Black-headed Bunting (Photo: Frank Steinkjellå)Monthly report June 2015

General: coverage and weather:
Average temperature was 10.2 degC, 1 degC below the average. Maximum temperature was 15.1 degC (5th)  and the lowest 5.9 degC (2nd). Total rainfall was 72.1mm. Maximum precipitation in one day was 17.7mm (3rd). Strongest wind was 24.4m/s (1st).

A total of 86 species were recorded in June (39 breeding species and 8 possible breeding species) compared to the previous year of 93 species of which 44 were breeding and 5 possible breeding.

As in the previous year the White-tailed Eagle pair departed in the middle of the month. The only other raptor noted was a female Kestrel in Herberg on the 8th and 9th.

Sea passage has normally ended by June and therefore there was little coverage resulting in few observations. The Bean Goose and 13 Pinkfeet from May at Austrheim were present until the 4th resulting in Bean Goose being the first June record. The Stone Curlew from May was noted on the 1st at the bunkers.

The yearly count of breeding species on Spannholmane resulted in low numbers of Shag, increases in gull numbers and stabilization for auks. The summary can be found here at Utsira Councils website (in Norwegian). Additional Herring Gull and Lesser-backed Gull colonies on Utsira showed an increase. Of additional note were a Quail on the 22nd and Water Rail present at the dam in Merkeskogen between the 6th and 21st.

Eventful, but with few observers out in the field. The Turtle Dove from May was at Skare until the 3rd, with possibly a new individual at Starabarje on the 7th. A new bird was at Merkeskogen on the 29th and 30th.

The Bee-eater influx from May continued with two birds on the 5th, 4 birds on the 6th and 7th in Merkeskgen-Herberg area and a single over Kvalvik on the 11th.

Bee-eater (Photo: Eivind Sande)

A female Golden Oriole in the nets in Herberg on the 6th was still present the next day. The month also produced two good phylloscopus warblers in the form of a signing Greenish Warbler in Merkeskogen on the 8th and a singing Arctic Warbler in Herberg on the 26th. The Greenish Warbler can be heard here and the Arctic Warbler here.

There were two records of Ortolan Bunting: one in Sørevågen on the 5th and a female at Skarvanesvågen on the 21st.

Ortolan Bunting (Photo: Frank Steinkjellå)

A Short-toed Lark was at Austre planting on the 17th to 19th. A nice male Black-headed Bunting was fond at Tuevågen on the 18th and was present till the end of the month between Starabarje and Skare; a long-staying record over 12 days.

Black-headed Bunting (Photo: Isak Grimsby)

The Tree Sparrows from the previous July increased resulting in the first breeding record in Tuevågen. Great Tit also bred in Nordvik – after last years first year of breeding with two pairs since confirmed breeding in 1986 and 2000. A male Stonechat in Herberg on the 14th and a record at the start of the month can indicate possible breeding. Whinchat and Twite were noted at the end of the month.

Ringing took place on a number of days in June, with Golden Oriole and Marsh Warbler being notable species. Information from has not been available due to the new system.

Golden Oriole (Photo: Eivind Sande)

Year ticks:
June resulted in eight new species for the year: Golden Oriole and Water Rail (6th), Greenish Warbler (8th), Short-toed Lark (17th), Black-headed Bunting (18th), House Sparrow (21st), Quail (22nd) and Arctic Warbler (26th).

Rarities/Local rarities:
The Stone Curlew from May was the 2nd for Utsira and also the first June record. The 7th Black-headed Bunting (last in 2012), 11th Arctic Warbler (last September 2013), 17th and 18th Bee-eater (last May 2014) and 28th Greeinsh Warbler (last October 2013). Otherwise a few unusual records in the form of Blue Tit, Stonechat and Coal Tit as well as the first breeding Tree Sparrows.

Here a few more highlights:

Short-toed Lark (Photo: Eivind Sande)

Turtle Dove (Photo: Frank Steinkjellå)

Puffin (Photo: Isak Grimsby)