Hoopoe (Photo: Bjørn Ove Høyland)Monthly report September 2015

General: coverage and weather:
Average temperature was 13.6 degC, 1.8 degC over the normal. Highest temperature was 18.3 degC (3rd), and lowest 9.2 degC (25th). Total rainfall was 95.0 mm. Most rainfall in one day was 26.9mm (14th). Highest wind speed was 23.7 m/s (5th). A total of 133 different species were recorded in September  (133 different species in 2014)

One of the most productive months in terms of species and numbers for September on Utsira. Raptors dominated the month with nine different species and a few record counts resulting from good passage. In barns and outhouses numerous dried out birds of Sparrowhawk and Kestrel indicates birds have starved and were not able to leave the island.

Sparrowhawk was recorded daily from the 4th with passage of 100 birds noted on the 10th and 220 on the 11th. Kestrel was also noted in high numbers with peak passage of 50 on the 11th. A Goshawk was noted over Merkeskogen on the 11th.

One or two juvenile Pallid Harrier were present between the 9th and 15th, while up to three Hen Harrier were on the island on the 11th and 28th with other singles prior to these dates.

Gyrfalcon is far from annual on Utsira but in September a female was present between the 2nd and 4th and a young male noted on the 15th. Merlin was recorded between the 9th and 14th with two passage birds on the 11th and singles on the 27th to 29th.

Local White-tailed Eagle and Peregrine Falcon were also noted during the month.

Pallid Harrier (Photo: Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Visits to Spannholmane rescued the number of the calidris species during the month, but no large totals. There were also low counts of passage seabirds during the month where the 29th was the only day with any notable passage of Fulmar and Gannet with 17 and 80 individuals respectively, as well as the months only Great Skua (2).

A single Spotted Redshank on the 11th and flyby Grey Plover (21st, 22nd and 28th-29th) and Great Snipe in the north (28th-29th) are also notable. A single Pink-footed Goose was at Skare from the 14th to 27th, and was followed by a Brent Goose between the 23rd to 25th, then flocks of 120 Brent Goose on the 27th and 17 on the 29th, and then 73 Barnacle Goose on the 29th. A Tufted Duck on the 29th was unusual.

The last day of the month produced two Sooty Shearwater past Pedleneset in a moderate SW wind.

As in the previous year there was a record for the earliest Yellow-browed Warbler, the emblem of station and the municipalities’ bird, as well more usual arrival of Red-breasted Flycatcher on the 10th. Yellow-browed Warbler were noted with single birds up until the 21st and then up to a maximum of 30 on the 27th.

Yellow-browed Warbler (Photo: Morten Vang/www.birdphoto.net)

The first Red-breasted Flycatcher in Merkeskogen on the 10th was then followed by two birds in Herberg and the Lighthouse garden between the 21st and 26th. The years’ first Richards Pipit was at Hovland on the 21st and 22nd followed by 1 to 3 birds from the 26th till the end of the month. Barred Warbler were noted at Aust on the 4th, in Herberg between the 10th and 12th and two birds at various sites on the 27th.

A Olive-backed Pipit was found in the nets in Merkeskogen on the 21st (possible 2nd Calender bird), a new was around Herberg between the 26th and 28th. A Turtle Dove was at various localities from the 25th until the end of the month.

Turtle Dove (Photo: Morten Vang/www.birdphoto.net)

An early Great Grey Shrike on the 12th and a Common Rosefinch in Merkeskogen on the 11th and a new individual from the 27th to months end are also worth mentioning.

Ringing activity in Merkeskogen and Herberg resulted in a few good records such as Arctic Warbler on the 10th plus Yellow-browed Warblers, Olive-backed Pipit and Little Bunting.

There were 14 days of ringing in September in Merkeskogen. A total of 439 individuals of 36 species were ringed. The best day was the 27th when 56 individuals were ringed of which Robin (17), Goldcrest (20) and Blackcap (7) were the most prominent species. Notable species ringed during the month were Arctic Warbler, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Olive-backed Pipit (2), Little Bunting (2), Red-breasted Flycatcher and 26 Yellow-browed Warbler.

This years’ September ringing was affected by low numbers of sylvia warblers and general poor numbers of small passerines. The previous year 945 individuals of 43 species were ringed in 16 days of ringing..

Arctic Warbler (Photo: Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Year ticks:
17 new species for the year: Gyrfalcon (3rd), Pallid Harrier (9th), Yellow-browed Warbler and Red-breasted Flycatcher (10th), Hen Harrier (11th), Hoopoe, Olive-backed Pipit Richard’s Pipit and Grey Plover (21st), Short-eared Owl and Jack Snipe (22nd), Treecreeper and Wigeon (23rd), Little Bunting and Barnacle Goose (28th) and Blyth’s Reed Warbler and Tufted Duck (29th).

Rarities/local rarities:
12th record of Arctic Warbler (last June 2015), 18th record of Hoopoe (last April 2014) and 19th record of Blyth’s Reed Warbler (last September 2014).

Below a selection of other photo taken this period. First a nice Common Rosefinch (Morten Vang/www.fuglefoto.net):

Common Rosefinch (Morten Vang/www.fuglefoto.net)

Here a great shot of one of the Pallid Harriers taken by Sveinung Larsen:

Pallid Harrier (Sveinung Larsen)

Here follows some more photo from this months ringing:

Red-breasted Flycatcher (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Yellow-browed Warbler (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Olive-backed Pipit Merkeskogen (Foto: Øystein B. Nilsen)

Olive-backed Pipit Herberg (Foto: Atle Grimsby)

Blyth’s Reed Warbler (Foto: Atle Grimsby)

More spice from Sveinung Larsen:

Common Kestrel (Sveinung Larsen)

And finally the Turtle Dove (Morten Vang/www.fuglefoto.net):

Turtle Dove (Morten Vang/www.fuglefoto.net)