altBeautiful April started with some nice weather and slight migration. Ring Ouzel was new in on the 3rd, the same day as two Rooks made an appearance, while up to ten Eurasian Woodcocks, 50 Common Wood Pigeons and 250 Fieldfares were counted these days.

This period is usually a fine one for Winter Wren but now an all-day slog can bring just two–three birds, and maybe the ´little woodcock´ is the real unlucky one after the severe winter.

One Hawfinch, a couple of Black Redstarts and a few more Mistle Thrushes keep to their favourite haunts. On the 7th two Pink-footed Geese flew over, Willow Warbler equalled its earliest arrival, a Water Rail was spotted in a ditch and the first Barn Swallow and Common Reed Bunting of the year arrived. Next day Eurasian Teal increased to nine and Western Jackdaw  to 11. The Little Grebe was last seen on the 9th.

Other fresh arrivals the next few days were among others Red-breasted Merganser, Eurasian Blackcap and Lapland Longspur. They were eclipsed however by a Common Crane passsing the isle on the 10th, a not annual species on Utsira. A Eurasian Treecreeper on the 11th was a rare spring find.

altDuring the weekend of 10th–11th Utsira Bird Observatory arranged lyngbrenning – burning of heather. Areas near the ringing forests got to feel the heat.

Next hirundie was Sand Martin on the 14th, the same day as 32 Long-tailed Ducks were counted. A Lesser Black-backed Gull graellsii was seen on the 16th. On the 19th a Black-tailed Godwit islandica was resting in the south harbour, waiting for improvement of the weather for the last leg of the journey. It was the first record since 2005. A couple of days later a Great Grey Shrike arrived.

Easily the best day of the month was the 25th when good (bad!) weather to ground the migrants gave the following: Pink-foot, Tufted Duck, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Eurasian Wryneck, Sand Martin, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail flavissima, Black Redstart, several Common Redstarts, several Northern Wheatears (inc. leucorhoa), several Ring Ouzels, Mistle Thrush, several Common Whitethroats, several Rooks and Hawfinch. Numbers of trapped birds in the ringing forests were represented by one Woodcock, one Common Grasshopper Warbler, 17 Blackcaps and 34 Common Chiffchaffs.

The cake was then topped by Utsira´s first, long overdue Red Kite (Geir Mobakken, Jostein Austevik, Øystein B. Nilsen). It flew over the northwestern plantations and then headed west mid-day; it was all about being at the right place at the right time! Next day a Red Kite was seen on Shetland, maybe the same bird given the weather conditions. Whinchat was new in on the 26th, and also 13 Teals and a new Yellow Wagtail flavissima were seen.

The following days Common Sandpiper, European Pied Flycatcher, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common House Martin and Sedge Warbler all appeared for the first time this year. On the 29th a non-ringed Grasshopper Warbler showed well in a bush while nearby a Greater Short-toed Lark (Geir Mobakken) did the same on a tiny spot of dark earth in the northern fields.