altThe month kicked off with some shorebirds: both Red Knot and Dunlin were recorded for the first time this year on the 1st, and if nothing puts Utsira´s shorebird scene into perspective.

Later, more species and numbers of birds with longer extremities than average came along including several new species for the year.

Two Common Grasshopper Warblers from the spring were retrapped early in the month. One had a developed brood patch, which in turn developed thoughts of local breeding. Another was found trapped later, and the species was heard singing nearly to the end of the month.

Migration of passerines increased the pace when August was one week old, with flycatchers and warblers featuring most prominently.

Wood WarblerSince Wood Warbler took a break in spring 2010, one on the 7th of course became the first of the year. A rare Grey Plover the same day also became the first of the year.

The following day a European Turtle Dove turned out as the third new bird of the year in two days.

On the 11th a Bluethroat was inspecting the churchyard; this coloursplash is getting scarce on Utsira these days, both in spring and autumn. A Bar-tailed Godwit flew past the same day, and two more were seen on the 16th. Two Great Skuas moved south on the 17th, this day also saw an early Northern Goshawk and two Common Rosefinches. Autumn´s first Barred Warbler sat in a central garden tree next day, in addition Eurasian Wigeon, Knot, Wood Sandpiper, Common Redstart, Fieldfare and Eurasian Reed Warbler were seen.

A rare sight of European Storm Petrel during daylight was two birds close to land at the east side of the island on the 19th.

An equally rare autumn occurrence of Corn Crake concerned one flushed in the northern meadows on the 20th.  

During the weekend of 21st–22nd the wind lay in the SW and was reasonably fresh, so hopes were high that the seawatch point of Pedleneset should deliver the goods as it did in the olden days. Something has happened out there the last few years, and these days managed only one Sooty Shearwater on the first date and six Sooties and seven Manx Shearwater on the second date.

On a general note, the first day was more in the sign of shorebirds, with 13–14 species, among them Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit, while the second day favoured the pelagic species: 1600 Northern Fulmars, 60 Northern Gannets, 20 Great Skuas and three Black-legged Kittiwakes.

Marsh WarblerOtherwise, this weekend produced catches of Eurasian Wryneck and Barred Warbler in the ringing forests. An adult male Red-backed Shrike is holding sort of a territory in the north.

Towards the end of the month the winds was much in the northerlies, still several Barred Warblers, Wood Warblers and Rosefinches and the odd Wryneck were seen. Two Merlins and an early Lapland Longspur appeared on the 28th. A Eurasian Stonechat next day was also an early one. Best thing in the nets this day was without doubt the capture of a Marsh Warbler, a species that has barely been recorded on Utsira in autumn. In addition Little Stint turned up for the first time this year the same day.

On the penultimate day of the month a Citrine Wagtail (Geir Mobakken) frequented the south harbour. Among other things it checked out the new-made tiny sand beach near the local shop, and by doing so it became the first really nice bird on this beach.

Also, a Hawfinch and the autumn´s first Ruffs were seen this day.


Peregrin Falcon