Melodious Warbler (Photo: Brage Heggland)General: coverage and weather
Few months this year without above average temperatures. The average temperature for the month was 14.3 degC, 2.4 degC above normal. The highest temperature was 20.2 degC (16th), and the lowest 10.4 degC (29th).

Total rainfall was 56.3mm. The most rainfall in one day was 23.4mm on the 7th. The highest wind speed was 22.7 m/s (26th). A total of 133 species were recorded in September (150 were recorded in September 2013).

Generally well represented with 9 different species but low numbers and few significant records. Sparrowhawk and Kestrel give the best indications of raptor movements on Utsira and were present throughout the month with maximums of 5 of the 4th and 8 on the 5th respectively.

A Rough-legged Buzzard (24th), an Osprey (30th), a Merlin (28th and 30th) and two Hen Harriers (5th to 8th and 29th) were reported. A Gyr Falcon was noted on the last day of the month. Resident raptors included up to two White-tailed Eagles on the 13th and up to two Peregrines during the month.

Seabirds and shorebirds:
Low numbers of passage seabirds up to the 26th after which strong winds from the west dominated. Geese were noted with 2 Brent Geese and 2 Greylag on the 18th and then 3 more Brent Geese and the 30th. Barnacle Geese were noted with 45 on the 24th, 18 on the 26th and 5 on the 27th.  Pink-footed Goose was noted with 4 on the 27th and 12 on the 30th. Fulmar and Gannet were well represented on the best seabird passage days with 1600 on the 26th and 140 on the 27th respectively.

Sooty Shearwater (Photo: Håkon Heggland)The west winds also resulted in Sooty Shearwaters between the 26th and 28th with 14 and 12 individuals the first two days. 5 passage Storm Petrel were also noted in the period 26th to 28th whilst a Leach’s Petrel was noted on the 27th. The best Great Skua day was on the 28th when 8 individuals were noted, though there were only 2 Arctic Skua on the 26th and 27th.

Two juvenile Pomarine Skua passed on the 27th. 1 to 3 Great Northern Diver were noted daily between the 27th and 30th and Red-throated Diver  maximized with 11 on the 30th with 1 to 3 daily between the 26th and 29th.

Grebes have a general poor showing on Utsira and in the month a Slavonian Grebe was noted in Tuevågen from the 27th to 30th and another individual on the 28th whilst a Red-necked Grebe was noted the same day on the sea in Sørevågen.

Arne Klovning jr and Geir Mobakken visited Spannholmane and resulted in respectable wader numbers, along with Utsira second Pectoral Sandpiper on the 18th. A Spotted Redshank is also a notable record. The following maximums from Spannholmane were noted: 9 Little Stint (8th), 7 Ringed Plover, 35 Sanderling, 6 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 7 Turnstone on the 13th, 3 Knot and 6 Redshank on the 16th and 9 Dunlin on the 18th.

Other shorebirds of note include 1 to 2 Ruff between the 6th and 13th, passage Goosander on the 27th and a Jack Snipe from the 24th with 2 individuals in the months two last days. A Corncrake was in Børgesdalen on the 7th and a Water Rail in Merkeskogen from the 12th until months end.

Barred Warbler was the first notable September species represented between the 3rd and 24th in which 2 individuals were noted on three days.  The autumns first Red-breasted Flycatcher also appeared on the 3rd and where noted daily from the 12th till months end. The highest number in one day was 4 on the 28th. Little Bunting was noted with singles on the 16th and 19th and two on the 20th.

In relation to the previous year species of eastern origin arrival times were more normal. The first Yellow-browed Warbler was noted at Siratunskogen on the 15th and then noted daily throughout the month. The highest daily totals were 12 on the 28th and 11 on the 29th. The only Richards Pipit was noted over Merkeskogen on the 16th.

Two Olive-backed Pipits were noted on the 22nd in Herberg and represent the earliest record by two days (previous record in 2005). The next two records on the 23rd and 27th probably related to the same individuals. A new Olive-backed Pipit was ringed in Merkeskogen on the 30th. The autumns first Ring Ouzel was noted on the 29th whilst the first Mistle Thrush and Great Grey Shrike were noted on the 30th. 

On the last day of the month came also the biggest treat. A Melodious Warbler were found by Hovland and was duly photographed. This was the third for Utsira and Norway's eighth record. 

Melodious Warbler (Photo: Brage Heggland)

Hen Harrier ringed by Truls W AndersenThere were 16 days of ringing in the month in Merkeskogen. A total of 1001 individuals were ringed of 40 species. The best day was the 30th with 399 individuals of which Goldcrest (97), Robin (85) and Blue Tit (48) were the most numerous.

The most notable ringed species were Hen Harrier (1), Olive-backed Pipit (2), Red-breasted Flycatcher (4), Little Bunting (4) Common Rosefinch (1), Hawfinch (1), Great Grey Shrike (1), Barred Warbler (6) and Yellow-browed Warbler (11).

The months ringing exceeded the previous year when 945 individuals of 43 species were ringed in 16 days of ringing.

New year ticks:
11 new species for the year in September: Hen Harrier (5th), House Sparrow (6th), Yellow-browed Warbler (15th), Richards Pipit (16th), Red-throated Pipit and Pectoral Sandpiper (18th), Olive-backed Pipit (22nd), Rough-legged Buzzard and Grey Wagtail (24th), Sooty Shearwater (26th), Slavonian Grebe (27th), Red-necked Grebe (28th) and Gyr Falcon (30th).

Rarities and local rarities:
2nd record of Pectoral Sandpiper, 3rd record of Melodious Warbler and the 8th record for Norway, 12th and 13th records of Slavonian Grebe, 14th record of Red-necked Grebe, 50th record of Osprey. Also earliest record of Olive-backed Pipit by two days on the 22nd.

Here some more of the periods hightlights (Photos by Atle Grimsby):

Olive-backed Pipit

Little Bunting