Blyth’s Reed Warbler (Bjørn Mo)Monthly report May 2018

General: coverage and weather
Average temperature was 12.5 degC, 3.8 degC over the normal. Highest temperature was 25.7 degC (30th), and lowest was 5.3 degC (12th). Total rainfall was 36.1 mm. Most rainfall in one day was 25.1 mm (11th). Highest wind speed was 19.2 m/s (17th). Total number of species ended on a moderate 127 versus 130 from the previous year. This was however well below May 2014 when 146 species were registered.

A total of nine different raptor species during the month. A female-type Pallid Harrier over  Merkeskogene and a brief Hobby over Varen on the 13th, as well as an Osprey over Nordvik on the 20th were the pick of the bunch.

Osprey (Bjørn Mo)

Otherwise there were single Merlin on the 20th and 28th as well as single Kestrel between the 2nd and 31st and Sparrowhawk between the 7th and 25th. A female-type Hen Harrier was over Merkeskogen on the 12th. One to three different White-tailed Eagles were on Utsira between the 10th and 30th, as well as the local Peregrine.

The Mute Swan from October was present throughout, and obtained a black colour ring (E851) on the 20th. A White-fronted Goose was on the island between the 2nd and 4th. Brent Goose passage was noted with 300 birds on the 21st and 106 on the 25th. Otherwise there was little seabird passage during the month; Red-throated Diver were noted with a maximum of 13 on the 19th, with between five and seven birds between the 7th and 25th, a single Great Northern Diver on the 13th and a Black-throated Diver on the 25th.

A Pomarine Skua passed Jupvikshaugen on the 18th, otherwise there were just a few reports of Great and Arctic Skua.

A pair of Pintail and a Mandarin Duck were noted on puddles on Pedlestemmen on the 14th.

A visit of Great Spotted Woodpecker in May is unusual, so a male in Karolinehagen on the 3rd was a welcome guest. A Tawny Pipit was around Veito between the 11th and 13th, the months high point.

Tawny Pipit (Jon Ludvig Hals)

An active singing Great Reed Warbler by the church was also most welcome. Blyth’s Reed Warbler were represented by a ringed bird in Merkeskogen on the 22nd, and a singing bird in Herberg on the 30th. Red-breasted Flycatcher were numerous with a female on the 8th, two to three birds on the 13th and singles on the 22nd and 27th. Black Redstart were noted with three birds between the 4th and 13th.

An early Marsh Warbler was noted on the 14th while birds were present daily between the 21st and 31st with up to five on the 30th. One to two Rosefinch were reported between the 19th and 28th. A male Rustic Bunting was at Hovland football field on the 20th.   

May often offers and range of species and good coverage in Merkeskogen. The months totals resulted in 461 birds ringed of 42 different species during 18 days of ringing.

Marsh Warbler (Atle Grimsby) - 8 birds were ringed in May

The best day was the 18th when 86 birds were ringed of which Garden Warbler (46), Redstart (11) and Blackcap were the most numerous. In contrast 1003 birds of 37 different species were ringed in 17 days of ringing in May 2017.  

Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Bluethroat, two Rosefinch and eight Marsh Warbler were the most notable ringing records.

Year ticks:
38 new species for the year in May: Whinchat, Sand Martin and Pied Flycatcher (1st), Redstart and Tree Pipit (2nd), Great-spotted Woodpecker (3rd), Wryneck and Red-backed Shrike (6th), Greenshank (7th), Red-breasted Flycatcher (8th)

Bluethroat (Isak Grimsby)

Bluethroat and Common Sandpiper (10th), Spotted Flycatcher and Tawny Pipit (11th), Garden Warbler and Cuckoo (12th), Great Reed Warbler, Hobby, Swift and Pallid Harrier (13th), Marsh Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Common Tern, Pintail and Mandarin Duck (14th), Knot (16th), Pomarine Skua (18th), Common Rosefinch (19th), Rustic Bunting, Merlin and Osprey (20th), Wood Warbler, Reed Warbler, Turnstone (21st and finally Feral Pidgeon and Blyth’s Reed Warbler (22nd).

Rarities/local scarcities:
Seventh Tawny Pipit, the last in May 2014, as well as the seventh Great Reed Warbler, last in May 2014. The ninth Pallid Harrier, last in September 2015.