French word of the day: aulne = alder
A few weeks ago, I visited with a friend the quiet town of Køge. 40 km south of Copenhagen, on the coast, there is a long beach to the south, and a harbour busy with construction work.
We wandered along sleepy streets at sunrise, spotting a female Smew (Mergellus albellus) in the canal, and reached the beach soon after.
There, we looked for Horned larks (Eremophila alpestris), but we weren’t lucky. This stupid dog-owner letting her stupid dog chase the gulls on the shore turned my mood from happy to very angry, so we proceeded north. Some Greater scaups (Aythya marila) were reported in the harbour, and thanks to the precise indications on DOFbasen, we found them pretty easily. We didn’t even get lost once!
There were at least a hundred birds, male and females, resting with Tufted ducks (Aythya fuligula) in an artificial pool. Trucks drove by regularly, but it didn’t seem to bother them, nor did it bother the Goosanders (Mergus merganser).
We then walked to the marina, spotting grebes, goosanders and eiders. The special treat of the day was the flock of Eurasian siskins (Spinus spinus) we caught in an alder.
Anecdote of the day: the French word for the siskin is Tarin des aulnes, which roughly translates to “alder siskin”… and indeed, we often see them feeding in alders!