Posted by: orcaweb | September 27, 2009

Migration season

The calm seas have brought with it some great sightings of porpoise recently from the Dana Sierna with a group of 3-4 animals moving close to the boat on the last 2 departures from Esbjerg port.  The Ferry is an ideal high  platform for viewing and we could even see the white on the porpoise bellies!

The warm weather has lead us to venture further into the wildlife habitats of the Island Fano which we visit each trip with orca passengers.  Fano the most northern Finsish island in the Wadden Sea is due to become part of the National Park in 2010.

With one group we saw a spotted flycatcher, a common lizard, a sparrowhawk and lots of Fritilliary butterflies including the High Brown which is large with a spotty pattern.

More butterflies followed the next hot walk over the dune system of Fano with migrant Painted ladies and  Red admirals still on the wing alongside the resident Small tortoiseshell and Brimstones.

The last trip we took the longest walk yet and were rewarded with a close encouter with two doe Roe deer.  These animals still had there summer red backs and with the rut just ending a stag may have been nearby.

The numbers of Northern migrants passing through the Southern North Sea are increasing with up to 10 Eiders spotted near the island, bartailed Godwits and other visiting wading birds flocking to the mud flats to feed.

The most exciting event for me is by far being a witness to the East-West and North-South Migrations.  The first flocks of Brent geese are viewed flying high over the Ferry and small migrants including a grey wagtail, meadow pipet and a garden flycatcher hitching a ride on board for our East to West voyage!  Having the opportunity to watch these birds land on the top deck early in the mornings, probably tired from their journey, often taken in the darkness for safety from day predators.  And then to see them take off with their first sense of land on the other side towards  the South is a very special sight to see.

The migration season continues with mid and late migrants due to start their journey.  ORCA are marking this event with a special 2 day trip to Fano at the beginning of October to witness the passage of these birds and learn more about their migrations.


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