Greenish Warbler record shot (Atle Grimsby)Monthly report August 2015

General; coverage and weather:
Average temperature was 15.7 degC, 2.1 degC over the normal. Highest temperature was 22.8 degC (14th), and lowest 10.3 degC (1st). Total rainfall was 109.8mm. Most rainfall in one day was 28.7mm (16th). Strongest wind speed was 17.4 m/s (26th). 100 different species were recorded in the month, not significant, but an improvement on last years 87 species.

Four raptor species were noted which is below par in what should be the best month for this group. Most raptors were noted as staging birds, but the 14th and 24th were the most noteworthy passage days. Kestrel were numerous and with probably family parties together from the 14th. Highest totals were 10 on the 14th and 8 on the 24th. Sparrowhawk was noted with singles from the 14th with a maximum of 3 on the 16th. 1-2 White-tailed Eagles were noted from the 12th, while Peregrine Falcon was noted throughout the month. No raptor fest in other words!

Best seabird passage day was without doubt the 11th with 2 Manx Shearwater, 43 Great Skua, 60 Gannet and 20 Fulmar. On the 28th singles of Manx and Sooty Shearwater were noted.

Three wader tours to Spannholmane on the 13th, 16th and 31st gave good totals of resting waders in the form of 12 Purple Sandpiper and12 Turnstone on the 13th, 130 Oystercatcher, 45 Redshank, 35 Dunlin, 8 Ruff, 5 Sanderling, a Lttlie Stint and a Knot on the 16th. A long staying Bar-tailed Godwit from the 16th to 31st and a Spotted Redshank on the 31st were also notable.  The ‘mainland’ produced a flyby Crane on the 13th, a Wood Sandpiper at Måkskittmyr on the 15th and a Great Snipe in Sørevågen on the 28th.

Geir Mobakken birding Spannholmane (Photo: Atle Grimsby)

Generally few days with significant falls of migrants. The Black-headed Bunting from June was present until 11th (indications are that this ringed bird is the same that turned up on Herdlevær on the 30th august). A new Short-toed Lark first noted on the 1st was present on Pedlestemmen until the 16th. A new Greenish Warbler in Herberg on the 29th was still present at the end of the month, while a young Common Rosefinch also appeared on the last day of the month.

Short-toed Lark record shot (Atle Grimsby)

The petrel ringing project started up on the 3rd and during 5 five nights until the 22nd 24 Storm Petrel were ringed while 5 were controlled. A total of 186 birds were ringed during the month of 30 species during 14 days of ringing in Merkeskogen/Herberg. The best day was the 22nd with 54 birds ringed. Willow Warbler (17), Garden Warbler (16) ad Chiffchaff (5) were the most represented species.

Of special note were four Barred Warblers, a Marsh Warbler and a Coal Tit. Ringing totals were significantly below the previous year total when in 16 days of ringing 676 species of 41 species were ringed. Last year total was also below par as August is usually a good month for ringing during early passage.

Barred Warbler (Photo: Atle Grimsby)

Year ticks:
16 new species for the year: Storm Petrel (3rd), Turnstone, Ruff and Green Sandpiper (11th), Crane, Dunlin and Sanderling (13th), Barred Warbler and Wood Sandpiper (15th), Bar-tailed Godwit, Little Stint and Knot (16th), Wood Warbler (23rd), Great Snipe and Sooty Shearwater (28th) and Spotted Redshank (31st).

Rarities/local rarities:
The Black-headed Bunting from June was still the 7th for Utsira; 25th Crane the last being in April 2013; 29th record of Greenish Warbler, the last in June 2015; 46th record of Short-toed Lark, the last in June 2015.  

Storm Petrel (Photo: Atle Grimsby)

Photo: Atle Grimsby