Black-headed Bunting (Photo: Atle Grimsby)Monthly report July 2015

General: coverage and weather:
Average temperature was 12.9 degC which is normal (17.1 degC was last years average). Highest temperature was 20.8 degC (2nd) and the lowest 8.9 degC (11th). Total rainfall was 59.9mm. Most rainfall in one day was 20mm (18th).

Strongest wind recorded was 21.9 m/s (9th). July is a traditional holiday month with poor coverage and an under representation of records in A total of 60 species were noted in the month.

Not so unusual for July there were no reports of the usual raptors such as White-tailed Eagle of Peregrine Falcon.

The only raptor noted was an unexpected Hobby which was found over Merkeskogen on the 1st and then further west the next day.

Hobby (Photo: Frank Steinkjellå)

Low numbers of shorebirds during the month. The 19th was clearly the best day for passage with 1 Manx Shearwater, 60 Gannet, 18 Great Skua, light-phase passage and local dark-phase Arctic Skua as well as local auks including 3 Puffin. A Manx Shearwater was also recorded on the 6th together with a Great Skua and Fulmar and Gannet in double figures.

2015 is the first year without Petrel ringing beginning in July and the relatively cold and dry July has not resulted in any large numbers of passage waders over Utsira. Only two records of Whimbrel, singles of Redshank and Green Sandpiper and an early Common Sandpiper on the 8th indicate the poor showing.

The Turtle Dove in Merkeskogen from the 29th June was present in July being ringed on the 1st and then seen in Sørevågen until the 10th. The Black-headed Bunting at Skare from the 19th June set a new Norway long stay record and was also ringed in Herberg where it continued its stay the whole month.

Black-headed Bunting (Photo: Atle Grimsby)

A female Black Redstart was present on the first two days of the month in Herberg. A Red-backed Shrike was stationary in the area by the church between the 3rd and 25th while a singing Common Rosefinch was in the Herberg/Merkeskogen the first two days.

Most noteworthy were the three Tit species present during the month. A pair of Great Tit produced three young whilst a Coal Tit with pullus and a single Blue Tit were noted.

July is outside the normal ringing season. There were 3 days of ringing in Herberg/Merkeskogen with 53 individuals of 14 species ringed. Black-headed Bunting was a new ringing species and Turtle Dove was only the second ringed since the start of the station in 1992. Best ringing day was the 1st with 28 birds ringed of 9 species of which Meadow Pipit (7), Goldcrest (7) and Siskin (6) were the most prominent species. The previous year resulted in 100 birds of 15 species being ringed.

Turtle Dove (Photo: Atle Grimsby)

Year ticks:
Only two new species for the year; Hobby on the 1st and Manx Shearwater on the 6th.

Rarities/Local rarities:
First July records of Hobby, Black-headed Bunting, Coal Tit and Blue Tit.

Here some more nice photos of July highlights taken by Frank Steinkjellå (

Red-backed Shrike (Photo: Frank Steinkjellå)

Black Redstart (Photo: Frank Steinkjellå)

Common Rosefinch (Photo: Frank Steinkjellå)