Isabelline Shrike (Jan Kåre Ness)16th–31st May

The period started off with some days of mandatory northerlies. Inevitably, the results were to be found at sea, with Red-throated Loon (555 on 19th, a local record by some margin), Black-throated Loon (one on 18th), Yellow-billed Loon (one on 19th) and Pomarine Skua (ten birds, one of which was a dark morph bird on 18th) the most interesting.  

For the first time in modern history, a raptor has bred on Utsira. Not surprisingly, it was a Peregrine Falcon, a pair of which was found breeding mid-month.

On the evening of 19th it finally started to change despite the wind still from the northern sector, and fine species like Stock Dove, Lesser Whitethroat, Icterine Warbler, Bluethroat and Common Rosefinch appeared.

Subalpine Warbler (Bjørn Ove Høyland)The next day, Velvet Scoter, Great Northern Loon, Wood Sandpiper, Iceland Gull, Black Redstart, Yellow Wagtail flavissima and thunbergi and Ortolan Bunting were further additions; a potential Rustic Bunting disappeared into the outer fields.

Beginning on the 21st, the weather shifted to a more migration-friendly type. With a gentle breeze and a full sun it came as no big surprise that a European Bee-eater (Geir Mobakken et al.) turned up on this day. It had the distinction of being tail-less.

Best birds trapped were Eurasian Collared Dove and Marsh Warbler.

There were also several Red-backed Shrikes, Icterine Warblers and Rosefinches (inc. a red male) to be seen, as well as a Wood Warbler.

The following day was better. It started off with the Bee-eater still present. Then the ringing session gave first a Common Nightingale followed by a Subalpine Warbler (Øystein B. Nilsen et al.).

Common Nightingale (Atle Grimsby)

In the meantime a Little Egret (Bjørn Ove Høyland) was sighted in flight over Nordvik.

The icing of the cake came mid-afternoon when an Isabelline Shrike (Øystein B. Nilsen et al.) appeared in Herberg. The latter has been recorded only twice before on Utsira, in 1974 and 1991. The egret was also a third record for Utsira.

Woodchat Shrike (Bjørn Ove Høyland)With other birds present inc. Pink-footed Goose, European Turtle Dove, Short-eared Owl, Red-backed Shrike, Wood Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Ring Ouzel, Bluethroat, Black Redstart and Rosefinch, in addition to some 100 Spotted Flycatchers, then 22nd May 2012 is written into the history books as the best spring day ever on Utsira.

Next day continued delivering Lanius, a genus Utsira can claim more exclusive records of than any other Norwegian locality, with a Woodchat Shrike (Jan Kåre Ness et al.) near the ringing place. At the same time the Isabelline Shrike was still there and Red-backed Shrike was also seen. An Osprey came in from northwest at midday. Both Long-eared and Short-eared Owl were seen. A flock comprising 22 Red Crossbills was the first double figure count this year.

With the weather being much the same on the 24th the big deliveries had come to an end, the best finds being a Horned Lark and a Red-breasted Flycatcher. Two Merlins (the first for the year) passed by and a Long-eared Owl hunted the reeds at dusk.

A good record on the 25th was a Rustic Bunting near the ringing forests, though elusive and quick to disappear. Two days later it was replaced by another bunting not far away, in the shape of a Black-headed Bunting (Sveinung Larsen et al.) in Herberg. This species has shown a remarkable regularity on Utsira after the millennium, and it can almost be considered an expected vagrant on the island in late spring.

Turtle Dove, Wood Sandpiper and Eurasian Tree Sparrow on 26th, 27th and 28th, respectively. The last few days of the month saw the return of northerlies.

Black-headed Bunting (Oddvar Njå)

Isabelline Shrike (Bjørn Ove Høyland)European Bee-eater (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Svarthodespurv (Oddvar Njå)Rustic Bunting (Oddvar Njå)

There were many people visiting the island the last weekend of May due to Siradagane:



And many of them enjoyed not only the beautiful weather but also the nice birds:

Black-headed Bunting (Oddvar Njå)

Little Egret (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Subalpine Warbler (Atle Grimsby)Red-breasted Flycatcher (Oddvar Njå)