Monthly report February 2020

General: coverage and weather
Only one day without precipitation and four days with winds under 12m/s indicates the challenging weather conditions for birds and birders in the field. Highest temperature was 8.0 degC (9th and 16th), and lowest 0.1 degC (27th). Most precipitation in one day was 20.2mm (10th), while the only day with snow gave 3 cm (27th). Highest wind speed was 26.1 m/s (22nd). The total number of species ended on 50 versus 59 the same month the previous year.

All three expected raptor species were recorded during the month. Sparrowhawk was only noted with two birds on the 2nd and 8th. White-tailed Eagle were noted daily with a single bird, while three were reported on the 19th. Peregrine Falcon reports were spread out through the whole month.

The Gadwall from January was also reported on the first day of February. Two Pink-footed Geese and six Greylag Geese arrived on the 14th. The Pinkfeet were present until the 22nd while Greylag numbers increased to between seven and ten birds towards the end of the month.
A Water Rail was at the dump between the 19th and 21st. Oystercatcher were reported with single birds on the 2nd and 10th while a Golden Plover was stationary between the 8th and 23rd.

The months most outstanding bird was without doubt the Firecrest that turned up in Hauglandshagen on the record early date of the 19th February. A Stock Dove first noted in Søvågen on the 11th was relocated at Skjeldehagen where it was joined by another on the 23rd. Both birds were still present at this location at the end of the month. A female Black Redstart was in Nordvik between the 19th and 23rd. A Carrion Crow present since last year was resident outside Siratun the whole month and a record early Reed Bunting was seen in Herberg on the 2nd.

No ringing activity during the month.

Year ticks:
15 new species for the year: Oystercatcher and Reed Bunting (2nd), Skylark (8th), Stock Dove (11th), Mallard (13th), Pink-footed Goose and Meadow Pipit (14th), Gannet (16th), Woodcock (17th), Water Rail, Black Redstart, Firecrest and Blue Tit (19th), Coal Tit (24th) and Red-breasted Merganser during February (GMO).

Rarities/local scarcities:
Firecrest was the 19th record for Utsira, the last being in April 2019.