Monthly report October 2021


General: coverage and weather
Highest temperature was 14.8 degC (3rd), and lowest was 4.3 degC (22nd). Total rainfall was 195.0mm. Most rainfall in one day was 20.3mm (10th). Highest wind speed was 22.4 m/s (22nd), and strongest gust was 31.0 m/s (3rd). Total number of species for the month ended on 156 versus 155 in the same month the previous year.


Seven different raptor species represents a normal October. A young Osprey on the 1st was the most notable find. Otherwise Sparrowhawk were noted daily with one to ten birds through the month. Han Harrier were noted with a female on the 1st, two on the 2nd, on the 17th and one on the 27th and 28th. White-tailed Eagle were reported daily with one to three birds and Kestrel with one to two birds until the 9th. Merlin were noted with singles on the 6th, 10th and 16th and 17th, along with the local Peregrine Falcons.


Two Pink-footed Geese from September were noted until the 9th. Otherwise only six Greylag Geese were noted (23rd), in what is normally good goose month. A female Tufted Duck flew towards Kvalvikvågen on the 25th. A weak Scaup was caught by hand at the same location on the 6th and found dead the next day.




Måkeskittmyr held female Goldeneye in the form of singles on the 1st, 13th and two on the 27th until the end of the month. Water Rails were noted with one to three birds at various localities through the month. Two late Oystercatchers were reported on the 13th with four Grey Plovers on the 1st and two on the 5th. A Bar-tailed Godwit passed over on the 5th. A Little Stint was first noted on Pedlestemmen and then on Hålandsjordet on the 4th and 5th. Jack Snipe were noted with between one and seven birds throughout the month. A late Common Sandpiper was noted on the 5th while there were reports of single Redshank and Greenshank between the 5th and 11th.


October is normally a good month for seabird passage especially for auks and Kittiwake. Guillemot were noted with a maximum passage numbers of 20 on the 10th and Razorbill 45 on the 14th. Little Auk were reported with eight on the 11th with singles noted during the rest of the month. Great Northern Diver were noted with one to two birds in a three day period. An adult White-billed Diver passed on the 6th, a Storm Petrel SW on the 14th and a Sooty Shearwater on the 11th.Kittewake and a Fulmar were not reported in any numbers with few days exceeding twenty birds each.


A Wryneck was ringed in Merkeskogen on the 3rd and was reported from various localities until the 7th. Great Spotted Woodpecker was noted with singles on the 6th, 18th and 22nd, with two on the 27th and one of those until the end of the month. The juvenile Woodchat Shrike from September was still present in the north until the 3rd.


Great Tit and Blue Tit increased slowly at the end of the month with maximums of 20 on the 27th and 30 on the 31st respectively. The Woodlark from September was in the same area until 5th. Shorelarks also favored the new ploughed are in Vest Nordvik, first with a single on the 4th, so two on the 6th, three on the 7th and four on the 9th and 10th. A further two flyover birds were at Aust on the 16th.




Two Sand Martins on the 10th, a House Martin on the 12th and a Swallow on the 17th represented probably the last of the hirundines for the year. Two Long-tailed Tits were seen briefly on the 12th.


A Hume’s Warbler and a Pallas’s Warbler turned up at the same time in Herberg on the 18th, and a new Pallas’s Warbler was ringed in Merkeskogen on the 31st.


It has been a relativly poor tear for Yellow-browed Warbler in Europe this year, but it was present the whole month with 7 individuals as maximum on the 9th and 10th. Its difficult to estimate the total for the month but surely less than the present daily record.


A Radde’s Warbler at Austre Forest on the 9th got good attention during ‘the rarity week’ and the bird was still present there the next day.




A Blyth’s Reed Warbler was trapped in Merkeskogen on the 14th. Barred Warbler were well represented in the middle of the month with two birds at various locations and a bird ringed in Merkeskogen on the 10th, with one of these probably until the 13th or 14th and then in Nordvik until the 17th. A new bird was at Skare on the 18th. There were a few late Lesser Whitethroats with eastern sub-species suspected. Some of them was ringed as dna analysis will be attempted.




There are few localities in Norway which can provide two different catharus thrushes in an October with westerly winds. Utsira is among the best! To Espen and Renates’ frustration a catharus thrush escaped from the net in Merkeskogen on the 15th. To everyones relief Bjørn Mo and Egil Ween nailed Norway’s first Veery at Skare the next day. Most twitchers who could creep or walk travelled over for the bird, which was present until the 18th.




