Saturday, 1 October 2011

Vestamager

I found myself at Vestamager again this morning on another beautiful and warm day. The birding started off well when a Merlin flew overhead just as I was leaving my house - a first for Europe for me.

Once I arrived in the area the mist was still over the land and it was evident there was no visible migration today.



I was set on concentrating on finding new birds today - that meant working the forested area for migrant passerines and checking the muddy area for waders/shorebirds and geese. I quickly gave that up when I saw two Common Pochards diving - giving a good opportunity to photograph them:



Shortly after that there was a Red Kite slowly migrating south along the shoreline as well as this fairly tame Eurasian Kestrel:


And then it was shorebird (aka waders in Europe) time! As usual there were many Golden Plovers - I took another video of the main flock roosting - about 800 of them today:





In the same area I found many other shorebird species including Spotted Redshank, Black-bellied Plover (aka Grey Plover), Curlew, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Greenshank and Ruff.

I made my way to the other side of the 'shorebird cell' where several thousand waterfowl could be seen plus two Great Egrets - an uncommon bird at this time of year and another new bird for my EU list. According to the sightings board there were 5000 Eurasian Wigeons - plus the thousands of Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Tufted Ducks and Shovelers! It made for an awesome sight - but one I didn't photograph... I think it will only get better throughout the autumn so no rush to take a photo.

At one point I was scoping the area with some other birders when I found a Sanderling. I thought it was odd to see one in the muddy area (usually they're on beaches chasing the waves) but didn't think much of it. I decided to tell the birder next to me by pointing at the picture in the book (I can't speak Danish so the only way we can share sightings is by pointing at the book) - he seemed surprised and said "No!".
Anyway, sure enough the others got on the bird - here's a distant digiscoped photo (it's behind the ducks):


I ended the day with a group of birders pointing out 2 Northern Shrikes for me (aka Great Grey Shrike) - another new bird for Europe bringing my day total to 57 species.

After birding I met up with a couple friends to check out a whale exhibit! More about that later.

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