Saturday, 27 May 2023

Skagen, 27th May 2023

This morning I woke up slightly late but thankfully I did not miss much as the day started slow. I quickly headed out to the outer dunes and just as I arrived two Arctic Skua flew north west. A Corn Bunting flew past me (I only heard it) and then once at the top of one of the dunes I saw it perched out in the open through my scope. Overall, the sea was very quiet and at the end of my four hours observing I only managed 3 of both Black-throated and Red-throated Divers and 1 Gannet. On and over the land was a little better though and towards the latter half of the four hours I was treated to plenty of raptor activity. The first large raptor I had was a female Honey Buzzard that briefly circled before going south. Later on, 14 Common Buzzards attempted to migrate to the north east and made it almost completely out of sight through binoculars before bailing and coming back. This group were then later joined by others and I ended up with 24 up together at once. Loosely with this 24 was a male Honey Buzzard, which also made a couple of attempts to migrate. I also had at least two Red Kites (my first at Skagen) and a Marsh Harrier fly close past me. Unfortunately, I failed to get bird of prey that I picked up in the distance that looked good for one of the grey male Harrier species in my scope and so did not clinch the identification. I have since been told that the ringers (just south of me) had a male Hen Harrier go over, attempt to migrate, and then come back again, so presumably that is what I saw and I had just managed to miss it come closer in my direction. I also did not here the Zello (an app used here which acts like a walkie talkie on your phone) message reporting the Black Kite that was around. However, I was treated to some lovely views of more thunbergi Yellow Wagtails and the rufous female Cuckoo along with a persuing male.

Female thunbergi-type Yellow Wagtail below:

Female thunbergi-type Yellow Wagtail

Female thunbergi-type Yellow Wagtail

Female thunbergi-type Yellow Wagtail

Adult male Honey Buzzard with Common Buzzard
Photo to compare structure of Common Buzzard with adult male Honey Buzzard

Male and rufous female Cuckoo
Rufous female Cuckoo with male

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