mandag den 29. september 2014

Sunday Sooty Sunday

Igennem årene er det blevet til rigtig mange timer ved havet i Østjylland, men det var først søndag den 28. september 2014, at jeg fik set min første Sodfarvet Skråpe. En længe ventet art og så oveni købet med to fugle i en stille vind fra vest. Begge fugle trak på mellemdistance mod nord på deres vej ud af Kattegat og kom direkte syd fra, hvorfor de måske har været inde og vende i Aarhus Bugten og måske samtidig er nogle af dem, der er blevet set ved Nordsjælland de seneste dage.



Det var således super fedt, at se rigtig havfugle samtidig med et ret massivt træk af småfugle prægede himlen, hvilket dagens tal vidner om. Se eksempelvis indtastningerne i DOF-Basen her.

Der var også pænt med tre arter kjover, hvor unge Mellemkjover klart dominerede billedet. Alle Mellemkjoverne kom ind fra øst eller sydøst, hvor de tangerede kysten et stykke ud på deres videre vej mod nordvest. Storkjoven sås i retning af Anholt Vindmøllepark, hvor den trak nordvest. Desuden sås en Mallemuk trække nord i samme spor som de to Sodfarvede Skråper.

fredag den 26. september 2014

The two Lesser Whitethroats were both curruca

The result of the genetic analysis on the two possible Siberian Lesser Whitethroats from Feldballe, May 21, 2014 and Anholt, June 1, 2014 confirms that they both had mitochondrial DNA belonging to Sylvia curruca curruca. As the difference in nuclear DNA between curruca and blythi is very little, it is however difficult to exclude a mixed origin. Nevertheless, we can say with confidence that the two birds fall into the curruca clade as defined in the recent paper by Olsson et al (2013) and moreover, say that at least its mother was a nominate curruca.

They were both originally thought to be possible blythi based on their distinct songs. However, when caught their wing formula did not differ significantly from curruca as much as the wing formula on the DNA-confirmed blythi from Anholt, October 20, 2012 did.

Below are some photos of the bird from Feldballe:

Note that the white throat contrasts with the buffy flanks and breast.
It is the bird to the left.
P2 falls between P5 and P6 (almost on level with P6).
Here the wing is compared with the 'Siberian Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia [curruca] blythi) found on Anholt in october 2012.

torsdag den 26. juni 2014

Atlasprojektet Danmarks Guldsmede


Tilmeld dig nyhedsbreve


mandag den 16. juni 2014

Female Yellowhammer of the more grey type

While searching for Ortolan Bunting on one of my early morning walks on May 2, 2014 this rather grey female Yellowhammer turned up. I took a few record shots on which you can see faint yellowish fringes to the primaries and a yellowish wash in the facial markings along with some yellow on the flanks, but as it was one of the more grey individuals that I have seen it was worth documenting for future reference.


søndag den 15. juni 2014

What about European Curlew (arquata), Oriental Curlew (orientalis) and Steppe Curlew (suschkini)?

Due to gradual changes in plumage and measurements across the distributional of Eurasian Curlew, it is at best very difficult to identify out of range subspecies such as the eastern orientalis race, breeding east of the Urals, and suschkini breeding in steppe regions of southern Russia and Kazakhstan.

Nevertheless, on walking along the southern shore of Anholt on October 5, 2013 I flushed a 1cy Curlew which called for attention due its flashing white axillaries and underwing coverts. I grabbed for my camera and as it made a quick turn and passed nearby me I shoot a series of flight shots.

The bird is surely striking with its white underwing coverts, unmarked white axillaries and sparly marked flanks, but the amount of dark bars and the off-white ground colour to the tail could indicate that it may fit in among western-type birds with the least marked underwing coverts and flanks.

Nominate arquata and orientalis are western and eastern extremes respectively of continuous cline of increasing bill and tarsus length, less heavy marking, and paler ground-colour towards east. No sharp boundary between these extremes. Nominate arquata from western Europe typically have short bill and tarsus, rather broad streaks on upperparts and chest, back and rump usually streaked, belly and uppertail coverts often marked with black blobs, flanks distinctly barred and often with large dark blobs, axillaries barred and often with black subterminal blob, and underwing coverts partly barred or spotted, especially primary coverts.

