Kingfisher (Photo: Bjørn Ove Høyland)General: coverage and weather:
Average temperature of 7.4degC for the month, 3degC over the normal and the warmest April in 120 years! Highest temperature was 17.8degC on the 26th and lowest 2.8degC on the 3rd. Total rainfall of 58.6mm. The most rainfall in one day was 14.3mm on the 13th.  The highest recorded wind was 19.6 m/s on the 14th. 112 different species were recorded in April compared to 104 in the same month the previous year.

Marsh Harrier was well represented with a minimum of three individuals. A male arrived on the 5th and was replaced by a female the following day. A new female or the same female was present on the 20th and 22nd.

As usual there were arrivals of Kestrel and Merlin in the month. Kestrel appeared from the 16th, with a maximum of three on the 24th, while Merlin was noted on the 26th. Sparrowhawk was noted with singles in the period 2nd to 25th, while the Goshawk which has been present from February was seen between the 4th and 7th.

Otherwise the resident Peregrine and White-tailed Eagles were present.

Seabirds and waders (shorebirds)
The Pink-footed Geese from January were noted at Austrheim until the 13th, as were good numbers of Greylag which showed signs of breeding. Two Shelduck were noted on the 22nd. A long period of high pressure was not very productive for seabirds. The best days were the 18th and 30th which produced 18 Red-throated Diver plus a Guillemot and 20 Red-throated Diver and a White-billed Diver respectively.

A Moorhen was took residency in Sørevågen from the 7th to 16th and a Coot in Måkeskitt from the 15th to 19th. Other notable records were a Bar-tailed Godwit at Tuo from the 7th to 13th and a Great Snipe almost captured in the nets in Merkeskogen on the 26th.

Hoopoe (Photo: Bjørn Ove Høyland)Passerines:
A good ‘fall’ of migrants from Africa during the month and some early south European species. Still good numbers of Song Thrush (480 the 23rd), Fieldfare (2000 the 5th) and Robin (140 the 3rd).

Stonechat was noted with a female in Merkeskogen on the 21st and a male in Vestre Nordvik on the 25th. Black Redstart was noted daily in various plumages between the 19th and 26th, the last day with two individuals.

A new Great Grey Shrike appeared on the 7th whilst Waxwings were noted between the 22nd and 27th. A Shorelark was at Austrheim on the 19th. The first southern guest was a Hoopoe at Klovning on the 16th and was noted at several localities until the 20th.

A female Subalpine Warbler was found at Austrheim on the 19th. The bird was noted with subalpine call, but with tail markings consistent with a bird of easterly origin and is most likely to be recorded as a Sylvia cantillans (Eastern Subalpine Warbler) in the future. 

Eastern Subalpine Warbler (Photo: Bjørn Ove Høyland)

The most notable April bird was a Kingfisher which was present from the 29th. Local residents have described a bird matching Kingfisher in Tuevågen on the 5th and from Nordvikvågen on the 27th, so the bird can have been present for a while.

A good month with a total of 1335 birds of 36 species ringed during 22 days. The most productive day was the 24th when 306 individuals were ringed of which Blackcap (153), Pied Flycatcher (35) and Willow Warbler (24) were the most prominent species. Notable were 11 Wryneck and a Grasshopper Warbler on the same day. Other notable ringing records were of three Hawfich, to Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Mistle Thrush and a Tree Sparrow. The months ringing well exceeded the previous year of 307 individuals of 22 species in 11 days of ringing.

Year ticks:
April resulted in 43 new year species in the form of:
Common Crossbill (2nd), Marsh Harrier (5th), Lapland Bunting, Bar-tailed Godwit and Moorhen (7th), Willow Warbler  (11th), Goldfinch and Red-throated Diver (13th), Coot (15th), Barn Swallow, Sand Martin, Hoopoe, Redshank and Kestrel (16th), Tree Pipit and Common Sandpiper (17th), Lesser Whitethroat and Puffin (18th), Twite and Shorelark (19th), Tree Sparrow, Whinchat, House Martin and Collared Dove (20th), Treecreeper, Subalpine Warbler, Redstart, Wryneck, Green Sandpiper and Red-breasted Merganser (21st), Shelduck (22nd), Pied Flycatcher (23rd), Wood Warbler, Whitethroat and Grasshopper Warbler (24th), Red-backed Shrike (25th), Great Snipe, Ringed Plover and Merlin (26th), Kingfisher (29th) and White-billed Diver (30th).

Local and national rarities:
Second record of Kingfisher, the first was from the 11th to 16th April 1996, otherwise earliest record of Subalpine Warbler (nationally), first April and earliest record of Great Snipe and 17th record of Hoopoe.

Here a photo of the presumed Eastern Subalpine Warbler showing some of the tail - should be ok for Eastern we guess:

Eastern Subalpine Warbler (Photo: Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Here som more April birds - photos by longstayer Bjørn Ove Høyland: