Monthly report October 2017
General: coverage and weather
Average temperature was 10.8 degC, 1.4 degC over normal. Highest temperature was 14.7 degC (1st), and lowest 4.8 degC (30th). Total rainfall was 258.4 mm. Most rainfall in one day was 58.2 mm (1st). Highest wind speed was 27.7 m/s (29th). There were a total of 151 different species during October, slightly over the previous year when there were 148 species.
Nine different raptor species is what one would expect in a month associated with passage and good coverage. Up to two female type Hen Harriers from September were noted until the 4th as well as an older female between the 12th and 19th. A single Merlin was reported on the 8th and three Rough-legged Buzzard together the day after, followed by another single on the 20th.
A Goshawk passed through quickly on the 9th and Kestrel were noted daily with one to two birds until the 18th while Sparrowhawk were reported with between one and seven birds throughout the month. Otherwise the local White-tailed Eagle and Peregrine Falcon were noted. A large young female Gyrfalcon arrived on the 30th and took out a Barnacle Goose, still feeding on its pray the following day at Skare.
New geese normally arrive during the month of October: three Brent Geese were noted passing on the 1st and a further single was noted in Sørevågen between the 18th and 22nd. Two to four Pink-footed Geese were present between the 2nd and 26th. Barnacle Geese arrived on the 7th and various flocks with a maximum of 24 birds were note don the 19th, followed by a more stable flock of 15 birds until the end of the month. Two Greylags arrived on the 18th, followed by 5 until the end of the month. As in September Teal were well reported until the middle of the month with a maximum of 17 birds on the 1st. A Shoveler was noted on passage in the west the same day and a female Pintail at the same locality the following day.
The 3rd, 4th and 7th were the best days for passage days of seabirds. A Sooty Shearwater was noted on the 3rd and five birds on the 4th. Red-throated Diver were recorded with a maximum of 77 on the 4th and Great-northern Diver with a maximum of nine on the 7th. Over 900 Guillemot passed on the 4th, the first Little Auk, seven on the 7th from the west, while 130 Auks were noted on the 30th.
Two Pomarine Skua and 15 Great Skua were also noted on passage on the 4th from the west. The maximum Gannet numbers were on the 8th when 300 birds were noted, while the best numbers of Kittiwake and Fulmar were on the 4th with 120 and 90 birds respectively. Two passage Velvet Scoter on the 7th are also worth a mention as are Tufted Duck with singles on the 3rd, 17th and 19th.
Most of the waders from September were noted into the October, among others five Little Stint, reducing to two on the last day on the 5th. Up to ten Jack Snipe in the first half of the month reduced to singles between the 12th and 26th, and 20 Ruff reduced to two by the 7th. Four different Water Rails were noted on the 7th while single birds at different localities were reported throughout the month. A Moorhen on the 3rd and a Great Snipe on the 5th are also noteworthy. A Grey Plover was noted between the 3rd and 9th. Otherwise a young Glaucous Gull on the 24th at Skare and a young Mute Swan in Sørevågen from the 25th to 31st are also worth a mention.
Red-flanked Bluetail were noted with two different birds trapped in Merkeskogen the same day, only an hour between each other on the 9th.
Three different Dusky Warblers were noted – one was at the dump between the 2nd and 4th, one in Herberg on the 8th and finally another ringed in Merkeskogen on the 14th. Only one Pallas’s Warbler was noted, a single at Austre platning on the 19th and a Firecrest was stationary in Herberg between the 23rd and 25th.
The Olive-backed Pipit in Herberg from September was still present until the 4th, and one to two further birds turned up at Austre plantning and the Dump on the 3rd. Other birds were noted at Klovning and Karolinehagen from the 6th. Other birds were also noted at the previous localities while a probable new individual was noted at Grotlehagen on the 12th. The Citrine Wagtail from September was noted until the 4th.
Little Bunting were well represented with multiple records until the 8th. A total of six different birds were noted on the 2nd. Barred Warbler were more conspicuous with singles in Herberg on the 3rd and another at the Dump on the 9th. Richards Pipit were also noted at various localities between the 1st and 25th.
A Parrot Crossbill invasion during the month resulted in more than 270 on the 1st, while a Two-barred Crossbill was noted in Merkeskogen on the 9th and a Bullfinch there on the 30th. Stonechat were well represented with between one and four individuals between the 1st and 12th. Black Redstart were less conspicuous with singles on the 8th and 25th.
The only owl was a Short-eared Owl on the 12th, while a Turtle Dove (12th), Stock Dove (26th) and single Shorelark on the 6th and between the 25th and 27th, were also reported.
A total of 1189 birds were ringed distributed between 33 different species during 21 days of ringing in Merkeskogen. The best day was the 9th when 121 individuals were ringed, of which Blue Tit (51), Blackbird (19) and Goldcrest (12) were the most numerous. The months ringing was down on the previous year when 2440 individuals of 43 different species were ringed during 27 days of ringing. A Dusky Warbler, two Red-flanked Bluetail (same day), a Grasshopper Warbler, three Jack Snipe, 12 Treecreeper, two Parrot Crossbill and 20 Yellow-browed Warbler were the most notable ringing records.
19 new species for the year in the form of: Shoveler (1st), Moorhen (2nd), Tufted Duck and Red-throated Pipit (3rd). Pomarine Skua (4th), Arctic Redpoll and Great Snipe (5th) Shorelark (6th), Velvet Scoter (7th), Lesser-spotted Woodpecker (8th), Red-flanked Bluetail and Rough-legged Buzzard (9th). Then a break until Long-tailed Tit and Pallas’s Warbler (19th), Firecrest (23rd), Mute Swan (25th) and finally Gyrfalcon and Bullfinch (30th).
15th to 17th record of Dusky Warbler, the last in October 2016, and the 16th record of Firecrest the last in November 2016. 21st record of Shoveler, the last in October 2016, as well as the 20th and 21st records of Red-flanked Bluetail, the last in October 2016.