The swan and general update

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We’re now at 1114 birds of 71 different species, of which 95 individuals of 40 species have had at least one louse, though most of the lice from passerines are Menacanthus. Heidi, who is irreplaceable in the lab in Utah, has proven to be a formidable help here as well, but I suppose no one who knows her is really surprised.

Top ten birds searched (# birds / # with lice):
Robin Erithacus rubecula (154 / 2)
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus (133 / 1)
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca (105 / 1)
White Wagtail Motacilla alba (76 / 1)
Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus (69 / 0)
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata (49 / 1)
Tree Sparrow Passer montanus (42 / 7)
Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis (39 / 0)
Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio (38 / 9)
Garden Warbler Sylvia borin (36 / 3)

The most exciting birds caught the last few days have been some Dunnocks Prunella modularis, several Rock Pipits Anthus petrosus, and some Meadow Pipits Anthus pratensis. And then there was the swan.

Juho (a bander from Finland who is here for the autumn) was emptying the wader cages, when he noticed that there was a Mute Swan Cygnus olor in a small pond near here, and he asked if we could catch it, as he had seen that it was banded, and recaptures is more or less what banding is all about. After some discussion, Barbara, Heidi, Juho, and Johanna went out to try to catch the swan. So they put on waders and set off:

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The swan was in this little pond (here with Barbara approaching it):

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She did the traditional “imitate-a-swan” dance:

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Heidi, meanwhile, got stuck in the mud:

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And had to be helped by Johanna:

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(I was only wearing slippers, so I couldn’t help!). Johanna then got stuck, so Heidi had to drag her out, with the predictable result that Heidi got stuck again:

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Meanwhile, Juho and Barbara caught the swan:

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As we walked back to the lab, I did my main contribution to the catch that day (Goldcrest Regulus regulus):

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Thus this, the smallest and largest flying birds in Sweden (or one of the largest, at least):

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We searched the swan (which turned out to have been banded in Lithuania!) manually, with great success! We found several Trinoton, enormous amounts of Ornithobius, plenty of Anatoecus, but no Anaticola or other lice. Here are some pictures of Heidi collecting lice:

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And some swan poses with Barbara and Heidi:

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