Monthly report September 2020


General: coverage and weather
Highest temperature was 17.2 degC (2nd), and lowest was 8.8 degC (25th). Total rainfall was 99.7mm. Most rainfall in one day was 20.7mm (25th). Highest wind speed was 27.1 m/s (16th). There were a total of 145 species recorded during the month versus 126 in the same month the previous year, normally in excess of 120 species.


Five different raptor species is below average in what is normally a good raptor month. An adult Hen Harrier on the 26th was the pick of the bunch. White-tailed Eagle was noted daily with between one and three birds. Sparrowhawk were recorded almost daily with between one and six birds during the month, with a maximum of ten on the 19th. Kestrel were also noted with one to two birds daily from the 14th. Otherwise the local Peregrine Falcons were seen.


The new trend of resting geese as opposed to passage at sea continued. The first Pink-footed Goose arrived on the 7th, and then two to five were noted between the 18th and 22nd, followed by 110 to 131 until the 28th with 14 holding out to the end of the month. Four Greylag Geese were noted on the 26th, while Barnacle Geese were noted with two on the 12th and 13th and then eight new birds from the 24th until the end of the month. Nine hrota Brent Geese were in various harbors from the 24th to the end of the month.



Of the duck species the two Pintail on Pedlestemmen on the 17th and 18th and another on the 29th and 30th were the most noteworthy. A young Tufted Duck was in Måkeskittmyr from the 27th until the end of the month.


The 4th, 5th, 12th and 21st were the best days for seabird passage. The best bird was a Cory’s Shearwater on the 5th, and on the same day there were 740 Fulmar and 91 Sooty Shearwaters. Four Manx Shearwater on the 12th, a Storm Petrel on the 11th and Long-tailed Skuas on the 4th and 5th are also worth a mention. Otherwise there was little diver passage. A maximum of 14 Red-throated Divers were noted on the 24th. Only one Great Northern Diver during the month came on the 26th, whilst single White-billed Divers were reported on the 21st and 24th.


Waders were well represented during the month, among others Grey Plover between the 23rd and 29th, six Bar-tailed Godwit on passage on the 12th and one between the 17th and 19th. Good numbers of Jack Snipe at the end of the month with 12 as a maximum on the 30th. The most notable record was a Temminck’s Stint found by GMO in one of the puddles on Pedlestemmen on the 8th.


Jack Snipe (Photo: Egil Ween)


A Short-eared Owl was reported from various location on the 29th. A Horned Lark passed oven on the 28th and the autumns first Richard’s Pipit was noted on the 30th, a species that was strangely absent in 2019. An Olive-backed Pipit was seen at several sites between the radio and Starabarjet on the 27th. A young Citrine Wagtail was in Nordvik on the 17th and 18th, while a Bluethroat was in Grotlehagen on the 30th.


Citrine Wagtail (Photo: Bjørn Mo)


Two juvenile Siberian Stonechats were ringed by Bjørn Mo and awaits DNA analysis. The first was between Siratun and Veito on the 18th and 19th, while the second was by Jupevikshaugen between the 28th and 30th. The latter had company of two Stonechats on the 30th.


Eastern Stonechat (Photo: Egil Ween)


A Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler was ringed in Merkeskogen on the 27th, while the first Barred Warbler was in Herberg on the 24th with one to four daily to the end of the month. The first five Yellow-browed Warblers were reported on the 17th with varying numbers to the end of the month and a maximum of 28 on the 28th.


Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler (Photo: Egil Ween)


Two Wood Warblers were in Herberg on the 28th and a Firecrest first ringed in Merkeskogen on the 27th was then noted at various localities towards the end of the month. Red-breasted Flycatchers were noted with four different birds – first a juvenile in Herberg on the 12th, Hovland on the 26th, Gotledalen on the 28th and then another young bird at Austre plantning on the 29th and 30th. Little Bunting arrived the 19th and more than ten was seen (seven was ringed).


Little Bunting (Photo: Torborg Berge)


A juvenile Rosy Starling was at various localities on the 18th and 19th. The last five days of the month were dominated by northerly winds and produced good numbers of land birds. Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Treecreeper, Crossbill and Bullfinch contributed to most of the influx. Most notable was the locally rare Nuthatch with two birds, both ringed in Merkeskogen on the 27th and 28th, and both still present at the end of the month. Blue Tit were recorded with a maximum of 250 on the 27th and Bullfinch noted with one to two from the 26th until the end of the month. Arctic Redpoll were noted with two birds in the field on the 26th and 30th, the latter being of the hornemanni race


Bird of the year (so far) was without doubt the Cape May Warbler which hung in the net by Bjørn Mo in Merkeskogen on the 23rd and was seen until the 26th. The find is subject to a separate special article (In Norwegian only). Read here


Cape May Warbler (Photo: Bjørn Mo)


There were 14 days of ringing in Merkeskogen during the month. There were a total of 1098 birds of 38 species ringed. The best day was the 28th when 354 birds were ringed of which Goldcrest (76), Chiffchaff (75) and Dunnock (65) were the most numerous. Most notable ringing records were the Cape May Warbler, a Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler, two Siberian Stonechats, a Firecrest, two Nuthatch, a Common Rosefinch, seven Little Bunting and 30 Yellow-browed warblers (11 on the 30th). The result is a much improved effert from last year when in eight days of activity 219 birds of 21 different species were ringed.


Firecrest (Photo: Egil Ween)


Year ticks:
19 new species for the year as follows: Sooty Shearwater and Great-spotted Woodpecker (4th), Cory’s Shearwater (5th), Red-breasted Flycatcher (12th), Yellow-browed Warbler, Citrine Wagtail and Pintail (17th), Siberian Stonechat (18th), Little Bunting (19th), Jack Snipe (20th), Cape May Warbler (23rd), Twite and Barred warbler (24th), Arctic Redpoll (26th), Nuthatch, Pallas’s Grasshopped Warbler and Olive-backed Pipit (27th), Horned Lark (28th) and Richard’s Pipit (30th).


Rarities/Local scarcities:
Cape May Warbler was 1st for Norway and 4th for the WP
Cory’s Shearwater was new for Utsira.
8th record of Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler, last in 2009
13th record of Temminck’s Stint, last in June 2020
14th and 15th records of Nuthatch, the last in October 2014
14th and 15th records of Long-tailed Skua, last in May 2020
21st record of Firecrest, last in April 2020.
26th record of Citrine Wagtail, last in October 2017
29th and 30th records of Siberian Stonechat, last in October 2016


Here another photo of the Cape May Warbler taken in the field by the finder Bjørn Mo:

Cape May Warbler (Photo: Bjørn Mo)