grateful. It was awesome to see this species in the hand and learn about there wacky moulting. Our furtunes turned however and throughout the next 2 weeks there were unseasonally low amounts of birds ringed at Falsterbo; the weather just wasn’t cold enough to push the birds down. Still I enjoyed being there and taking part. The final days of my stay brightened up again (or should I say cleared – as it got bloody cold.) The penultimate day we caught over 500 birds and 392 of which were Blue tit. I was really happy to see a “Blue tit morning" – Flocks of Blue tits calling away in the air and then dropping into the nets in there dozens, surreal.

The final night came and we were trying for Tengmalm’s Owls. In the back of our minds we hoped for Sparvuggla (Pygmy Owl) but not since the 1970’s have they been caught in Falsterbo. Anyway the night was a total success with 10 New Tengmalm’s caught along with a Norwegian control – Birds of different ages with many different moult patterns were encountered and this was very nice to see. Around 3am myself and Andre took a walk around the North hedges (away from the play backs of Tengmalm’s owl) and saw a small bird in the net. I clocked it first. “Oh F*****G HELL, it’s a Pygmy” I said. Andre replied with “F*****G S**T THAT’S REALLY F*****G NICE”. We were both very excited. Many phonecalls to local birds and helpers were made and moments later the Pygmy was back in the hut being compared to the Tengmalm’s we had caught at the same time.

We worked all through the night from 1am and then started with the standardised this morning. A good morning was had and 2 more first for the years were caught at Falsterbo before I had to leave early – Great Grey Shrike and Mistle Thrush. Both New birds in the hand for me so that was nice. As I left the team were knee deep in Blue tit and Chiffs (Albietinus and Colybita). I caught the bus and train to Denmark and I found it a remarkably easy and stress-free journey. It’s a little sad to have left Sweden having lived there for the last six months but the adventure has to continue so I’m now sat in my little cottage by the sea. A gorgeous little house and I enjoyed watching Eiders migrate close by my window whilst I was cooking dinner. I saw Sandwich Tern and “Baltic gull” here also. I watched the sunset and Germany disappear before my eyes. Then it hit me – I am one of the luckiest people around! I love my job and I love travelling. We’re currently trying for Tengmalm’s again here at Gedser. Here’s hoping we control a Falsterbo bird!

I’ll try to blog often (I always say it) here. If not I will document it with Photographs and catch up one day.

1 comment:

Fleetwood Birder said...

Hello Craig, It sounds as though you are still having a great time. And yes please, try and blog often to give us a good gripping. Ian and I are off to the 'obs' in the morning to see if we can get hold of some of these pesky thrushes. Cheers, Seumus