November 2011

Eurasian Hoopoe (Eivind Sande)1st–15th November

The month opened with some late records, a Yellow Wagtail on the 1st, one to two Northern Wheatears on the 2nd and a Whinchat on the 6th.

One of the Long-tailed Tits from October was retrapped on the 2nd. Same day saw the first Western Jackdaw of the autumn; it increased to twenty a week later.

A ringtail Northern Harrier had a rest in the northern fields on the 2nd while autumn´s second adult male appeared on the 10th.

Yellow-browed Warblers appeared in unprecedented numbers early in the month with four birds up to the 6th. The species is far from annual in November.

The 6th gave three rare birds: First a Bean Goose fabalis (Geir Mobakken et al.) on the wing in the north before finally settling down, barely annual on Utsira. Next a Eurasian Hoopoe (Sveinung Larsen et al.) was found in a garden in Herberg, the second this year after a bird in May. It moved towards the ringing forests where everyone had great views. Last out was an Olive-backed Pipit (Geir Mobakken), seen and heard in Herberg in the evening.

Little Auk (Nigel Goodgame)For both the Hoopoe and the Olive-backed Pipit it is the latest ever occurrences on Utsira, and at the same time the first for November.

With the Bean Goose the record for number of species in a year was broken, previously 210 species in 1996.

Meanwhile, the Wood Lark stayed until the 6th. A Two-barred Crossbill the same day.

Up to five Eurasian Woodcocks was trapped and ringed in a day in the beginning of the month.

Perhaps the most peculiar catch in the ringing forests all year was a Little Auk on the 4th.

The bird walked the canals and could be picked up by a little surprised ringer in charge.

November delivered nicely on the 8th with a male Pine Bunting (Geir Mobakken) north of the lighthouse, one of the rarest birds of the autumn with just one previous record on Utsira, also in November.

Owling in this period did not produce the sought-after pygmy but instead a couple of Long-eared Owls.

Great Grey Shrike (Sveinung Larsen)An adult male Black Redstart and a Hawfinch on the 10th. A Great Grey Shrike stayed put until the 12th.

On the 11th the first Richard´s Pipit for a while flew over. A late Wheatear appeared.

Other quality birds this day included Rough-legged Buzzard, Long-eared and Short-eared Owls, Mistle Thrush and Two-barred Crossbill.

On the 9th seawatching on the east gave among other things six Bean Geese, four Barnacle Geese, two Great Northern Loons, one hundred plus Little Auks, but first and foremost 26 Common Goldeneyes that together with two resting birds almost tripled the previous record.

Obviously the wildfowl were on the move and it continued in fine style next day with three Whooper Swans, one Greater White-fronted Goose albifrons (the first since 2009), two Common Pochards (Øystein B. Nilsen) migrating on the east, and a Little Grebe in the north haven (the year´s first).

Greater Scaup (Sveinung Larsen)More refill on the 11th with 18 Brant Geese bernicla, the White-front had increased to 28, the Whooper Swans to six while the Little Grebe became three.

Expansion on the same theme on the 12th: Bean Goose rossicus 26 and two local rarities in the shape of Northern Pintail and Greater Scaup.

Next day the White-fronts had increased to 38, the Scaup to six while Common Merganser was added to the list. A Little Gull foraged in the north harbour.

The end of the duck galore was a Pochard near the north harbour on the 14th, found dead by Geir Mobakken.

One of the Yellow-browed Warblers caught earlier in the month stayed at least to the 15th. In the same period a warbler in Herberg on the 13th was seen too briefly by Sveinung Larsen, and not confirmed until the next day as a Hume´s Leaf Warbler (Geir Mobakken, Bjørn Ove Høyland).

The last day of the period under review gave the autumn´s first Stock Dove and also a Two-barred Crossbill.

Two-barred Crossbill (Øystein B Nilsen)Hume´s Leaf Warbler (Øystein B Nilsen)

Here follows a gallery with some highlights of the period, with focus on the wildfowl:

Hoopoe

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Whooper Swanalt

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