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2017-11-30: Ringing at the Lighthouse in autumn 2017 - a short review

Yet another autumn season is completed, the 38th of the standardised ringing series. It turned out this was one of the poorer seasons with only 7,460 ringed birds (of 54 species). The total is only just over half of the reference value (average 1980-2009) and the third lowest total for the season in the series.

Consequently, many species were less abundant than usual. Among the tropical migrants, it was only Lesser Whitethroat that reached a total that exceeded the reference value. At the lower end, we find species such as Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler and Pied Flycatcher with 45, 28 and 27 % of their respective reference values.

Also among species migrating within Europe, the figures were consistently low. Normally abundant species such as Robin and Goldcrest only reached 61 and 58 % of the reference values. Species that also show a long-term increase, such as Wren, Blackbird, Chiffchaff and Firecrest, can more easily exceed the reference values as these are based on totals from the first 30 years. Firecrest even registered a new seasonal best for the fourth year in a row, now with a total of 28.

Tits and other irruptive species were infrequent. The visible Crossbill irruption in the sky above us is hardly evident in the ringing records. Blue tits were relatively few ‒ the 1,279 that were ringed only represent a third of the reference value. Great tits were even less abundant with only 11 % of the reference value. According to oral reports, the breeding season for tits was poor and in spite of there being plenty of beechnuts (again) in the forests. However, at the end of the season, lots of Redpolls appeared, thus being the irruptive species of the season from a ringer's point of view.

The highest daily total was 716 birds on 19th October. Among the top ten daily totals, seven occurred in the latter half of October. Unlike last year, periods of easterly winds were both fewer and shorter, except in the second half of October. One can presume that a slight influx of easterly birds contributed to the increase in the daily totals.
Rarities were conspicuous by their absence, but species that you seldom find in the nets included Buzzard, Green Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, Ring Ouzel, Pallas's Warbler and Hawfinch.

All totals for the season are to be found HERE



29 October 2017: IBOC 2

Three years ago, Falsterbo B.O. hosted the first ever International Bird Observatory Conference, kicking off what we hoped would be a series of future conferences. Today marks day 4 of the second IBOC, this time hosted by one of our partners, Cape May Bird Observatory, New Jersey, USA.

We are delighted to be here, talking about different subjects. One is, a unified portal for bird observatories around the world. Furthermore, we talk about global phenology change and how we run our own bird observatory, both very good for great discussions.

But most of all, we are happy to see old friends, make new ones and spawn ideas for future collaborations. #IBOC2017
(Magnus Grylle, Måns Karlsson and Björn Malmhagen)



28 August 2017: Report from Cape May (Emil Lundahl)

As part of our ongoing youth exchange program with Cape May Bird Observatory (USA) and Sprun Bird Observatory (England) Emil Lundahl is now at Cape May and reports following from the first days:

On the 28th of August I arrived in Cape May, New Jersey, to participate in the work of Cape May Bird Observatory in the next three weeks. These first couple of days I've been participating in an orientation program set up for the staff of the upcoming autumn season.

Cape May Bird Observatory has three stations for counting the migrating birds: the Higbee Dike for songbirds, the Hawk Watch for raptor counts and the Avalon Seawatch. Besides this, raptors are ringed/banded and Monarchs are tagged. So far we have been visiting the Higbee dike and the Avalon Seawatch and I'm looking forward to experience more of Cape May!



1 August 2017: Time again for Migration Counts

Today Nils Kjellén started another season of migration counts at Nabben. The first day was, as could be expected, rather quiet with 761 birds counted. Of these, a good 300 were Common Crossbills, and among them a Two-barred Crossbill was spotted. Fifteen raptors left for Denmark and then there were some ducks, some waders, some gulls and some terns.


13 July 2017: Ringing report 2016

Daily trapping and ringing of migrants (mainly passerines) was carried out at Falsterbo (55.23 N, 12.50 E), southern Sweden, during spring and autumn in 2016. This was the 37th consecutive year with standardised ringing at this site. Within this programme 25,453 birds of 90 species were ringed (average 1980-2009: 22,491 birds of 81 species).

Additional ringing efforts were made in connection with special projects etc. One was the fourth year with a “trial period” of three weeks (1-20 March) before the ordinary start of the spring season and another similar period of ten days (11-20 November) after the ordinary end of the autumn season.
The grand total for 2016 was 26,752 birds of 117 species. One new species, Siberian Accentor, was ringed. This means that the all-time-total (1947-2016) of birds ringed at Falsterbo now is 1,160,498 of 229 species (+4 hybrids).
Read the English summary (at the end of the report)


29 June 2017: Summary of ringing in spring 2017

Another spring season is over. The grand total for the standardised ringing at the Lighthouse, in spring 2017 landed on 5,096birds of 58 species (reference number: average 1980-2009: 3,809). It is the fifth highest spring total in the 38-year long series. Two species were ringed in four-digit numbers, and it was the two usual ones, European Robin (1,492) and Willow Warbler (1,142), however, the total for Willow Warbler is still below the reference number. The third most ringed species was Eurasian Siskin (499). Another eight species (Winter Wren, Dunnock, Common Redstart, Song Thrush, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff and Goldcrest were ringed in three-digit numbers, all below 250.