Typical orientalis from eastern part of range has longer bill and tarsus; narrower and less deep black streaks on upper- and underparts, and flanks and tail coverts less heavily barred and usually lacking black blobs; belly, lower back, upper rump, and underwing almost immaculately white; tail with fewer and narrower bars; axillaries white, a few with thin dusky subterminal shaft-streak at most.

Marks in juveniles of both races relatively narrower, body and axillaries appearing paler; in nominate arquata, bars on axillaries often broken or forming rows of dots only. If trying racial recognition, it is thus important to account for age differences.

With this amount of dark bars and off-white ground colour in the tail, this may just fit in among western-type birds with the least marked underwing coverts and flanks...

onsdag den 11. juni 2014

Havørnene i Syddjurs Kommune opgiver i 2014

Sakset fra DOF SYDDJURS – NYHEDSBREV NR. 7, 2014:

"Der er desværre dårligt nyt om ”vores” havørnepar i Syddjurs Kommune. Efter at have ruget i mere end 50 dage måtte ørnene opgive yngleforsøget. Det er formodentlig forstyrrelser omkring reden der er årsag til at det ikke lykkedes ørnene at få unger i år. Det ser ud til at rigtig mange mennesker fandt ud af, hvor reden var placeret, og tog derhen for at se på ørnene. De har desværre ikke tænkt over, hvad konsekvenser deres opførsel kunne have. Havørnene er selvfølgelig fløjet fra reden hver gang der var nogle mennesker, der standsede op på kort afstand og så på dem. Der er endda en horribel rapport om en stor gruppe pensionister, der drak kaffe under redetræet. Det siger sig selv at de mange afbrydelser i rugningen havde til følge at æggene ikke klækkedes.

Vi må se om ørnene kommer tilbage igen til næste ynglesæson og håber at de finder et bedre (utilgængeligt) sted at bygge rede".

tirsdag den 10. juni 2014

Ringmærket Aftenfalk fundet død på Anholt

Under et besøg ved Totten på østenden af Anholt fandt jeg mandag den 26. maj et kranium i haven ved Fyrgården. Kraniets størrelse fik mig til at overveje Dværgfalk, men da der så dukkede nogle svingfjer op blev jeg mere tændt på ideen om at det var en ædelfalk. Derfor kigge jeg plænen grundigere igennem og havde til sidste en lille bunke fjer og nogle flere knogler, heriblandt et ben med en fod, hvor der sad en sort farvering om benet og en metalring med inskriptionen: BUDAPEST HA06.504. Det fik tiøren til at falde på plads. Det måtte være en Aftenfalk og den sorte ring mindede meget om noget jeg kunne huske at have set på et foto fra august 2013.

Den 9. august 2013 fotograferede lokale Frank Svensson en farvemærket 1K Aftenfalk (Falco vespertinus) ved Fyrgården med en sort ring siddende under metal-ringen og det er med største sandsynlighed samme fugl jeg nu havde fundet død. Ifølge Hans Arén, der så falken i sensommeren 2013, så var den nok ikke helt rask dengang, da de netop kunne komme meget tæt på den og den ofte holdt den ene fod sammenknyttet. Den døde formentlig ikke længe efter billederne blev taget i starten af august. Som de scannede fjer viser, så var de dog fortsat ret intakte selvom flere af dem havde været igennem en græsslåmaskine, mens knoglerne var overvejende rene for kød.

Svingfjer fra 1K Aftenfalk (Falco vespertinus).
Fjer fra 1K Aftenfalk (Falco vespertinus).
Knogler fra en Aftenfalk (Falco vespertinus).
Metalring med inskriptionen: BUDAPEST HA06.504.
1K Aftenfalk (Falco vespertinus) fotograferet ved Fyrgården den 9. august 2013 (c) Frank Svensson.
1K Aftenfalk (Falco vespertinus) fotograferet ved Fyrgården den 9. august 2013 (c) Frank Svensson.

søndag den 8. juni 2014

Anholt gav tre Lundsangere på tre dage

Under et besøg på Anholt i 2014 blev der fundet tre Lundsangere. Den første blev fundet den 29. maj i byen af Stephan Skaarup Lund og Rasmus Due Nielsen, hvor den dog kunne ses og høres de efterfølgende dage. Den anden blev fundet den 29. maj af Rune Sø Neergaard i skovområdet mellem havnen og byen, hvor den dog kun blev set af RSN inden den flyttede videre. Den tredje fugl blev fundet kaldende ved Fyrgården den 31. maj af Rasmus Due Nielsen kort inden den gik i nettet, hvorefter jeg kunne ringmærke den.

