May 2011

Montagu´s Harrier 1st–15th May

May opened with the second Common Crane (Jostein Austevik, Sveinung Larsen, Øystein B. Nilsen) of the spring.

The year´s first Wood Warbler the next day. The party of five Eurasian Tree Sparrows from April lingered into May.

Peregrine Falcon and Merlin also stayed put and were seen almost every day in the period under review. Fifteen Barnacle Geese passed the isle as did the odd Whimbrel.

An eastern Common Chiffchaff was seen and heard near the ringing forest on the 3rd. Despite French eating habits, an Ortolan Bunting was seen on the 5th. A European Goldfinch the next day.

The 7th turned out as a classic Utsira day. With the wind in the east and a rise in temperature, the scene was set. A lot of birds in the field and in the nets, and more pair of eyes than usual gave the birds few opportunities to escape detection.

A Western Marsh Harrier flew past the ringing forests, two Ortolans were trapped/seen the same place, four Cranes (Trond Ove Stakkeland et al.) moved slowly over, Eurasian Hobby, European Turtle Dove and Wood Warbler turned up, the small bang came in the shape of Utsira´s third Montagu´s Harrier (Mark Thomson et al.) when an adult male did show for a few well placed, this one also in the ringing area, and as if that weren´t  enough, a Eurasian Golden Oriole was trapped in the evening.

Eurasian Golden Oriole The next day still produced new species, like Wood Sandpiper, Short-eared Owl and Eurasian Reed Warbler and also six–seven Yellow Wagtails thunbergi.

A presumed new Marsh Harrier appeared on the 9th, the first Common Cuckoo of the year and a Goldfinch were seen, 146 birds were ringed.

More locally rare birds of prey on the 10th when a European Honey Buzzard (Geir Mobakken) flew by, rapidly followed by a Great Snipe, only the second spring record for Utsira.

The very same spot played host to another locally rare bird the next day, in the form of Utsira´s sixth Corn Bunting (Geir Mobakken, Atle Grimsby).

A smart male Black Redstart and a Yellow Wagtail flavissima were the best birds the next few days.

On the 14th a Eurasian Hoopoe (Geir Mobakken) had the good fortune to show up. This sparkling gem is surprisingly scarce on Utsira, and this is the first occurrence since 2002. It also constituted the first one in May for the island.

At the very end of this period the first Bluethroats for the year arrived, as did ten Carrion Crows and a Goldfinch.

Here follows a selection of photos from the first half of May:

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At times it was quite crowded in the ringing area this May. Two of our most ardent ringers, Truls W. Andersen and Jostein Austevik, displayed one treat after the other on Saturday 7th:

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