January and February 2011

Northern LapwingThe swans from December 2010, two adult Whooper and two young Mute (Geir Mobakken, Atle Grimsby), lingered over new year. Eleven Greylag Geese were also birds from last year.

On 2nd January a Water Rail was heard in the big ditch.

Otherwise, only a few species are present after the cold spell from before new year: one Northern Lapwing, one Bohemian Waxwing, some Fieldfares, one Redwing and a flock of some 50 Common Redpolls. As last winter, Winter Wren was hardly present.

One of the Mute Swans was found dead after a few days.

Towards the end of the month Peregrine Falcon, Song Thrush, Eurasian Bullfinch and Yellowhammer turned up, and the first Eurasian Curlew of the year was logged.

A Red-throated Loon on 27th January was an unusual winter visitor for Utsira.

February was not dissimilar to January with birds being thin on the ground despite bare fields and altogether quite different conditions than last winter.

Pink-footed gooseOn 5th February 116 Black-legged Kittiwakes and three Little Auks were counted on migration. A Northern Harrier was showing the same day.

The year´s first Common Redshank arrived the day after. A Peregrine on 10th February was followed by a Merlin on the 20th.

Meanwhile the first White-tailed Eagle for the year was seen on the 12th. Five Eurasian Skylarks on the 14th was also the first for the year; they built up into a maximum of 30 during the month.

Eurasian Woodcock and Common Snipe (the first on the 13th) was scarcer than last winter, despite or because of less snow cover. Again there were two Whooper Swans on the 15th.

A Mistle Thrush was in the eastern part of the isle on the 19th.

The flock of geese have only involved Greylags, with up to 40 birds, until three Pink-footed Geese made for a variation on the 22nd.

With a change in weather from a long and cold SE to mild, the last weekend of February gave some birds: Red-breasted Merganser, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Lapwing (21), Dunlin (6), Common Blackbird (100), Mistle Thrush (3), Red Crossbill and Snow Bunting.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker on the last day of the period under review was probably a bird from last year.

Photos: Sveinung Larsen.