Det er den første fugl fra byen som man kan høre på optagelsen herunder:



Det er fuglen fra byen den 29. maj på de to billeder herunder:



Det er fuglen fra den 31. maj på alle billederne herunder:

fredag den 6. juni 2014

Is this another Siberian Lesser Whitethroat?


UPDATE: The result of the genetic analysis concludes that it had mitochondrial DNA belonging to Sylvia curruca curruca. As the difference in nuclear DNA between curruca and blyth is very little, it is however difficult to exclude a mixed origin. Nevertheless, we can say with confidence that the bird falls into the curruca clade as defined in the recent paper by Olsson et al (2013) and moreover, at least its mother was a nominate curruca.

*********

During mist netting at Totten on the eastern most tip of Anholt we caught surprisingly many 2cy Lesser Whitethroats. Because of the possible blythi from the week before I paid extra attention to their song, but all the types we heard were of the western curruca type.

Early morning on June 1, 2014 something quite different was suddenly heard singing with a distinct song. As my sound recording equipment was already running nearby in order to get migrant calls, I just grabbed it, and went for the song. Luckily the bird continued to sing for several minutes at close range and showed quite well in the early morning light. As the song was very characteristic and its plumage distinct, the possibility that is was in fact a Siberian Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca blythi was emidiatly considered. The bird had rather faded brownish upperparts and some smudging on the underparts and was thus quite different from most of the other Lesser Whitethroats seen.

Luckily, it moved into some trees near one of my mist nets and with less than one minute of playback, it dived straight into the net. A wide range of biometric measures were recorded and a feather sample secured for future DNA analysis before it was released again.

The bird was heard singing more than fifty times and always with the same rapid cycling song. Listen to the two recordings below to hear how distinct it was. Could this cycling song without the classic curruca rattles be unique for Siberian Lesser Whitethroat and thus allow us to make safe field identifications in spring just like in Siberian Chiffchaff?




The two recordings above are from Anholt, whereas I made the two below in Feldballe. Listen to the similarities between the two birds:



... and compare the two birds in the four recordings above with the songs in these two below from Lake Baikal by Magnus Hellström:



























21/5-2014
1/6-2014

Feldballe
Anholt

blythi?
blythi?
Metal ring no.
9L62761
BX06856
Age & sex
2cy male
2cy male
Wing length (max)
63.7 mm
65.0 mm
Tail length
55.1 mm
56.85 mm
Tail/Wing ratio (x100)
86.4
87.5
Bill to skull length
10.4 mm
10.23 mm
2nd P
= P6
= P6
Wing tip
P3
P3-P4
Bill height (front nostrils)
2.9 mm
2.81
Bill height (rear nostrils)
3.3 mm
3.14
Bill width (front nostrils)
2,75 mm
3.15 mm
Bill width (rear nostrils)
3.3 mm
4.59 mm
Tarsus length
22.1 mm
21.58
1st P > Alula
12.5 mm
12.15 mm
1st P > PC

5.4 mm
3.64 mm
Wing tip > longest tertial
12.3 mm
13.52 mm

søndag den 25. maj 2014

Min 3. Lille Skrigeørn på Djursland på tre år

Efter et par meget stille timer ved Gjerrild indså jeg, at vinden var langt kraftigere end DMI havde lovet og samtidig forbavsende kold. Ved ankomst havde jeg tænkt, at det var en fin retning og styrke til en Islom som jeg havde se en enkelt af hver af de foregående to weekender. Så kom der en melding fra HHN og TWJ om en returtrækkende Sort Glente ved Sæby, hvorefter en snigende fornemmelse begyndte at tage form.

Der var ingen bevægelser over havet og kun ganske få småfugle i luften, men tre syngende Kærsangere og en syngende Karmindompap afslørede dog, at der havde været tiltræk om natten. Herefter ringede RSN for at høre om jeg stod klar ved Ebeltoft og sammen gennemgik vi hurtigt listen af arter, der kunne tænkes at ryge retur i den kraftige vestenvind. Jeg fik afsluttet samtalen, pakket sammen og kl. 08.30 stod jeg klar på Skelhøje i Ebeltoft. Der rastede en del Mursejlere over byen, men først kl. 10 begyndte rovfuglene, at komme retur med først tre Rød Glenter og nogle Musvåger. Jeg indså hurtigt, at trækket gik øst for mig, så i stedet for at blive og kun se fuglene i modlys, pakkede jeg endnu en gang sammen og flyttede ud på en tilfældig mark længere mod øst.

