Monthly report April 2017

General: coverage and weather
Average temperature was 5.7 degC, 1.1 degC over the normal. Highest temperature was 9.8 degC (29th), and lowest was 1.1 degC (23rd). Total rainfall was 112.7 mm. Most rainfall in one day was 14.7 mm (16th). Strongest wind speed was 22.9 m/s (24th). Total number of species for Utsira in April ended on 83 versus 90 the previous year.  

A Goshawk on the 25th was the only unusual raptor seen during the month. The local White-tailed Eagle pair were accompanied by a further two sub-adults during the month. The local Pergrine Falcons were also noted during the month.

Little in the way of passage of shorebirds or seabirds, except for the 25th when there was a good passage of Barnacle Gees (43), Red-throated Diver (36) and three White-billed Divers.

An early Willow Warbler in Merkeskogen  on the 3rd and a Garden Warbler in the nets on the 30th gave hope for other species as well. However cold, wet and northwesterly weather resulted in little else. Four Goldfinch, a pair of Stonechat between the 5th and 25th, a male House Sparrow off the ferry on the 9th was seen till the months end in Nordvikvågen. Otherwise, there were records of one to two Black Redstart throughout the period and a Grasshopper Warbler on the last day of the month.


Redstart (Atle Grimsby)
Redstart (Atle Grimsby)

During the five days of ringing in Merkeskogen there were 476 birds ringed of 23 different species. The best day was the 30th when 200 birds ringed of which Willow Warbler (71), Chiffchaff (56) and Robin (21) were the most numerous. Most notable ringing record was a Grasshopper Warbler and two Wrynecks. The months ringing is an improvement from the previous year when 321 birds of 19 species were ringed during seven days of activity.

Year ticks:
April resulted in 22 species new for the year:
Redshank, Green Sandpiper and Greenshank (1st), Wheatear (2nd), Linnet and Willow Warbler (3rd) Goldeneye, Carrion Crow and Teal (4th), House Sparrow (9th), Collared Dove (13th), Swallow (14th), Puffin (18th), Ring Ouzel (22nd), White-billed diver and Red-throated Diver (25th), Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Tree Pipit an Whitethroat (29th) and finally Grasshopper Warbler and Common Sandpiper (30th).

Rarities/local scarcities:
Other than extreme early dates for Willow Warbler and Garden Warbler there are no records that fall in to this category.