June 2011

alt1st–15th June

The European Bee-eater stayed until the 3rd, first time around (to be continued).

Meanwhile, Eurasian Golden Oriole was something of a key species in this period. It was logged most days in the first half of June, always a female type, and not necessarily involving more than one bird.

One day it was seen going to roost in a garden in the north of the island, one metre from your narrator´s bedroom window. On the 8th a Golden Oriole was trapped in the ringing forest.

Turning to the sea, a Great Northern Loon passed the north headland on the 1st, to be followed next day by four Manx Shearwaters and one Great Skua.

A Bluethroat on the 3rd. Ortolan Bunting continued a fine spring showing with a male in the period 4th–7th, also heard singing.

altSlightly surprising given the prevailing northerlies was the discovery of a Blyth´s Reed Warbler (Sveinung Larsen et al.) on the afternoon of the 5th.

In the wake, birds were heard singing different places, with the arising problem of estimating the numbers. As a starting point, it is well known that rare birds on Utsira tend to be found in the north before being relocated in the southeast, with so-called pin-ball movements later, something that is also described in the literature.

On the 7th the wind was again from the east, and with it came new migrants: four Marsh Warblers, seven Icterine Warblers, a Eurasian Stonechat of the year coming from god knows where, a Black Redstart, the spring´s second Red-breasted Flycatcher and six Common Rosefinches.

A better than average spring for raptors on Utsira gave one more European Honey Buzzard (Øystein B. Nilsen, Geir Mobakken) on the 8th, seen going down in the ringing forest at six o´clock in the morning before flying east.

altThe same day had a late Redwing, two Red-backed Shrikes and 58 Red Crossbills.

Next day the same or another Honey Buzzard was seen (repeated on the 12th), the same goes for a Bee-eater staying to the end of the period. Wood Sandpiper and Bluethroat on the 9th and 10th, respectively.

A ´nightwatch´ on 10th/11th produced a Common Quail (Geir Mobakken), heard advertising in the southeastern part of the isle.

The 11th finally gave the year´s first Subalpine Warbler (Øystein B. Nilsen, Truls W. Andersen et al.), found trapped in the ringing forest.

Outwith the ringing area it was almost as good with Black Redstart, Blyth´s Reed Warbler, Wood Warbler (Utsira´s latest in spring), Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Rosefinch and Hawfinch.

The potentially best bird though was a Yellow Wagtail in the northern fields showing the characters of the subspecies lutea (Geir Mobakken et al.).

altThis Central Asian form of Yellow Wagtail has not previously been recorded in Norway.

For a change, a Eurasian Hobby showed well to all present on the 12th.

Again, the ringing forests was the place to be on the 13th. In the north plantation two nationally rare birds sat side by side in the net when Sveinung Larsen and Øystein B. Nilsen was doing the trap-round: Great Reed Warbler and Firecrest.

This is the fourth and eleventh record for Utsira, respectively and also the first records for June.

Single Red-throated and Great Northern Loons plus two Great Skuas flew past on the 14th.

On the last day of this period, Bar-tailed Godwit appeared for the first time this year.

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Here are the two amazing "doubles" from the first half of June plus some more:

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