Monthly report April 2018

Firecrest (Photo: Atle GrimsbyGeneral: coverage and weather:
Average temperature was 6.2 degC, 1.5 degC over the normal. Highest temperature was 13.6 degC (13th), and lowest -0.7 degC (3rd). Total precipitation was 65.1 mm. Most precipitation in one day was 16.1 mm (4th). Highest wind speed was 21.9 m/s (5th). Total number of species ended on 102 for Utsira versus 83 in April 2017.

Few raptors in terms of numbers and species. A few records of Sparrowhawk as well as a Kestrel on the 9th. The local Peregrine Falcons were reported while the White-tailed Eagle pair departed after a pair of Fulmar took over their nest on Beiningen around the 20th.

The Mute Swan ‘Harbour Master’ from October is still present. A White-fronted Goose was at Austrheim between the 13th and 21st. The five Barnacle Geese from March were still present at Starabarget until the 9th. The Greylag Geese population numbers now between 60 and 70 birds. A pair of Shoveler passed over land at Djupvikshaugen on the 8th. A female Tufted Duck was in Måkskittmyr from the 20th and was joined by a male on the 25th and 26th. The last days of the month resulted in good days for seabird passage. 17 Red-throated Divers, two White-billed Divers and two Artic Skua on the 28th were followed by 47 Red-throated Diver and a White-billed Diver on the 29th. A Great Northern Diver was reported on the 1st.

Crane are reported less than annual and April produced two birds on the 10th and 13th.
A Moorhen visited both the north and south harbours between the 4th and 25th, while on the last day was joined by a second bird in Nordvikvågen. A Bar-tailed Godwit was on pools on Pedlestemmen between the 19th and 22nd. A Jack Snipe was reported from Austrheim and later reported at Skare on the 16th. The Water Rail from March at the dump was also reported on the 1st.


Cranes (Photo: Isak Grimsby)

A Stock Dove was in the Kutre-Herberg area between the 13th and 21st. A Long-eared Owl was hunting at Myre on the 1st and a Short-eared Owl flew over the island on the 20th. A male Stonechat was at Koltemyr on the 14th. There were a few Black Redstarts noted from various localities between the 7th and 25th, with between eight and twelve different birds involved.

There still quite a few thrushes in April, where of the more notable species such as Mistle Thrush and Ring Ouzel being recorded with maximums of 15 and 40 respectively on the 13th. A Grasshopper Warbler was singing in Skjeldemarka on the 25th. A female Firecrest was ringed in Merkeskogen on the 8th, with possibly the same female being noted in Grotledalen on the 16th. Bullfinch is unusual in spring. A male was in Merkeskogene on the 8th. One to two Hawfinch were noted between the 4th and 30th.

There were 11 days of ringing activity in Merkeskogen during the month. A total of 264 birds of 18 species were ringed. The best day was the 8th when 89 birds were ringed of which Goldcrest (38), Robin (15) and Blackbird (10) were the most numerous. The cold weather is much to blame for the low total compared to the previous year when 476 birds of 23 species were ringed during five days of ringing.


Firecrest (Photo: Atle Grimsby

Year ticks:
April resulted in 35 new species for the year: Great Northern Diver (1st), Moorhen and Linnet (4th), Carrion Crow and Wheatear (7th), Shoveler, Firecrest, Bullfinch, Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, Jackdaw and Blackcap (8th). Followed by Ring Ouzel and Kestrel (9th) Golden Plover and Crane (10th), Green Sandpiper and Ringed Plover (11th), Stock Dove (13th), Jack Snipe and Twite (16th), Whimbrel (17th), Swallow (18th), Bar-tailed Godwit (19th), Tufted Duck and willow Warbler (20th), Lesser Whitethroat (23rd), Redshank, Grasshopper Warbler and Sedge Warbler (25th), Artic Skua and White-billed diver (28th), Blue-headed Wagtail (29th) and finally House Marin and Artic Tern (30th).

Rarities/local scarcities:
Firecrest was the 17th record for Utsira, the last being in October 2017.
The pair of Shoveler was the 23rd record for the island, the last in October 2017.
Crane was the 27th and 28th records, the last in April 2016.

Firecrest held by our ringer Øystein Nilsen (Photo: Atle Grimsby)

Tufted Duck (Photo: Isak Grimsby)