The month started with 40 Eurasian Skylarks. On the 4th a Great Northern Loon was in the north haven, and a Eurasian Coot (Geir Mobakken) took up residence in the Måkskitmyre lake. This species has in several ways a similar status on Utsira as Mute Swan (see review for December 2010) and it was the first record since 2006.
Forty Long-tailed Ducks were logged, also on the 4th. The Great Spotted Woodpecker from February showed in flight on the 6th. A Red-breasted Merganser was seen on the 8th. A Coal Tit on the 12th is probably an overlooked bird from last year, just like the woodpecker.
At the lake the Coot had got company of a Common Goldeneye on the 12th. A Lapland Longspur on the same day was an early one. Four Mistle Thrushes and two Yellowhammers were at large from the 13th. The year´s first White Wagtail alba came on the 14th and the same goes for Eurasian Stonechat.
White-tailed Eagle is regularly seen sitting on the small island just south of the main island, most probably prospecting for a future breeding place. Totally harmless, it is most unpopular among the local seabirds (like the Northern Fulmar pictured here) not understanding the bird´s intention.
The first Common Kestrel of the year turned up on the 15th, and a Stock Dove have been on the wing since the 17th. A good count of Mistle Thrushes were 14 on the 16th.
On Saturday 19th March it was voluntary communal work with removal of small and larger spruce trees in the northern part of the island. It was a co-operation between Utsira municipality (with Arnstein Eek being the initiator) and Utsira Bird Observatory. A dozen men worked hard for several hours, and made way for a little more original natural landscape by the end of the day.
Birdwise, this weekend gave among other things Water Rail, Rook, Eurasian Bullfinch and Yellowhammer.
A Common Buzzard flew over on the 21st, barely annual on Utsira it has not been seen in spring since 2004.
The year´s first Grey Wagtail appeared on the 22nd as did two Pied Wagtails on the 25th.
A larger bird was a Common Crane (Atle Grimsby) passsing the isle on the 27th.
European Golden Plover and Lesser Black-backed Gull were also new for the year in this period. A new Stonechat arrived on the 29th, the same day as a Ruddy Turnstone was seen, however the spring migration never really came into full swing in March.
Photos: Atle Grimsby, Sveinung Larsen and Jan Kåre Ness.