alt1st–15th October

The first days of the month was severly hampered by wind, the direction of which was acceptable (SE) but the strength (near gale) did not make for easy birdwatching. In addition generously amounts of rain poured down.

Not much was seen these days, exceptions were some non-passerines, among them a Sandwich Tern and up to three Little Gulls. Also one of the autumn´s few Little Stints.

However, on the 4th things started to happen in the ringing forests. It began modestly with a Dusky Warbler found in the nets by Sveinung Larsen and Truls W. Andersen.

Twenty-four hours later this semi-rarity was forgotten with the capture of the second Chestnut Bunting (Øystein B. Nilsen, Sveinung Larsen et al.) for Norway at the same place. With this big one Utsira was again put on the ornithological map of Europe. For information the first record for Norway is as follows:

1974 Rogaland: first-year male, trapped, doc., Utsira, 13th–15th October (Viggo Ree et al.)

A Great Snipe showed well in the rainy conditions on the 6th and also the following days. Northern Pintail and Horned Lark were other additions to the year list this period.

altOn the 7th the weather improved and a Greater Short-toed Lark (Geir Mobakken et al.) was found near the lake. It roamed the isle for some days.

The 8th proved to be a particularly bird-rich day. Weather was like sunbathers like it and with powerful manning it meant good numbers and varieties in the field and in the nets. Several Horned Larks, Yellow-browed Warblers and Red-breasted Flycatchers, and  Richard´s Pipit, Common Rosefinch and Little Bunting. Bohemian Waxwing and Bluethroat were other representatives in a massive log. The autumn´s first Little Grebe was in the north haven.

Red-flanked Bluetail became the star bird, however, with an incredible four birds! One in the nets and three in the field. Otherwise great numbers of many birds, among them 150 Barn Swallows and the same number of Common Chiffchaff, 600 Goldcrests and 500 Blue Tits. More than 100 species were recorded and more than 650 birds were trapped and ringed.

Next day there were still two Bluetails, one of them maybe a new bird.

The autumn´s first Olive-backed Pipit (Jørn Helge Magnussen et al.) was seen in the middle of the island. Twenty Eurasian Treecreepers and ten Hawfinches is notable. In the ringing forests a new record of 700 ringed birds of 25 species was achieved.

altAgain lots of birds on the 10th. Of new and old Great Northern Loon, Great Snipe, Stock Dove, Olive-backed Pipit, Eurasian Stonechat, Red-flanked Bluetail, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Barred Warbler and Eurasian Tree Sparrow. In total 108 species, representing a new record for Utsira.

In nice weather with variable light winds on the 11th new birds for the year came fast and through: first two Arctic Redpolls hornemanni (Gunnar Gundersen et al.) in the ringing forests, then a Rough-legged Buzzard over the lighthouse, before a young Rosy Starling (Morten Kersbergen et al.) was grazing the short grass around the church, and finally a Blyth´s Reed Warbler (Håvar Hveding, Bjørn Ove Høyland et al.) found in a garden in the north, later trapped for specific confirmation.

A second Olive-backed Pipit (John Alsvik, Geir Mobakken, Rune G. Bosy et al.) was also found in the north.

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Great Northern Loon and White-tailed Eagle plus 55 Lapland Longspurs were other birds on show this day.

A Sabine´s Gull flew past Pedleneset in northerlies on the 12th. The autumn´s first nine Common Goldeneyes and 193 Razorbills did the same.

On the same day the first Long-tailed Tits of the year were five cute birds roaming around. Fourty Barnacle Geese, 65 Black-legged Kittiwakes and three Great Northern Loons flew past on the 13th; next day more than 500 alcids followed track.

On the last day of the period under review two Rough-legged Buzzards, one Northern Harrier and some nice flocks of Waxwings and Eurasian Bullfinches turned up in the nice weather. From the ferry a Yellow-billed Loon was seen.

Below follow a gallery of the period´s highlights:

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