Monthly report January 2018

General: weather and coverage
Average temperature was 3.7 degC, 1.4 degC over the normal. Highest temperature was 7.8 degC (24th), and lowest 0.0 degC (18th). Total precipitation was 208.6 mm. Most precipitation in one day was 35.0 mm (16th). Highest wind speed was 25.0 m/s (25th). The total number of species ended on 52 versus 56 species the previous year.

The three expected raptor species were noted during the month. Sparrowhawk were present with one to two birds almost daily. Otherwise the local White-tailed Eagle and Peregrine were noted throughout with one to two birds of each.

The Mute Swan from October looks to be the new ‘harbour master’, holding guard outside the shop. January is a usually good month for geese. A Greylag Goose from December was present until the 3rd . Two White-fronted Geese arrived at Skare on the 14th, with the flock increasing to 20 by the 16th, and were joined by two Barnacle Geese the same day. Barnacle Geese increased to six on the 27th, while the White-fronted Geese reduced to two birds from the 27th until the end of the month.

A female Scaup briefly in Måkskittmyr on the 25th is definitely worth a mention, whilst a female Goosander was off Pedleneset on the 19th. The male Red-breasted Merganser from December was seen till the months end. There were no large gatherings of gulls during the month. A young Glaucous Gull was in Sørevågen between the 1st and 4th. A stationary Red-throated Diver off Skarvanes on the 1st and a Great Skua on Sirafjorden on the 7th are not usual in January.


Red-breasted Merganser (Atle Grimsby)

One to three Curlew and similar number of Snipe, as well as single Woodcock were noted during the month. Between the 16th and 25th there were various reports of Lapwing with a maximum of 23 on the 1st. There was no notable passage of Kittiwake or auks. 12 Little Auk were noted on the 4th while Kittiwake were noted with a maximum of 12 on the 16th.  

The Waxwing at Hovland between the 8th and 18th was the most notable record in this category. Otherwise large flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing were noted throughout the month. There a maximum of 400 Fieldfare and 30 Redwing on the 1st. A Common Crossbill on the 18th, as well as two Mealy Redpoll between the 4th and 9th are also worth a mention.

No ringing activity during the month.

Year ticks:
As the years first month all 52 species noted during the month were year ticks for Utsira.

Rarities/local scarcities:
The Scaup last noted in October 2015 is not a yearly occurrence.


Scaup (Isak Grimsby)


Some of the atmosphere at Utsira in January (Photos Atle Grimsby):