Black-throated Thrush (Bjørn Ove Høyland)General: coverage and weather:
The rarity week means good coverage and massive reporting. As with September this October resulted in additional Siberian species, however it didn’t quite take off……that is until the last week…which took off and saved the whole month.

Average temperature was 11.3 degC, 1.9 degC over the normal. Highest temperature was 16.1 degC on the 5th, and lowest 6.3 degC on the 17th.

Total rainfall was 140mm. The most rainfall in one day was 20.7mm on the 10th. The highest recorded wind was 21.1 m/s on the 7th.

There were a total of 152 species recorded in the month, versus 146 in 2013. October secures itself as the years most fruitful month.

Well represented with 11 different species, but no significant passage. Sparrowhawk was seen daily through the month with up to four individuals, and Kestrel seen daily until the 11th with three birds on the 2nd. The Osprey from September was seen on the 1st with another individual on the 6th. Hen Harrier was noted first with a male on the 7th, two female types on the 8th with one on the 10th and 11th.

Buzzard was noted with two individuals on the 7th and then on 15th-16th, while Rough-legged Buzzard was reported on the 14th-15th. Merlin records include singles between 3rd and 5th and two on the 12th. Gyrfalcon are not reported every year on Utsira, so an single on the 17th is of note. A Goshawk was noted between the 2nd and 16th. The local White-tailed Eagles and Peregrines were recorded throughout the month with between one and three birds.

One of the Slavonian Grebes from September was again in Tuevågen until the 3rd. New waves of geese were noted from the middle of the month. A few large flocks of Pink-footed Goose were noted on the 6th with a maximum of 62 birds on the 8th, while 10-20 were present until the months end. Six Brent Geese arrived on the 7th with 3 remaining on the 11th. Four White-fronted Geese also paid a visit on the 11th.

Passage seabirds were best reported at the months end. The 26th was the most productive day with 209 Fulmar, 355 Gannet, 2 Pomarine Skua, 10 Great Skua and 20 Kittewake. Additional Pomarine Skuas were noted on the 20th, 25th and 29th. Otherwise there were 2 Sooty Shearwaters on the 20th.

An adult White-billed Diver passed on the 11th and 6 Great Northern Diver on the 29th, with 13 others in the period 2nd to 22nd. Red-throated diver were also most numerous on the 29th with 6 individuals, otherwise 1 to 2 birds on various dates. Black-throated Diver is the rarest diver on Utsira so an individual on the 8th and 2 individuals on the 10th are of note. Maximums of Kittewake were 21 on the 20th, Razorbill with 396 on the 20th, 6 Guillemot on the 12th and 6 Little Auk on the 20th.

Other shorebirds of note was a Grey Plover on the 5th and 6th, Tufted Duck (passage and resting), with two in Måkskittmyr from the 5th to 7th, and 3 records of Velvet Scoter between the 20th and 25th.

Short-eared Owl were noted with 2 individuals on the 4th and singles in the period between 3rd and 11th. A Long-eared Owl was seen in Merkeskogen on the 15th and in flight on the 25th. The years only Turtle Dove was observed at different localities on the 2nd. Siberian species noted in September were also represented in October. A Barred Warbler was at Austre Nordvik between the 4th and 6th,with a ringed bird on the 13th and 14th and a new individual at Kvalvik on the 29th. 

Barred Warbler (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Red-breasted Flycatcher was well represented in September but was only noted with a nice male at Kvalvik on the 12th and a female on the 15th. Little Bunting was noted daily and its estimated between 6 and 10 individuals in the period 3rd to 15th. Yellow-browed Warbler were seen almost daily between the 1st and 29th with a maximum of 11 on the 5th and multiple days with between 3 and 8 individuals. Richards Pipit was noted between the 3rd and 5th and 16th to 20th, and also on the 30th.

Other records include a Rosefinch on the 2nd, female Black Redstart on the 25th and 29th and 1 to 2 male Stonechats daily between the 1st and 13th. Olive-backed Pipit was well reported with 2 in Merkeskogen on the 4th and 5th, 1 new there on the 19th and another in Herberg on the 27th. A Greater Short-toed Lark was seen on the 13th.

The expected invasion of Two-barred Crossbill failed to materialize - only one was noted on the 5th. Great-spotted Woodpecker was seen daily from the 4th with a maximum of 6 on the 5th. Otherwise Blue Tit was in moderate numbers of 50+, with parties of Great Tit and Coal Tit, as well as a Nuthatch. The Nuthatch was even seen by locals on Hovland a few days later. Long-tailed Tit was well represented from the 15th.

Week 44 became the new rarity week to give a fine end to the month: a Radde’s Warbler in Skjeldehagen from the 22nd to 27th, a young Black-throated Thrush on the 29th and 30th at the Dump, a possible Hume’s Yellow-browed Warbler trapped in Merkeskogen on the 30th and finally a Dusky Warbler in Herberg on the 30th.

Hume’s Yellow-browed Warbler (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

There were 24 days ringing in Merkeskogen. A total of 1928 individuals of 44 species were ringed. The best day was the 5th with 224 birds of which Blue Tit (119), Blackcap (53), Great Tit (12) were the most numerous.

Radde’s Warbler (Truls W Andersen)Most notable ringing records were Radde’s Warbler, 2 Olive-backed Pipit, Hume’s Yellow-browed Warbler, 12 Yellow-browed Warbler, Barred Warbler, 3 Little Bunting, Goldfinch, Ring Ouzel, Jack Snipe, House Sparrow, 12 Tree Sparrow, 31 Long-tailed Tit, 5 Coal Tit and 5 Treecreeper.

The months ringing were well below the previous year when 2409 individuals of 44 species were ringed in 20 days of ringing.

Twelve new species for the year: Turtle Dove (2nd), Short-eared Owl (3rd), Grey Plover, Nuthatch and Parrot Crossbill (5th), Common Buzzard (7th), Short-toed Lark (13th), Long-tailed Tit (17th), Radde’s Warbler (17th), Black-throated Thrush (29th), Dusky Warbler (30th) and Hume’s Yellow-browed Warbler (31st).

Rarities/local rarities:
The 7th Radde’s Warbler, last seen 2011; 7th Black-throated Thrush, last seen 2008; 7th Hume’s Yellow-browed Warbler, last seen 2012; 12th Dusky Warbler, last seen 2010 and 13th Eurasian Nuthatch, last seen 2009; and approx 44th Greater Short-toed Lark.

Here follows a small gallery of some hightlights in October:

Dusky Warbler (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Yellow-browed Warbler (Morten Vang)

Grey Wagtail (Sveinung Larsen)

Great Grey Shrike (Atle Espen Helgesen)

Olive-backed Pipit (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Radde’s Warbler (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Common Stonechat (Morten Vang)

Common Rosefinch (Morten Vang)