October 2011

Western Bonelli´s Warbler1st–15th October

Much weather in this period too but Utsira always deliver birds including rare ones in the beginning of October, this year being no exception.

The opening days gave the usual species, like Jack Snipe, Richard´s Pipit, Barred Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Mistle Thrush, Great Grey Shrike, Common Rosefinch and Little Bunting.

Good day tallies came in the shape of 31 Yellow-browed Warblers and six Hawfinches on the 2nd and 12 Jack Snipes on the 3rd.

After being absent earlier in the year Grey Plover was logged every day from the 1st to 4th.

Up to 15 Sooty and two Manx Shearwaters in a day also entered the log in the first days of the month.

Olive-backed PipitFollowing a couple of candidates an Olive-backed Pipit (Jon Ludvig Hals, Kendt Myrmo, Øystein B. Nilsen) was eventually seen and photographed in the evening of the 2nd.

The species was logged almost every day until the 11th.

With several not successful attempts at trapping owls earlier in the autumn we got them at last on the night of 2nd/3rd.

Before midnight a Boreal Owl was in the net and early in the morning a Short-eared Owl was soon followed by a Long-eared. The Boreal was the first since 2005.

Short-eared Owl was very much in evidence these days with up to six birds on the 4th.

Highlight of the 3rd came in the form of a Western Bonelli´s Warbler (Morten Vang, Tore Vang et al.), a bird that later sat in the net. The second this autumn! See the report for the first half of September for status.

Later in the day the new species Siberian Stonechat was sighted in the east (Geir Kristensen, Even Mjaaland et al.).

A Great Snipe was flushed in the northern fields on the 4th.

Barnacle Geese migrated past on the 6th with a 500 strong flock, while three Whooper Swans did the same the day after.

Radde´s WarblerA Radde´s Warbler (Sveinung Larsen et al.) found in a net (in Herberg) on the 8th, after several days with northerly gales, is a timely reminder that phenology is paramount to meteorology when it comes to the occurrence of rare birds.

Four out of six Radde´s on Utsira have appeared in the period 5th–8th October.

On the 9th, in gale and torrential rain, a Dusky Warbler (Håkon Heggland) was seen briefly in Herberg. A Wood Lark stayed for some days from the same date.

Three Velvet Scoters and three Sooty Shearwaters passed the headland on the 10th, the former the rarest one on Utsira by a large margin. Four Great Grey Shrikes ended up in the log the same day.

On the first round in the nets on the 10th a Boreal Owl was found trapped, this time ironically with no sound having been played. It had already been ringed, at Lista lighthouse, Vest-Agder earlier this autumn.

Bluethroat trapped the same day is a rare capture for Utsira.

The 13th was to be the first day in October with settled weather. It was primarily raptors that appreciated the fine weather and during the day one White-tailed Eagle, eight Northern Harriers, one Northern Goshawk, seven Eurasian Sparrowhawks, three Common Buzzards, eight Rough-legged Buzzards (the first this year) and one Peregrine Falcon appeared.

Owls also put in an appearance with three Boreal Owls (plus a retrap of the bird from the 2nd) and one Long-eared Owl trapped in the ringing forests the following night.

Boreal Owl

At the dump a southern birder was shocked to see a Rosefinch being killed by a rat.

Three Sooty Shearwaters and one Pomarine Skua passed the western seaboard on the 14th. The same day three species of crossbill showed in the ringing forests, while Barred Warbler and Red-breasted Flycatcher were trapped.

On the ultimate day of the period under review Short-eared Owl, Richard´s Pipit and Black Redstart were among the species seen, and an amazing 250 plus Eurasian Blackcaps were ringed.

Here is a nice gallery with highlights of the period:

Olive-backed Pipit

Western Bonelli´s Warbler

Richard´s Pipit

Bluethroat

Long-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

Boreal Owl

Yellow-browed Warbler

Great Grey Shrike

Ultimately we thank Jan Kåre Ness for great efforts in our Board of directors the last years, and here is a fine selection of his photos from this period:

Western Bonelli´s Warbler

Common Redstart

Olive-backed Pipit

Yellow-browed Warbler

Great-spotted woodpecker

Jan Kåre Ness / jknblogg.blogspot.com