Little Ringed Plover (Bjørn Ove Høyland)The dry and fine but cold weather from March continued into the first week of April. The resulted in few new arrivals with the exception of a Siskin and a Rook on the 1st. The Little Grebe from January departed on the 1st whilst the young Goshawk has stayed throughout the whole of April. The Goshawk has sustained itself on Lapwing and Woodcock. Remnants of a Tengmalm’s Owl were found in Varen.

A passing Merlin on the 10th indicated a new period and we finally experienced a change in the weather with easterly and south easterly winds. Lights easterly winds and a slight increase in temperature resulted in 13 new species for 2013: Ring Ouzel, Hawfinch, Linnet, Brambling, Wheatear, Black Redstart, Common Crane, Redshank, Barn Swallow, Teal, Eurasian Wigeon and Gadwall in the period between the 11th and 14th. Also noted were Pink-footed Goose, a Stonechat and a record 23 Mistle Thrushes. A Grey Wagtail was ringed in the same period.

The male Gadwall found at Tuevågen on the 14th by GeirMobakken represents an 18 ½ year wait for him for this species. Mobakken got a case of the Déjà vu when he found a pair of Gadwall on the 23rd. Nine different species of duck were present on Utsira this day. The Gadwalls represents the 13th and 14th records for Utsira.

Strong winds were not experienced until the 14th and then followed the day after by heavy rain (12.7mm), the first for many months. The wind and rain resulted in a large influx of birds with 250 Lesser-black Backed Gulls, 350 Common Gull, 31 Black-headed Gull and 400 Fieldfare.

Hoopoe (Eivind Sande)The next big find in April was by the local enthusiast Jorunn Nordvik in the form of a Hoopoe (18th). The Hoopoe proved to be a long stayer through to the 29th and represented the 15th record for Utsira.

Two Grasshopper Warblers and a Lesser Whitethroat were ringed on the 20th and 21st respectively. This warm weekend resulted in nine new year ticks: Goldfinch, Redstart, Tree Pipit, House Martin, Arctic Skua, Parrot Crossbill and Ringed Plover. Singles of Stock Dove and Hen Harrier appeared on the following days. A male Tufted Duck appeared in Måkeskitt on the 23rd and was joined by another male on the 26th.

A Little Ringed Plover on the 24th at Tranheim caused a stir. The find by Geir Mobakken was present at Hovland and nearby round Sørevågen until the 26th. This represents only the 2nd record for Utsira, the first of which was on 14th May 1994.

A Lapland Bunting was present between 24th and 28th.

The final few days of the month resulted in new year-species in the form of Whimbrel, Twite, Whitethroat and Great Skua. Also worth a mention a large flock of Common Scoter and 40 Long-tailed Ducks on the 29th.

Hoopoe (Eivind Sande)

Little Ringed Plover (Eivind Sande)

Lapland Bunting (Sveinung Larsen)