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Situated at the northernmost tip of Denmark, Skagen is well-known as a migration watchpoint and popular with birders from all over Scandinavia.
The most productive time is mid-April to late-May with large movements of birds in periods of easterly winds.
Passerines form the bulk of the migrants but raptors commonly seen in numbers include Honey Buzzard, Marsh Harrier and Hen Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard and Rough-legged Buzzard and Osprey.
Along this coast divers are fairly common, as are sea-ducks, gulls and terns and flocks of grounded passerines can be seen virtually anywhere along the sandy beaches or on the extensive dunes, but particularly on the extreme tip of the peninsula. Glaucous Gull and Iceland Gull often occur in the harbour. Crested Lark formerly bred around the harbour, but is unfortunately now extinct in the region.
Like all well-watched migration spots, scarcer species and rarities are frequently seen in the Skagen area and include Great Northern Diver and Yellow-billed Diver, Golden Eagle and White-tailed Eagle, Three-toed Woodpecker, European Bee-eater and Golden Oriole.
Spring migration generally produces more variety and interest than autumn. More than 340 species have been recorded at Skagen including Denmark's first Great Knot in October 1987.
Birds you can see here include:
Red-throated Diver, Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Yellow-billed Diver, Little Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Northern Gannet, White Stork, Whooper Swan, Greylag Goose, Common Shelduck, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Greater Scaup, Common Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Goosander, European Honey Buzzard, Red Kite, Black Kite, White-tailed Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Northern Goshawk, Common Buzzard, Rough-legged Buzzard, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Merlin, Northern Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Grey Partridge, Common Quail, Common Pheasant, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Corncrake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Crane, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Eurasian Dotterel, Eurasian Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Sanderling, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Eurasian Woodcock, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Pomarine Skua, Arctic Skua, Long-tailed Skua, Great Skua, Little Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Iceland Gull, Glaucous Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Little Tern, Black Tern, Common Guillemot, Razorbill, Stock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, Barn Owl, Short-eared Owl, Long-eared Owl, European Nightjar, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Wryneck, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Wood Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Horned Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Richard's Pipit, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Water Pipit, Rock Pipit, Grey-headed Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Bohemian Waxwing, Common Wren, Dunnock, Eurasian Robin, Thrush Nightingale, Bluethroat, Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Barred Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Bearded Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Marsh Tit, Crested Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Great Grey Shrike, Common Jay, Common Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Hooded Crow, Northern Raven, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Siskin, Eurasian Linnet, Twite, Northern Redpoll, Lesser Redpoll, Arctic Redpoll, Common Crossbill, Parrot Crossbill, Common Rosefinch, Common Bullfinch, Hawfinch, Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting, Yellowhammer, Ortolan Bunting, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting
Areas of Interest
To the west of the town of Skagen is a hill called Flagbakken from which many migrants can be seen and in conifer plantations around it can be found European Nightjar, Wood Lark, Tawny Pipit and Crested Tit.
Access and Facilities
There is a youth hostel just west of Skagen and a campsite to the northeast where birders meet and exchange information. Skagen can be reached by taking the Frederikshavn road from the city of Alborg, then turning north to Skagen on the Route 40 road.
Content and images originally posted by Steve