På vej i bilen til det nye sted kom den første Sorte Glente kl. 10.59 glidende lige ind over mod syd. Efter jeg havde pakket ud endnu engang, ringede RSN nu for at fortælle om den flotte Høgeugle, han tidligere på dagen var kørt forbi, men lidt inde i samtale blev jeg desværre nød til at lægge på, da en lyshovedet rovfugl med hængevinger pludselig kl. 11.24 kom glidende nord fra. Kort efter slog den med vingerne og så var bestemmelsen på plads og jeg kunne blot stille og roligt finde kameraet frem og vente på at den kom længere mod syd. Heldigvis gik den forbi i medlys og sås rigtig fint og det hele var meget roligt og behageligt.

Det var uofficielt min tredje Lille Skrigeørn på Djursland, hvor den første ligeledes kom retur over Ebeltoft i 2012, mens den anden lavede trækforsøg ved Gjerrild i 2013. Desværre sås den sidste for dårligt og blev derfor af gode grunde forkastet af SU, men det var en klar Lille Skrigeørn alene ud fra JIZZ, størrelse og flugten.

Herefter ringede jeg til RSN for at beklage, at jeg sådan havde lagt på midt i en samtale, og mens vi snakkede videre kunne jeg dokumentere dagens anden Sorte Glente, der gik retur kl. 11.39. Den Lille Skrigeørn var nu nået ned til færgehavnen og havde blot vendt hovedet op mod vinden. Den begyndte så så småt at gå aktivt mod nordvest mod Ahl Hage, hvorfor jeg ringede til DD på Molslab, da jeg var klar over, at der var fuld gang i BioBlitz og ørnen vist var på vej lige over til deres artsliste. Skrigeørnen krydsede Ebeltoft Vig og ramte Mols Bjerge syd for Molslaboratoriet, hvor den blev vel modtaget under stor jubel.

Kl. 12.29 trak 3 Hvide Store retur i samme spor. Alle dagens fugle tog den samme rute via Ahl Hage og selvom det ikke var de store antal, så var det super fedt. Af andre arter sås 3 Hvepsevåger gående mod nord, 20 Musvåger på retur og en rastende Lærkefalk.


Den 3K Lille Skrigeørn trak retur kl. 11.24, hvor den hurtigt gik forbi obsposten, men da den nåede ned til kysten ved færgehavnen stoppede den op og dreje hovedet op mod vinden og hang sådan i mange minutter inden den stille og roligt tog højde og gled videre mod nordvest til Ahl Hage, hvorfra den krydsede over til Mols Bjerg på en vestgående kurs.
Dagens første Sorte Glente trak målrettet retur kl. 10.59.
Dagens første Sorte Glente.
Kl. 11.39 kom dagens anden Sorte Glente, der var noget mere flosset i svingfjerene end den foregående. 
Dagens anden Sorte Glente.
Tre Hvide Storke fløj retur kl. 12.29. De trak også ud mod syvvest fra Ahl Have i retning mod Helgenbæs og Mols Bjerge.
Der var ikke ret meget nordtræk, hvor tre Hvepsevåger var eneste fugle, der havde travlt, mens nogle Tårnfalke og en Lærkefalk vel mest rastede i området.

torsdag den 22. maj 2014

Could this become the first spring record of Siberian Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca blythi) documented by DNA in Denmark?


UPDATE: The result of the genetic analysis concludes that it had mitochondrial DNA belonging to Sylvia curruca curruca. As the difference in nuclear DNA between curruca and blyth is very little, it is however difficult to exclude a mixed origin. Nevertheless, we can say with confidence that the bird falls into the curruca clade as defined in the recent paper by Olsson et al (2013) and moreover, at least its mother was a nominate curruca.

