Monthly report September 2018

General: coverage and weather
Average temperature was 12.7 degC, 1.0 degC over the normal. Highest temperature was 19.1 degC (7th), and lowest was 6.1 degC (24th). Total rainfall was 151.0mm. Most rainfall in one day 32.1mm (7th). Highest wind speed was 29.6 m/s (21st). Low pressure systems were lined up through the month and with winds predominantly form the NW and W there were few passerines noted. A total of 94 species were recorded versus 115 the previous year in the same month, while a normal September usually gives 120 species.

Six different species of raptor during the month is normal for a good raptor month. A flyover Osprey over Yrefjell and Koltemyr on the 7th and 8th was the most notable species. A Merlin passed quickly over Herbergshojen on the 29th. Kestrel were noted well with up to 15 birds on the 3rd with a further eight on the 7th, and almost daily the rest of the month. Sparrowhawk were recorded also well with 45 on the 3rd and otherwise daily throughout. There were few records of both the local White-tailed Eagle and Peregrine Falcons.

The Mute Swan from October last year was still present in Sørevågen. Widgeon were noted regularly with one to two birds from the 7th while six passed Pedleneset on the 29th. Despite good winds from the west on a few days there was little in the way of seabird movement. The 30th was a notable day with eight Manx Shearwater, two Sooty Shearwater, 400-500 Kittewake, two to three passing (and one stationary) Pomarine Skua with the Kittewake flocks, three Red-throated diver, 10-15 Arctic Skua and ten Great Skua.

The best day for Fulmar passage was the 12th when 95 were noted. Single Sooty Shearwater were also noted on the 12th and 20th while a Pomarine Skua was noted on the 29th. Red-throated Diver were recorded with two from the west (22nd) and a single on the 29th from the west. The most notable wader was a flyover Black-tailed Godwit at Skare on the 16th. As rarity week approached this gave reports of both Great Snipe and Jack Snipe on the 30th.

Suprisingly few new arrivals of passerines during the month. Yellow-browed Warbler was first noted with a single in Herberg on the 5th, the earliest ever record, but after that only singles on the 22nd and 23rd then two on the 29th. A Richard’s Pipit was at Skare on the 14th and 15th. A Short-toed Lark was found on the road out to Helganes on the 15th and then was present around the area towards the lighthouse until the 26th. It then relocated to Nordvik from the 27th were it was present to the end of the month.


Short-toed Lark (Photo: Tore Vang -

A young Common Rosefinch was ringed at Merkeskogen on the 29th, a Bluethroat was in Veito on the 29th and 30th and a juvenile Barred Warbler was flushed from by the church and later seen in various gardens in Nordvik on the 30th.

Ringing was carried out only five days during the month in Merkeskogen. A total of 66 birds of 18 different species were ringed.  The best day was the 7th when 26 birds were ringed of which Willow Warbler (6) and Blackcap (5) were the most numerous species. The most notable ringing records were of a Common Rosefinch and a Treecreeper. The months ringing were the lowest for a September and significantly lower than the previous year when 737 birds of 37 species were ringed during 13 days of activity.

Year ticks:
Nine new birds for the year, as follows: Treecreeper (1st), Yellow-browed Warbler (5th), Ruff (6th), Richard’s Pipit (14th), Short-toed Lark (15th), Black-tailed Godwit (16th), Snow Bunting (22nd), and Barred Warbler and Great Snipe (30th)

Rarities/local scarcities:
Earliest record of Yellow-browed Warbler on the 5th.

Richard’s Pipit (Photo: Isak Grimsby)