Thursday, July 22, 2010

Immobilising sanderlings

Last week I joined my colleague Jannik to go up the mountain and check some bird nests. On our way we saw the Lapland bunting pair (first breeding record in Zackenberg) and later a sanderling was behaving suspiciously. We waited at a distance and discovered a young bird moving. Jannik ran to catch it while I stayed back and followed it in my binoculars. I was a little distracted as another young started to move in my binocular field but luckily Jannik did not loose his bird. I ran forward, caught the other bird by trowing my cap over it and Jannik caught yet another one. With three young caught we started to supply them with rings and take blood samples. Each bird was supplied with a metal ring from the danish natural history museum and five coloured plastic rings in individual combinations following a scheme setup by the dutch bird-man Jeroen Jeneerkens. The adult bird circled around us and I got amble opportunities to take photos. We later found out that this bird was actually one caught in 2009 and named "Lars" after me. It was seen in France early this year. As we were almost finished, we saw something moving about 15-20m from us. It was the last young of the brood and I managed to catch it again using the cap. It was great to get the full brood and nice to spend the day on the mountain with Jannik.