Great Tit (Photo: Isak Grimsby)Monthly report Desember 2014

General: coverage and weather:
More normal weather conditions and a quiet reporting month. Average temperature was 5.3 degC, 1.4 degC over the normal. Highest temperature was 9.3 degC (7th), and lowest -0.2 degC (25th).

Total precipitation was 217.2 mm. Most rainfall was 27.6 mm (10th) and highest wind speed 24.6 m/s (9th). 56 different species were recorded in December against 50 recorded the previous year.

Sparrowhawk was recorded with singles in the period 4th – 19th, with 3 noted on the 14th, as well as singles of the local Peregrine Falcon and White-tailed Sea Eagle.

Very little in the way of seabrids and no days of notable passage. Of example is no large overwintering population of Eider. A maximum of 35 were at Jupevikshaugen on the 28th.

An adult Mute Swan was in Nordvikvågen on the 6th. 18 Greylags were present through the month, while the single White-fronted Goose disappeared on the 3rd. The 11-13 Pinkfeet were present until the 19th whilst the Bean Goose departed on the 1st. The two Little Grebe in Nordvikvågen were present throughout December as in previous years.

A female Red-breasted Merganser in Nordvikvågen between the 1st – 5th, stationary Great Northern Diver and a Glaucous Gull on the 19th were the most notable seabirds.
From the 28th birds escaping the snow on the mainland included three Woodcock, four Snipe and a male Goldeneye.
Little of note in December. Birds fleeing from the snow on the 28th included 230 Fieldfare, 35 Redwing and a Skylark. 15 Great Tit, 5 Blue tit, 2 Brambling and 3 Tree Sparrow were noted around Utsiras feeding stations.

Only 8 individuals ringed – Blackbird (4), Robin, Woodcock and Mistle Thrush all on 4th. The years total ended on 6284 individuals of 91 species which is a reduction from 2013 when 7736 individuals of 91 species were ringed.

Year ticks:
As expected no new year ticks in December. The year total ended on 214, a reduction from the previous year, when in 2013 222 species were recorded.

Rarities and local rarities:
The three Tree sparrows present around the bird feeder at Skare are the first December record and the first over-wintering on Utsira.

Here some December atmosphere from Utsira (Photos by Atle Grimsby):