*********

This Lesser Whitethroat was singing for three days before it apparently moved on. As the song was very characteristic and its plumage distinct, the possibility that it was in fact a Siberian Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca blythi was emidiatly considered. When comparing its song with recordings of blythi from Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan which are available on Xeno Canto and AVoCet, the resemblance was striking. Therefore the bird was mist netted yesterday on May 21, 2014 in order to secure an in hand inspection, a wide range of biometrics and a feather sample for future DNA analysis.

Urban Olsson has agreed to analyses the feather and we wait to see if this is the first spring record of a Siberian Lesser Whitethroat in Denmark. Meanwhile is worth to consider the recent insights into the intricate taxonomy and phylogeny of the Sylvia curruca complex where they conclude that according 'to the mitochondrial gene tree, there is a basal dichotomy, with the taxa althaea, blythi, halimodendri and margelanica being part of one clade, well separated from a clade containing curruca and minula. Dating analysis suggests that a basal divergence separating curruca and minula from the other four taxa occurred between 4.2 and 7.2 mya; these two then diverged between 2.3 and 4.4 mya. The splits between the althaea, blythi, halimodendri and margelanica lineages is inferred to have occurred later, approximately between 1.0 and 2.5 mya'. Whether these clades should be treated as subspecies or species is in the future… but from a twitchers perspective one may want to play it safe.

Listen to the distinct song in these two recordings:



... and compare it to the songs in these two from Lake Baikal by Magnus Hellström:



... and this recording AV#9653, Mongolia from Avian Vocalizations Center (AVoCet). Occasionally, the Danish bird sang with curruca-like rattles mixed into the song, but this is also heard from bird recorded within blythi range such as in this recording from Kazakhstan:


Note that the white throat contrasts with the buffy flanks and breast.
Note the distinct mid-brown upperparts, including nape, tertials, uppertail coverts and upper tail.
Note that the uppertail coverts are grey in the normal curruca (left) whereas they are obviously more warm brownish in the possible blythi (right).
Note that the possible blythi (rigth) lacks a clear contrast between rear crown, neck, mantle and uppertail.
Note how the brown on nape penetrates further onto the crown on the possible blythi (rigth) than in the normal curruca (left). When handling the three different Lesser Whitethroats, the possible blythi stood out as having both a short tail and short primary projection relatively to the overall length of the bird. In direct comparison to the normal curruca (left) this short-handed and short-tailed JIZZ was striking.
Note that both the dark ear-coverts and the whitish supercilium are not as distinct in the possible blythi (left) than in the normal curruca (right).
Note that the centre of the central tail feathers are darker and in stronger contrast to the upperparts in the normal curruca (bottom), a contrast not present in the possible blythi (top). When handling the three different Lesser Whitethroats, the possible blythi stood out as having both a short tail and short primary projection relatively to the overall length of the bird. In direct comparison to the normal curruca (bottom) this short-handed and short-tailed JIZZ was striking.
.
Note that it lack of clear dark mask and that the lores are paler than usual.
P2 fall almost completely on level with P6.
Here the wing is compared with the 'Siberian Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia [curruca] blythi) found on Anholt in october 2012.
 


blythi?
curruca
curruca
blythi
halimodendri
Locality
May
2014
Feldballe
May
2014
Feldballe
May
2014
Feldballe
October
2012
Anholt
November
2011
Blåvand
Metal ring no.
9L62761
9L62762
9L62763


Age & sex
2cy male
3cy+
2cy


Wing length (max)
63.7 mm
65.0 mm
67.3 mm
64.0 mm
59.0 mm
Tail length
55.1 mm


58.2 mm
55.0/56.0 mm
Tail/Wing ratio (x100)
86.4


90.9
94.1
Bill to skull length
10.4 mm


12.0 mm
11.0 mm
2nd P
= P6
= P5/P6
= P5/P6
= (P7)/P8
= P8
Wing tip
P3
P4
P4
P3-P4-P5
P3-P4-P5
Bill height (front nostrils)
2.9 mm




Bill height (rear nostrils)
3.3 mm



3.0. mm
Bill width (front nostrils)
2,75 mm




Bill width (rear nostrils)
3.3 mm



3.5 mm
Tarsus length
22.1 mm



19.0 mm
1st P > Alula
12.5 mm



12.0 mm
1st P > PC
5.4 mm



3.5 mm
Wing tip > longest tertial*
12.3 mm
14.2 mm
15.7 mm

11.0 mm

*In curruca this distance between the longest tertial and the tip of the longest primary is normally 13-17 mm.