Monthly report: September 2016
General: coverage and weather
Average temperature was 15.4 degC, 3.8 degC over the normal. Highest temperature was 22.8 degC (15th), and lowest was 8.9 degC (30th). Total rainfall was 75.5mm. The most rainfall in one day was 28.8mm (23rd). Highest wind speed was 27.1 m/s (29th).
September is the warm-up to October and normally a good month in terms of coverage and number of species. September 2016 was a little below average. The months list ended on 21 species versus 133 species in 2015.
September is normally a good month for raptors, but with only six species noted this was a below average total. One to two White-tailed Eagles were noted between the 16th and 21st.
15 Sparrowhawk were noted on the 7th, otherwise low numbers with between one and five individuals of Sparrowhawk and Kestrel between the 5th and 30th. The local Peregrines were present throughout. A Goshawk on the 19th and an Osprey over Klopp on the 5th were the other highlights.
The most productive days were the first and last days of the month. The 1st was clearly the best day with good passage both morning and afternoon. Totals for the day were 51 Manx Shearwater, 31 Sooty Shearwater, a Leach’s Petrel, 4 Great Skua, an Arctic Skua, 156 Fulmar and 125 Gannet. The 30th produced two Sooty Shearwater, two Red-throated Diver, 15 Guillemot and a few Gannet and Fulmar.
The Coot present in the inner harbour of Nordvikvågen from August was present until the 9th. One or two Water Rail were noted on several dates in Merkeskogen between the 14th and 20th and at the rubbish tip from the 26th until months end. It was also a good month for calidris waders on Pedleneset, West and on Spannholmane. A visit to Spannholmane on the 5th produced 45 Turnstone, 20 Sanderling, 10 Dunlin, 10 Purple Sandpiper, 4 Knot, and a Little Stint.
A flyover and vocal Temmincks’ Stint on the 2nd, and one or two Ruff until 24th were also noteworthy. Bar-tailed Godwit were also noted in good numbers with 10 on Spannholmane on the 5th, single records on the main island and 14 passed Pedleneset on the 10th.
The years second Turtle Dove was found at Austre plantning on the 26th and was still present at the end of the month. The only Wryneck was noted at Kutre on the 1st. Two Olive-backed Pipits were recorded in Herberg and other locations on the 28th and 30th. A minimum of five different Barred Warbler were noted between the 10th and 16th with two on the 16th. The years first Yellow-browed Warbler appeared on the 14th, peaking at 17 on the 20th. Birds were seen daily between the 14th and 30th, with between three and ten individuals.
Red-breasted Flycatcher were also well represented with a long stayer in Herberg from the 6th to 10th and a total of 10 different birds between the 1st and 30th. Common Rosefinch were fewer with one in Merkeskogen on the 7th and one in the north on the 9th and 10th. There was an impressive catch of Little Bunting in Merkeskogen as well as birds in the field, with between 10 and 15 different birds involved in the period 8th to 26th.
The most notable passerines of the month were the Collared Flycatcher in Herberg on the 28th, a Lanceolated Warbler in the reed bed by the cemetery on the 30th and a House Sparrow at various location in the north on the 30th.
Good coverage in Merkeskogen with 18 days of ringing resulting in 466 ringed birds of 29 species. Best day was the 22nd when 65 birds were ringed, of which Blackcap (28), Goldcrest (14) and Song Thrush (10) were the most numerous species. The most notable species to be ringed were; eight Little Bunting, seven Yellow-browed Warbler, three Red-breasted Flycatcher, two Barred Warbler, a Lanceolated Warbler, Common Rosefinch and Treecreeper.
There were twelve new species for the year in September: Temmincks’ Stint (2nd), Little Stint (5th), Lapland Bunting (7th), Little Bunting (8th), Barred Warbler and Grey Plover (10th), House Sparrow and Yellow-browed Warbler (14th), Treecreeper (22nd), Collared Flycatcher and Olive-backed Pipit (28th) and Lanceolated Warbler (31st).
The Collared Flycatcher was the fifth record and first autumn record for Utsira, the last in May 2014. Sixth record of Lanceolated Warbler, the last in October 2009. Tenth record of Temminck’s Stint, the last in September 2011.
Here a selection of the September birds: