DOF’s Mikkel took me to a new place last week-end. The presentation said “possible Long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis) and rare gulls”. As you can imagine, the prospect of nice birds on a sunny day proppelled me out of bed early this day, and I arrived to Mosede Strand before sunrise, the meeting time being 8 am. The sky, partly clouded, was purple, but as the sun rose behind a thick haze, it turned to pink then orange instead. Glorious Danish sunrise.
This morning was cold, and the winter sun did not really warm us when it finally emerged. In the sea, a large flock of Common goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula) was slowly awaking, but there was no sign of Long-tailed duck. We walked along Mosede Strand, first in the wood then on the beach, observing flocks of Eurasian siskin (Spinus spinus), a lone Common redpoll (Acanthis flammea) and a host of usual suspects (wrens, tits, blackbirds…).
Our stroll took us to Mosede Havn, a small fishing harbour, where we looked for Caspian gulls (Larus cachinnans). We couldn’t find any among the many birds sitting on poles inside the harbour, but we were surprised by the advent of a Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) flying above the water. It landed on a beam under a pier and stayed long enough for us to admire it with the scope. What a joy!
Looking to the north, Mikkel finally found a Caspian gull! Black eyed, with a head completely white (others adult gulls like the Herring gull (Larus argentatus) show a streaked pattern in winter), it was floating on the water among gulls from other species. A nice addition came in the form of Long-tailed ducks flying over the horizon, far far away from us. Therefore, mission accomplished for us, even though this last sighting was done from a distance. Birds were not swarming in this location, but it was nice to spend some time with fellow birders. The morning after saw me birdwatching in Amager, with sightings of all sizes… but that’s the story for another day 😉