Sunday, 1 June 2008

Barn door and a crake

This weekend I hooked up with a couple of Danish birders to go to see (or, more accurately, to hear) the LITTLE CRAKE that has been present for a few days in Langeland, one of Denmark's "southern isles". It's a gorgeous island with some great beaches, fantastic rolling green countryside, beautiful meadows and traditional farms (we bought some local strawberries to munch on the way and I have to say they were gorgeous). It's not surprising that so many Danes have "summer houses" there. On the way to Langeland, we stopped off at a small wetland on the west of Sjaelland, called Lejsø, where we found two BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPERS. It was at Lejsø that I also saw my first Danish ICTERINE WARBLER (they are reasonably common here in the right habitat). The LITTLE CRAKE gave itself up pretty easily by calling within 30 second of us arriving (amazingly there were no other birders on site when we arrived!). Unfortunately seeing it was never going to happen - there are no hides, the site is private and the vegetation is very high. So we contented ourselves with several more bursts of its "song" before heading home.

To cap a good weekend, I saw my first WHITE-TAILED EAGLE (also known as a flying barn door due to its huge size and broad wings) at my local patch - Kongelunden. Brucey bonus on the way home was a female RED-BACKED SHRIKE hunting from bushes near Sydvestpynten. Danish total now on 197 (and still no Grey Partridge).