Catharus thrush no.2 came as surprise, seen briefly in the first garden south of Herberg on the 31st. Håkon was the sole observer of the Swainson’s Thrush at close, but which disappeared as quickly as it was found. This is the sixt record for Utsira (and Norway) of the species.


Red-flanked Bluetail equaled the current record (also in 2010) with five different birds: the first was in Sjoradalen and is described in the September report. A new bird was in Herberg between the 7th and 12th, while another was in Kutre/Herberg between the 8th and 16th. The fourth was trapped on the 13th in Nore Merkeskogen which was then seen until the 17th. An new bird was found in the field at Søre Merkeskogen on the 18th and was then trapped and ringed shortly after. All were female-type birds and could be separated both with and without ring. Three birds were ringed on the 12th, 13th and 18th.




Single Bluethroat were seen in Vestre Nordvik on the 7th and Herberg on the 13th. Red-breasted Flycatcher were also well represented with a few overlapping birds mainly in the Herberg area between the 6th and 10th, a new bird at Austrheim on the 12th, followed by a bird ringed in Merkeskogen on the 17th which was then reported from a few locations later the same day.




Black Redstart were reported by singles og female-type birds at various localities between the 10th and 31st. A Stonechat was reported from around the church on the 31st.


An Isabelline Wheatear turned up at Austrheim on the 31st and stayed into November.




A presumed Yellow Wagtail was in the football pitch/Sørevågen area between the 5th and 10th. A stable Richard’s Pipit was in the Veito area between the 7th and 18th. Olive-backed Pipit were reported in Nore Merkeskogen on the 6th, was joined by another on the 7th, and then by a third on the 10th. Another flew over Søre Merkeskogen on the 31st. A Red-throated Pipit was stable on Bakerijordet between the 2nd and 6th, and was joined by another on the 5th.




Brambling were well represented throughout the month with large numbers of passage and stationary birds. A maximum of 4000 were noted on the 17th. Hawfinch roamed the island, noted at many locations between the 1st and 17th with a male at Siratun on the 30th. Rosefinch were noted with three birds stationary mainly at the dump and Grotlehagen between the 9th and 16th.




Goldfinch were also well represented with a maximum of 30 on the 5th. Little Bunting were also reported in good numbers at various localities where single birds were largely stationary between the 5th and 19th. Six different birds were noted on the 10th and three different birds were ringed on the 7th. A new stable bird was at Austrheim on the 27th and 28th and then another single at Nordvik on the 29th.




A Rustic Bunting was in Sjoarskogen on the 3rd, and probably the same bird in Merkeskogen the following day.


A total of 1334 birds were ringed of 44 different species during 20 days of ringing in Merkeskogen. Best day was the 13th when 184 birds were ringed of which Redwing (135), Brambling (10) and Song Thrush (8) were the most numerous. The years ringing was under the normal for an October and under last years effort when 2041 birds of 38 species were ringed during 18 days of ringing. A Olive-backed Pipit, three Red-flanked Bluetail, a Mistle Thrush, a Blyth’s Reed Warbler, two Barred Warbler, a Red-breasted Flycatcher, two Yellow-browed Warbler, a Pallas’s Warbler and seven Little bunting were the most notable birds ringed.




Year ticks:
October resulted in 14 new year ticks: Wryneck (3rd), Shorelark (4th), Eastern Yellow Wagtail (5th), Olive-backed Pipit and Scaup (6th), Richard’s Pipit (7th), Radde’s Warbler (9th), Long-tailed Tit (12th), Storm Petrel (14th), Veery (15th), Pallas’s Warbler and Hume’s Warbler (18th), Swainson’s Thrush (30th) and finally Isabelline Wheatear (31st).


Rarities/local scarcities:
1st for Utsira and Norway: Veery (15th for WP)
4th record of Isabelline Wheatear, last in October 2003
6th record of Swainson’s Thrush, last in October 2019
Eighth record of Radde’s Warbler, the last in October 2014
10th record of Hume’s Warbler, the las tin November 2019
28th to 32nd records of Red-flanked Bluetail, the las tin September 2021


Here a few more photo of the Veery (the star of the month) and the crowd it attracted: