Bee-eater (Øystein B. Nilsen)Monthly report May 2015

General coverage and weather:
Average temperature was 7.9 degC, 0.3 degC under the normal. Highest temperature was 12.1 degC (5th), and lowest 3.1 degC (8th). Total rainfall was 67.9mm. Most rainfall in one day was 12.8mm (25th). Highest wind speed was 18.2 m/s (14th). Warm south-east winds were few and far between during the month and cold north west winds dominated.

Total number of species for the month ended on a lowly 122 compared to 137 in 2014. This months report is the first with the new version 2.0 of (from the 7th) and Band-app ‘Bombevarsel fra Utsira’ (24th). Since not all have established themselves in the new some records are likely to be missing.

Apart from Osprey at the start of the month plus a bird on the 17th and a Goshawk on the 5th there was low passage movement of raptors in May. A Sparrowhawk on the 20th and a long staying Kestrel from the 9th to 12th indicates the power showing. The White-tailed Eagle pair where present throughout.

May is the best month for spring passage of seabirds and with winds from the west this gave a good representsation of skuas: two Long-tailed Skua on the 14th; six records of Pomarine Skua between the 16th and 30th with a maximum of 3 on the 30th; four records of Great skua with a maximum of 4 on the 8th; and Artcic Skua recorded between the 7th and 22nd with a maximum of 10 on the 8th.

Diver passage was less evident than normal. Red-throated Diver was recorded on six days between the 7th and 30th with a maximum of 13 on the 30th. Great Northern Diver was recorded with singles on the 7th and 22nd. A Black-throated Diver passed north on the 29th.

Brent Geese were also noted passing Jupvikshaugen in four large flocks of between the 22nd and 29th of which 140 was the largest flock on the 29th. Resting geese in amongst the local breeding Greylags included: A Bean Goose with 19 Pink-footed Geese from the 25th to months end, and a single Pink-foot on the 12th and 12 on the 21st.

Most exciting wader was without doubt the Stone Curlew which appeared on the last day of the month. A night passage Black-tailed Godwith on the 4th and 7 stationary Knot on Pedleneset at the beginning of the month is also worth a mention.

Stone Curlew (Isak Grimsby)

Compared to the previous years this year was a big dissapointment! Spring seems to have been delayed by a few weeks. While Utsira suffered compared passage to that noted in the west (Shetland) and in the east of Norway. A late Stock Dove on the 9th was supported by a Turtle dove on the 24th, and then another at Skare on the 28th until the months end. A female Ortolan Bunting was at Austre plantation between the 8th and 10th, and a male Ortolan at Klovning on the 16th with possibly the same at Sørevågen between the 28th and 30th.

A Bee-eater on the 12th was attracted into the nets at Merkeskogen. A new Bee-eater was seen on the 31st in Nordvik.

Bee-eater (Atle Grimsby)

Four different Black Redstarts were noted between the 7th and 24th, mainly at Austre Nordvik and Klopp. Hawfinch were noted on six different days between the 9th and 28th with two males on the 11th. Goldfinch were noted between the 7th and 14th with a maximum of 4 on the 7th. Otherwise up to 7 Tree Sparrow, a pair of Great Tit and a Blue Tit were noted in May.

Our automatic generated data from is not yet updated in version 2.0 and with the exception of specific ringed individuals did not give a good quality report. Therefore there is no ringing data for this month. Of special note a Bee-eater on the 12th and a Marsh Warbler on the 16th were ringed.

Marsh Warbler (Atle Grimsby)

Year ticks:
May resulted in 44 new species for the year: Pied Flycatcher and Redstart (1st), Grasshopper Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat and Collared Dove (3rd), Twite, Whinchat, Lapland Bunting, Cuckoo and Black-tailed Godwit (4th), Osprey, Goldfinch, Arctic Skua and Red-throated Diver (7th), Great  Skua (8th), Shelduck and Sedge Warbler (9th), Ortolan Bunting and Spotted Flycatcher  (10th), Reed Warbler (11th), Bee-eater and Common Tern (12th), Blue-headed Wagtail, Whimbrel and Long-tailed Skua (14th), Arctic Tern (15th), Greenshank, Pomarine Skua and Marsh Warbler (16th), Rosefinch (22nd), Turtle Dove (24th), Bean Goose and Brent Goose (25th), Shorelark (26th), Icterine Warbler, Red-backed Shrike and Common Crossbill (28th), Black-throated Diver (29th) and Stone Curlew (31st).

Rarities and local rarities:
Second record of Stone Curlew (first was in Herberg and Austrheim in April 1997). 11th record of Long-tailed Skua (last seen in May 2013) as well as 15th and 16th Bee-eater (last seen in May 2012).

Stone Curlew (Atle Grimsby)

Utsira Bird Observatory were present on the annual Siradagane with sales booth and other activities (Photos by Atle Grimsby):