Species wintering in Europe, which were ringed in high numbers relative to their reference numbers were Winter Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Song Thrush, Redwing, Common Chiffchaff, Firecrest, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Siskin and Redpoll. Especially the numbers of Siskins (499) is remarkable and it is the second highest spring total through the years. Among long-distance migrants ringed in higher numbers than normally were Common Redstart, Marsh Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap. In particular, Lesser Whitethroat reached a high number (178), which is the second highest spring total through the years.
Species ringed in low numbers relative to their reference numbers were, among those wintering in Europé, Blackbird, Goldcrest, Great Tit, Chaffinch, European Greenfinch and Common Linnet. The low number in Blackbird may be explained by earlier arrival than normally (36 ringed during ”pre-season” 1-20 March.
Among long-distance migrants ringed in low numbers relative to their reference numbers were Thrush Nightingale, Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher and Red-backed Shrike. The totals for Thrush Nightingale and Red-backed Shrike were both below 50 % of the reference number.
The weather during the first weeks of the season was relatively warm with a high pressure covering large parts of the European continent and many migrants took the opportunity to arrive early. Then around mid-April there was a back-lash with very cold weather and even snow! Not until early May did the weather change to some warmer and more spring-like type. During three days 6-8 May we were in the border zone between warm weather to the south and cold to the north. Migrants were halted by this zone and we had three-digit daily totals during these three days. The number of Robins (504) ringed in May was remarkable. It is very odd nowadays and not since the early 1990s have similar or higher numbers of Robins been ringed in May. The weather during the second half of the season was favourable for mistnetting but the numbers of birds ringed were very moderate.
Rare birda were rare(!) and the Ortolan Bunting ringed 4 May was the rarest. Other species, which are not ringed very often, especially not in spring were Common Kestrel, Long-eared Owl, Eurasian Wryneck, Mistle Thrush, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Wood Nuthatch, Hooded Crow, European Serin and Common Crossbill.


15 May 2017: Kestrel-TV online

Finally we have  now have live-streaming from the Kestrel's nest on the Falsterbo Lighthouse. This time it's a YouTube stream, which means better quality than before. It's going to be even better when we get broadband via fiber.
Kestrel-TV is sponsored by Wildlife Garden.
Click on the Kestrel-button above to watch!



6-8 May 2017: A monthly total in three days

In the last three days lots and lots of small passerines have been resting on the Falsterbo peninsula. More than 1,400 (428+531+451) have been ringed at the Lighthouse Garden, which is more than the monthly totals in May during the last six years. The daily total of 7 May (531) is only the 6th time in the standardised series (1980 onwards) that a daily total exceeds 500 in May and it is the first time during the 2000s.
European Robin and Willow Warbler were the two most numerous species. Especially the number of Robins was surprisingly high for the time of the season. The daily total on the 6th (185) is in fact the highest in May within in the standardised series. Lesser Whitethroat was also ringed in large numbers, 89 in all and 57 of them on the 6th (highest number ever).
Among new ringed species for the season were Barn Swallow, Tree Pipit, Thrush Nightingale, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher and European Serin.

The main reason for this mass behaviour of birds is very likely related to weather. Earlier in the week it was cold and windy and a rain area was stationary over the northern parts of Germany. Birds were halted by the rain south of the Baltic Sea.
When the rain pulled away during the night between 5 and 6 May, the northward road opened up. There was very little wind and very good visibility and a wave of birds went on migration.
On the two following days, rain showers passed down from the north during late night-early morning and caused big fall-outs of migrants.



15 April 2017: IBOC-2 is taking shape

In 2014 the first International Bird Observatory Conference (IBOC) was held in Falsterbo, Sweden organised by Falsterbo Bird Observatory. The idea was already then that this would be the start of a regular conference to gather the world´s bird observatories. The baton was passed on from the conference in Falsterbo to the US.

Now, three years later, the second International Bird Observatory Conference (IBOC 2) will be held in Cape May, New Jersey, USA in October. Please help to spread this message in your circle of friends.

Registration link: Click here.



22 March 2017: A new recovery species

Today we received a recovery report of a Goldfinch, of which we had no previous recoveries. On average, less than ten Goldfinches are ringed at Falsterbo annually, so there wasn't much of a chance to get one either.

However, the current Goldfinch was ringed as a first-year male at the Falsterbo Lighthouse on 11 October 2012. It was controlled by ringers at Klein Müritz in northern Germany only a few days ago, 18 March 2017, four years and 157 days after ringing. The oldest Goldfinch within Swedish ringing is a good five years



22 January 2017: Higher fees

We enter 2017 well aware, that a large funding which has been granted during the last four years will no be given any more. Therefore, in order to get some balance in the economy, the fees for guiding and accommodation will be higher from now on.
The new fee for guiding will be SEK 50.00 per person, Minimum fee: SEK 500.00
The new fee for accommodation will be SEK 160.00 for members of the Scanian Ornithological Society and SEK 200.00 for non-members, all per person and night.

We hope that this won't scare you away, after all these fees are still very moderate. Every single coin goes straight into the Bird Observatory activities. Only birds may profit from Falsterbo Bird Observatory!



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