Monthly report January 2017

General: coverage and weather
Average temperature was 4.9 degC, 2.8 degC over the average. Highest temperature was 8.0 degC (19th), and lowest was -2.8 degC (16th). Total precipitation was 110.0 mm. Most precipitation in one day was 12.3 mm (7th). Highest wind speed was 24.2 m/s (11th). The total number of species for the month ended on 56 versus 52 the previous year.

Five species of raptor during the month of January is good. A young Goshawk was present between the 3rd and 20th. A Sparrowhawk was noted on the 20th and 22nd, and the first winter record of Kestrel was of a bird over Varen on the 15th. Otherwise, one or two of the local White-tailed Eagle and Peregrine Falcon were noted.

Five different geese species helped to increase the Months species list. 18 White-fronted Geese from December were present until the 4th, seven until the 7th and then 14 on the 10, followed by singles until the 26th.  The Barnacle Geese from December were present until the 10th. The 10 Greylags that arrived in the New Year reduced to seven from the 8th and then two to three towards the end of the month. The Bean Goose that arrived on the 20th December was present until the 4th. Two Pink-footed Geese arrived at Austrheim on the 21st and were still present with the other geese until the end of the month.


White-fronted Goose (Photo: Isak Grimsby)

A female Wigeon was at Måkskittmyr on the 5th and was joined by a male and two further females on the 7th, and two females were still present until the 10th. A Red-breasted Merganser paid a visit to Sørevågen on the 21st.

An Oystercatcher was in the north on the 20th, a flyover Golden Plover on the 22nd, whilst a Curlew was around Staraberget between the 3rd and 10th. Woodcock were noted with singles on the 10th and 15th and Common Snipe with one to two birds between the 3rd and 15th.

The large congregations of large gulls from December continued into January and resulted in both species of white-winged gulls.  Five Glaucous Gulls were noted between the 11th and 21st, three birds on the 12th and one on the 23rd. All the Glaucous Gulls were second year birds. A young Iceland Gull was in Nordvikvågen on the 15th and 16th. There were also records of singles of both Razorbill and Little Auk between the 1st and 23rd.

A Meadow Pipit was present in the north between the 2nd and 8th, and a Waxwing at Skare and Sørevågen on the first two days of the year. Other unusual January records include a Song Thrush at feeding stations at Skare between the 5th and 15th, a female Blackap in Løvlandshagen on the 22nd, a Lesser Redpoll on the 14th and a young male Yellowhammer at Hoiebakken on the 8th.

There was no ringing activity during the month.

Year ticks:
The years’ first month resulted in 56 different species, all of which were new for 2017 on Utsira.

Rarities/local scarcities:
First January record of Kestrel, with an earlier extreme date of 5th February 2010, as well as the first January record of Lesser Redpoll.


Here some photos from Utsira in January 2017 taken by Atle Grimsby: