Monthly report May 2021
General: coverage and weather
Highest temperature was 16.3 degC (26th) and lowest was 4.0 degC (3rd). Total rainfall was 50.6mm. Most precipitation in one day was 14.0mm (25th). Highest wind speed was 17.3 m/s with maximum gust of 25.9 m/s (10th). Total number of species in may ended on 136, which is less than the previous years’ 148.
There were eight different raptors species during the month. An Osprey passed east over on the 25th while Marsh Harriers were noted with three different females on the 10th, 21st and 24th to 25th.
Sparrowhawk were reported with only three birds, on the 9th, 12th and 25th. White-tailed Eagle were seen daily with between one and three birds. Kestrel were noted with singles between the 10th and 25th, Merlin with singles on the 13rd and 22nd, as well as the local Peregrine Falcons.
Brent Geese were well concentrated and passed on both sides of the island with over 1000 birds on the 24th. The largest flocks numbered between 300 and 500 birds.
Barnacle Goose were also on passage with 22 on the 3rd, 310 on the 8th and 60 on the 16th. Breeding Greylag Geese totaled between 30 and 40 pairs with young birds noted well in the harbour. A single Pink-footed Goose was reported on the 17th.
The Wigeon pair and Teal pair from April where still present until the 5th and 11th respectively, and there were two new female Widgeon on the 9th and a Teal on passage on the 23rd. A pair of Tufted Duck passed on the 8th and there were good numbers of resting Common Scoter between the 8th and 23rd, the largest flock being 70 on the 17th. Smaller flocks of Long-tailed Duck between 2 and 13 were present until the 21st. Red-breasted Merganser were also represented with one to twelve on passage between the 16th and 24th.
A Lapwing was on Pedlestemmen between the 8th and 13th. Ringed Plover were noted with only one bird on the 12th and two on the 25th. 30 Knot passed northwards on the 17th. Otherwise generally few stationary or passage tringa waders. A flyover Temminck’s Stint, was later feeding with Dunlin on Pedlestemmen on the 10th. A flyover and stationary Wood Sandpiper were noted on the 10th and 12th.
There were a few single days with good diver passage with 311 Red-throated Diver on the 8th, 310 on the 16th and 285 on the 17th. A Black-throated Diver passed on the 8th, two Great Northern Diver on the 8th and 3 White-billed Divers also on the 8th with singles on the 17th, 21st, 24th and 28th. Fulmar were noted mainly from the local breeders with a maximum of 23 on the 25th. There were also few days with any Gannet passage, with a maximum of 42 on the 16th.
Two passage Short-eared Owls were noted on the 23rd with another at Koltemyr on the 28th.
A Turtle Dove was at Rabbajordet on the 20th. Great Spotted Woodpeckers were reported with singles on the 16th and 22nd. A male Red-backed Shrike was at Hålandmarkje on the 22nd.
The Rook from April were reported until the 17th and two to four Carrion Crows were joined a further 21 on the 10th. At the maximum there were 29 Carrion Crows in Nordvik on the 14th. There were four Jackdaw on the 10th and 11th. Carrion Crow numbers reduced two between three and nine birds from the 21st to the end of the month.
A Melodious Warbler in Herberg on the 25th was the months highlight.
Otherwise there were good numbers of Icterine Warbler in the latter part of May, with a maximum of 16 on the 22nd. The same day 110 Garden Warblers were seen. Grasshopper warblers were noted with singles at the Dump on the 11th and in a garden at Rabben on the 16th.
Redwing is not a regular breeder on Utsira – a pair in Kutre was noted feeding four young. A Fieldfare was also noted throughout the month. A late record of Mistle Thrush came in the form of a pair at Sjoarskogen on the 11th is also worth a mention. A male Bluethroat was at Hovland on the 22nd and an adult male Red-breasted Flycatcher was at Klopp on the 25th.
Black Redstart were noted with various individuals mainly of female-type. One to two birds were note at various localities between the 10th and 14th, with a maximum of four birds on the 22nd and a singing male at Klovning on the 24th. Stonechats were only reported with a single female at Hovland on the 12th, and two females in Karolinehagen den 17th. A Hawfinch was in Herberg and Sjoarskogen on the 24th and a female Bullfinch from Koltemyr in April was still present until the 14th. Twite were reported with singles on the 17th and two birds on the 21st. One to four Goldfinch were mobile between the 1st and 17th.
A male Ortolan Bunting was seen on Hålandskarkje on the 13th. Little Bunting are less than yearly in spring – a single was with Reed Bunting and Bullfinch on the new quay at Koltemyr on the 8th.
The number of Rustic Bunting on passage was on the scale of what used to be noted in the 1990s. A total of four Rustic Bunting were noted with an adult male at Austrheim on the 7th, a single at Merkeskogen on the 16th, a young male at Jupevikshaugen on the 20th and another at Nordvik on the 23rd.
Eleven days with ringing in Merkeskogen resulted in 423 birds ringed of 26 species. The best day was 22nd with 96 birds of which Garden warbler (60), Pied Flycatcher (8) and Blackcap (6) where the most numerous species. Most notable ringing records were a Golden Oriole, a Blyth Reed’s Warbler, a Marsh Warbler and a Bluethroat. Last year resulted in 256 birds of 31 species during eight days of ringing.
47 year ticks in May as follows: House Martin and Sand Martin (1st). Barnacle Goose (3rd), Collared Dove (6th), Rustic Bunting (7th), Little Bunting, Blue-headed Wagtail, Redstart, Whitethroat, White-billed Diver, Great Northern Diver, Black-throated Diver, Pomarine Skua and Arctic Tern (8th), Tree Pipit, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper and Cuckoo (9th), Whinchat, Kestrel, Marsh Harrier, Wood Sandpiper and Temminck’s Stint (10th), Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler and Sedge Warbler (11th), Great Skua (12th), Ortolan Bunting, Common Tern and Merlin (13th), Wood Warbler (14th), Arctic Skua (15th), Reed Warbler (16th), Twite and Knot (17th), Turtle Dove (20th), Icterine Warbler, Feral Pigeon and Swift (21st), Rosefinch, Bluethroat and Red-backed Shrike (22nd), Short-eared Owl (23rd), Brent Goose (24th) and finally Melodious Warbler and Red-breasted Flycatcher (25th).
Melodious Warbler 4th record, the last in September 2014.
Temminck’s Stint 12th record, last in September 2020.