Collared Flycatcher (Bjørn Ove Høyland)General: coverage and weather:
Average temperature of 9.4degC for the month, 1.3degC over the normal. Highest temperature was 16.7degC on the 28th and lowest 4.2degC on the 1st. Total rainfall of 46.3mm in the month. The most rainfall in one day was 11.7mm on the 6th. Generally calm conditions with few days with strong winds. Easterly winds were interrupted with NW in the middle of the month and after the 28th. 137 different species were recorded in May compared to 146 in the same month the previous year.

Marsh Harrier carried on the positive trend from April with three new records; a male on the 10th, one individual on the 21st and another male on the 28th. Marsh Harrier is not annual on Utsira so 2014 is turning out to be an impressive year for this species. A Sparrowhawk on the 5th and a long staying Kestrel did not set the pulses racing.

Two Hobbies were noted on the 6th and 20th -21st. The pair of White-tailed Eagle where displaced from their favored location by breeding Fulmars.

Seabirds and waders (shorebirds):
May is known as the best month for seabird passage and this passage was noted under different weather conditions. The best day on the 17th resulted in 115 Red-throated diver, 2 Black-throated Diver and 4 Pomarine Skua. 2 Manx Shearwater passed on the 16th and Pomarine Skua were also noted with 4 birds on the 16th and singles between the 3rd and 26th. A single White-billed Diver was noted on the 2nd and Great Northern Divers with 1 on the 12th and 3 on the 26th. Waders of note were a migrating Dotterel and the 14th, 4 Knot, 7 Turnstone and a Dunlin resting on Litlaskjeret on the 25th.

An exciting month in terms of rarities. The Kingfisher from April was present to the 6th such that many could secure it on their May list. A western Subalpine Warbler was trapped by in Herberg on the 4th, when in the afternoon a new male Collared Flycatcher appeared, present until the 9th. A Little Bunting was also seen on the 4th and a male Stonechat was observed on the 9th and 10th.

Golden Oriole (Bjørn Ove Høyland)Following a colder period a Shorelark and an Ortolan Bunting appeared, on the National Day (17th). A female Golden Oriole was present in Nordvik and Herberg between the 20th and 24th.

Between the 21st and 28th there was a good run of rarities and good numbers of African passerines. Geir Mobakken unblocked Utsira’s 1993-blockers, first with a Tawny Pipit on the road to the west on the 20th and then a Melodious Warbler in Fyrhagen on the 28th. The pipit was present in Merkeskogen until the 23rd whilst the warbler was present for only an hour.

Of the sub-rarities there were Blyth’s Reed Warblers in Herberg on the 21st and Kvalvik on the 28th, a Rustic Bunting trapped in Merkeskogen, signing Marsh Warbler and a Red-breasted Flycatcher in the Herberg on the 28th. 8 Common Rosefinch and 40 Spotted flycatcher on the 20th are also worth mentioning. Through the month there were regular reports of Black Redstart of both sexes and various ages, with a maximum 3 females on the 29th.   

Covereage over 21 days. A total of 610 individuals ringed of 40 species. The best day was the 11th with 106 individuals of which Pied Flycatcher (34), Garden Warbler (28) and Willow Warbler (15) were the most numerous.
Other notable ringing records: 1 Subalpine Warbler (western), 1 Rustic Bunting, 1 Stonechat, 1 Common Rosefinch and 1 Collared Dove.

This years results were significantly lower than the previous year when in 21 days of ringing 1661 individuals of 51 species were ringed. Best date was the 17th with 244 individuals of which Willow Warbler (64), Garden Warbler (63) and Pied Flycatcher (13) were the most prominent species.

Most important ringing activity however was in Merkeskogen on the 31st when local ringer Øystein Nilsen placed a ring on the hand of his now wife. Congratulation Øystein! 

Wedding at the ringing site (Atle Grimsby)

Year ticks:
May resulted in 38 new species for the year:
Sedge Warbler and Barnacle Goose (1st), Whimbrel, Pintail and Mute Swan (2nd), Great Skua and Pomarine Skua (3rd), Little Bunting, Collared Flycatcher and Arctic Skua (4th), Hobby (6th), Spotted Flycatcher and Garden Warbler (8th), Icterine Warbler and Cuckoo (9th), Blue-headed Wagtail, Common Tern and Stock Dove (10th), Corncrake (11th), Arctic Tern (12th), Common Rosefinch (13th). A Dotterel (14th), Ortolan Bunting and Manx Shearwater (16th), Black-throated Diver (17th), Reed Warbler (19th), Golden Oriole, Tawny Pipit and Swift (20th), Blyth’s Reed Warbler (21st), Turnstone, Knot and Dunlin (25th), Red-breasted Flycatcher, Melodious Warbler, Rustic Bunting and Marsh Warbler (28th) and Bluethroat (29th).

Local and national rarities:
Second record of Melodious Warbler (The first was in Siratunskogen); third record of Collared Flycatcher (also seen in May 2013); sixth record of Tawny Pipit.

Here some of the highlights from May - all photo Bjørn Ove Høyland:

Tawny Pipit (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Western Subalpine Warbler (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Hobby (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Rustic Bunting (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Red-breasted Flycatcher (Bjørn Ove Høyland)