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Denmark 2017
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Day 1 – Aarhus area
I spent the day getting the lie of the land. First observation is that there are a lot of Kestrel and Blackbird in Denmark!

Day 2 – Stubbe So in the Ebeltoft National Park
Stubbe So is the remnant of a once large fjord which is now a freshwater (So) lake surrounded by extensive reed beds and mixed forest.
We were visiting the Danish Ornithological Society’s bird reserve at the NE corner. It was perhaps not the best option as there is a public birdwatching tower further round the lake near the outlet. But we were targeting certain species and this provided the best opportunity.
On the walk in we spotted Red Kite, Buzzard, Common Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Crested Tit, Willow Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Yellowhammer. Nothing too unusual there but the numbers were astounding. We did get lost a bit in the forest after getting side-tracked by little things flitting through the canopy.
We finally arrived at the reserve and settled down for a snack. I spotted movement on a fence post and quickly picked up a Red-Backed Shrike (target bird 1). A Grasshopper Warbler was a frequent visitor to some scrub just in front of us carrying food, so definitely nesting in there.
Then target bird 2 put in an appearance, a cracking Woodlark! It was less than 20 feet from me giving very good views and was my first lifer of the trip.
We finished off by walking down to the lake edge where we got Common Tern, Black-Throated Diver and a load of Pochard.
On the walk back out to the car park, we got Tree Pipit and Jay to add to the list.

Day 3 Braband So and Arslev Engso
These are two connected glacial lakes on the south western edge of Aarhus. I’d heard glowing reports about Braband So but it was a bitter disappointment. Feral geese and gulls were all I got!
Arslev Engso which is further out of town was a very different proposition.
I climbed a birdwatching tower on the NW corner and was rewarded nothing. I then looked at the opposite corner towards the other birdwatching tower and there was a group of birdwatchers all looking in the same direction. I followed their line of sight and was rewarded with a stunning Black Kite. I decided to go round to where they were.
On the way I picked up some birds out on a muddy island, mostly Lapwing and some smaller unidentifiable waders. I decided to ty to get closer and managed to pick out Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Greenshank, Common Redshank, Spotted Redshank and two Temminck’s Stint. On another island further out, in amongst the Black-Headed Gulls there were two large terns. A quick look with the scope confirmed the ID as Caspian Terns.
I finally made it round to meet up with the local birders and they couldn’t have been more helpful. They confirmed the Black kite and Caspian Tern saying that both are very uncommon in Denmark.
Just before they left, one of them told me to keep watching to the left and watch for all the geese/ waders lifting off in panic. I asked him why and he smiled and said just keep watching!
5 minutes after they left, as if on cue, all the geese/waders lifted off and the cacophony of noise was unreal. I looked to the west and there it came, a stunning White-tailed Eagle! The best views I’ve ever had, including on the Isle of Mull.
I couldn’t believe it when I checked my watch and it was just after 11 a.m.
The rest of the day was spent exploring for future trips.
By the end of the day I had walked miles and was pretty tired and de-hydrated but what a day!

Day 4 – day off

Day 5 – Ega Engso

Ega Engso is a former natural lake which was drained for farming and then re-flooded in 2006.
On arrival at the car park we were greeted with a Black Kite drifting west. It was joined by a Goshawk which came up from the forest and the Black Kite left quickly to the west. As Black Kites are rare in Demark I am assuming this was the same bird I saw at Arslev Engso two days ago.
As we walked round the lake, there were thousands of Tufties, Greylag and Mute Swan. Suddenly they all lifted with the same cacophony of noise as two days ago. Same result an adult White-Tailed Eagle came over from the NW and caused absolute chaos. It did 4 passes over the next hour or so then moved off to the SE.
About 30 minutes later another one appeared from the NW but it was a different bird this time, a sub-adult. It hung around for about 20 minutes before moving off SE.
There were a few waders about the lake as well Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper.
On the way back to the car park, we passed the reedy end of the lake and picked up Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler and one Bearded Tit.

Day 6 – Heading north to Skagen
On the way north we stopped off at Rold Skov forest. Unfortunately, the heavens decided to open up and we bailed out. This was a pity because the forest looked absolutely stunning.
We continued north and stopped off at Old Skagen Church, which has been buried over the centuries by the shifting sand dunes. Now only the tower is showing. It was more of a stop for refreshments but managed to get Chaffinch and a stunning Red-Breasted Flycatcher!

Day 7 – Skagen/Grenen
Grenen is a large sand spit at the northernmost tip of Denmark where the Skagerrak meets the Kattegat (or the North Sea meets the outlet of the Baltic. It is teeming with seabirds.
We took the Sandormen (Sand Worm) which is essentially a tractor and enclosed trailer which takes you from the end of the road to Grenen over the dunes and beach.
At the tip of Denmark we got Gannet, Razorbill, Sandwich Tern, Velvet Scoter, Common Scoter, Eider, Great Northern Diver, Red-Throated Diver, Arctic Skua, Sanderling, Ringed Plover and a Sooty Shearwater. We had a very good day in very hot conditions. There were a few things way offshore that we couldn’t identify but c’est la vie!
On the way back we stopped off at the Skagen Gra Fyr (Centre for migratory birds) and had a delicious if expensive late lunch. Nearby there is a conifer plantation which was absolutely alive with Common Crossbills.

Day 8 – Skagen/Grenen
We decided to explore the scrub/conifer plantations and heathlands in the interior of the headland. We had just starting along the trail when a Honey Buzzard drifted over giving very good views. There were apparently c.14 in the area.
We carried on getting loads of Common Crossbill and Yellowhammer. I was then checking out another Crossbill and realised it had two prominent white wing bars, a Two-Barred Crossbill, another lifer! A local birder had told us to watch out for them although he called them White Winged Crossbill. We ended up seeing a few amongst the dozens of Common Crossbill. Apparently there had been a bit of an invasion came over from Sweden and beyond. (On our return home, we found out some had arrived on Shetlands).
We are travelling back to Aarhus tonight.

Day 8 – Ega Engso
I returned to Ega Engso for the last afternoon.
Much quieter than a few days ago got a single Black-Necked Grebe and a Peregrine to finish off.
We have an early start tomorrow, 4 hours by train to Copenhagen then the flight home. Looking forward to next year though following the initial recce!
 



 
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Bluebill  excellent report , good to read of your experiences,
me starting again with camera which i had not used for some time, nothing good enough to post as yet but one lives in hope

 

hopefully we will see more people posting on the site

the eagle
 



 
wildfire Send private message
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Post Re: Denmark 2017 
 
stunning birding Bluebill, well done.

Imagine how well you'll do next year if this was just a recce??
 



 
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