Monthly report March 2017

General: coverage and weather
Average temperature was 4.6 degC, 1.9 degC over the normal. Highest temperature was 8.8 degC (31st), and lowest -2.0 degC (7th). Total rainfall was 121.2 mm. Most rainfall in one day was 21.1 mm (12th). Highest wind speed was 22.8 m/s (14th). A total of 70 species were registered on Utsira in March, the same number as in March 2016.

Largely absent with only four species noted. A Sparrowhawk was noted on the 3rd and 5th as well as Goshawk on the 15th. The resident pair of White-tailed Eagles was present all month with additional records of young birds noted. On the 4th there were a total of six birds on the island. Otherwise there were reports of the local Peregrine Falcons during the month.


White-tailed eagle with Fulmar (Atle Grimsby)

Greylag Geese were stable with double figure counts and a passage maximum of 100 on the 13th and 15th. Greylag numbers stabilised to 30-40 birds from the middle of the month by which time pairing was noted. A White-fronted Goose of the eastern race albifrons was with the Greylags between the 13th and 25th. A male Red-breasted Merganser was noted on the 31st, otherwise there were low numbers of ducks.


March is usually a good month for Lapwing however this year only seen between the 3rd and 9th, with a maximum of nine on the 9th. Curlew was noted with a maximum of five on the 13th, otherwise only singles were reported. A single Golden Plover and a Water rail at the dump were reported on the 26th. Single Fulmars were observed to inspect potential breeding ledges, followed also by Gannet; otherwise there was a Guillemot in Nordvikvågen on the 1st and 2nd and an Iceland Gull in Sørevågen on the 15th.

A Stock Dove was stable in Nordvik on the 16th and 17th while Woodpigeon were noted with up to 35 birds on the 27th. Grey Wagtail were present with between one and two in the period 7th to 31st. Stonechat were noted with a female on the 14th, a pair on the 15th and a female on the 17th, which was ringed on the 25th, followed by a new female on the 29th.


A female type Black Redstart was found at Klovning on the 29th. Mistle Thrush were noted on various dates with between one and three birds in the period 7th to 29th. Great Grey Shrike was represented by singles on the 14th and 29th. A Hawfinch was present between the 25th and 27th and a Goldfinch was at Skare on the 31st.


Black Redstart (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

There were four days of ringing in Merkeskogen during March. A total of 109 birds were ringed of 8 species. The best day was the 13th when 64 birds were ringed of which Blackbird (52), Goldcrest (5) and Coal Tit (4) were the most numerous. Most notable ringing was of a Stonechat trapped at Myre. The ringing for the month was well below the previous year when 147 birds of 12 species were ringed during two days of ringing.

Year ticks:
March resulted in 21 new species for the year: Mistle Thrush and Grey Wagtail (7th), Dunnock and White Wagtail (13th), Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Snow Bunting and Great Grey Shrike (14th), Rook (15th), Jackdaw and Stock Dove (16th), Hawfinch (25th), Siskin, Brambling and Water Rail (26th), Mealy Redpoll and Black Redstart (29th), and finally a Goldfinch on the last day of the month.

Rarities/local scarcities:  
No species that fall into this category were recorded during the month.

Great Grey Shrike (Bjørn Ove Høyland)

Stock Dove (Atle Grimsby)

Photo: Atle Grimsby