Monthly report June 2020


General: coverage and weather
Highest temperature was 24.6 degC (27th) and lowest was 7.8 degC (8th). Total rainfall was 108.1mm. Most rainfall in one day was 23.4mm (30th). Highest wind speed was 15.2 m/s (7th). There were a total of 95 different species recorded during the month, versus 101 species the same month the previous year. 43 of the species are considered breeding species on Utsira.


The normal raptor species for June were reported with occasional reports of Kestrel until the 14th. Otherwise singles of White-tailed Eagle until the 14th and a few reports of Peregrine Falcon.


Surprising were the numbers of geese species reported during the month. As well as the breeding Greylag Geese, Bar-headed Geese were noted from various localities between the 1st and 5th, and a Canada Goose and four Barnacle Geese at Klovning between the 20th and 22nd.


Good numbers of Common Scoter on the sea were reported in the east with a maximum of 160 on the 7th and moulting Eider flocks at Spannholmane with a maximum of 100 on the 11th. A Red-breasted Merganser was in Sørevågen between the 3rd and 6th. A Temminck’s Stint at Pedlestemmen on the 5th and a flyover Grey Plover at Staraberje on the 16th were the most notable wader reports.


Temminck’s Stint (Photo: Håkon Heggland)


There were no good days with good conditions for seabird passage during the month, with only small numbers of Kittiwake and Gannet from nearby colonies. Red-throated Diver were noted with a maximum of six on the 5th. An adult Pomarine Skua was seen from the ferry on the 30th. The years’ seabird count for Spannholmane bird reserve was carried out on the 11th. There were positive numbers of species that feed largely on tobis-fish and large broods of Shag. The years count is published on the councils website (in Norwegian only):


As usual the first two weeks of the month are the most productive and this year was no exception. The best bird was the Red-rumped Swallow of the eastern race (daurica) that passed to the south easy at Starabarje on the 14th. A Paddyfield Warbler was ringed in Søre Merkeskogen on the 10th, and a Great Reed Warbler sang briefly there on the 7th. Three different Greenish Warblers were also ringed in Merkeskogen, two on the 11th and one on the 13th. Blyth’s Reed Warbler were also well represented following on from May records with one ringed in Merkeskogen on the 1st, two singing birds in Herberg on the 7th, singing birds in Merkeskogen from the 9th (which was then ringed on the 12th) and a long-stayer at the dump from the 12th to 20th.


 Blyth’s Reed Warbler (Photo: Truls W Andersen)


A Two-barred Crossbill was seen briefly at Svehojen on the 12th. Rosefinch were noted with three on the 1st and 2nd, one on the 12th and four on the 13th.


A total of 171 birds of 30 different species were ringed during eight days of ringing in Merkeskogen during the month. Best day was the 14th when 30 birds were ringed of which Lesser Redpoll (6), Garden warbler (5) and Blackcap/Willow Warbler (3) were the most numerous species. A Paddyfield Warbler, three Greenish Warblers and five Marsh Warblers are the most notable ringing records. A tristis Chiffchaff was ringed on the 12th. Last year 59 birds of 18 different species were ringed during six days of ringing during the month.


Paddyfield Warbler (Photo: Atle Grimsby)


Year ticks:
Six new species for the year in the form of Temminck’s Stint (5th), Great Reed Warbler (7th), Paddyfield Warbler (10th), Greenish Warbler (11th), Two-barred Crossbill (12th) and Red-rumped Swallow (14th).


Rarities/local scarcities:
Seventh record of Red-rumped Swallow, last in June 2010, and first of sub-species daurica.

Eighth recored of Paddyfield Warbler, last in June 2016

Eighth record of Great Reed Warbler, last in May 2018
12th record of Temminck’s Stint, last in September 2016
27th to 31st records of Blyth’s Reed Warbler, last in May 2020