Monthly report October 2022

General: coverage and weather
Highest temperature was 14.1 degC (1st), and lowest was 6.3 degC (15th). Total rainfall was 161.3mm. Most rainfall in one day was 17.8mm (5th). Highest wind speed was 19.7 m/s (1st) and strongest gust was 27.7 m/s (16th). Total number of species ended on 171 versus 156 the previous year.

Eight different raptor species during the month. A Rough-legged Buzzard on the 20th was the most notable record. Sparrowhawk were noted in good numbers daily though the period, with a maximum of 15 on the 22nd. Hen Harrier was noted with a female on the 1st followed by daily records between the 9th and 21st, with two on the 15th. White-tailed Eagle were noted with one to two from the 9th until the end of the month and a maximum of four on the 22nd. Kestrel was noted with singles between the 1st and 5th and Merlin with singles between the 5th and 9th as well as the local Peregrine Falcons.

A hrota Brent Goose was at Austrheim on the 12th and a Barnacle Goose on the 6th and 7th, increasing to eight from the 8th to the 17th. A single Greylag Goose was present between the 8th and 15th, with 16 from the 27th to months end. Five flyover Pink-footed Geese were seen at various locations on the 6th. Seven albifons White-fronted Geese were at Pedlestemmen on the 22nd until the end of the month. Eleven Shelduck passed SW at Pedleneset on the 9th. There were good numbers of dabbling ducks through the month when on the 16th 23 Teal, five Wigeon and a Mallard were noted. A female Scaup passed SW at Koltemyr on the 23rd. Velvet Scoter were noted on passage between the 7th and 23rd with a maximum of eight on the 12th. Two female type and a female Goldeneye and were on Måkskittmyr between the 21st and 25th.

Water Rail were noted daily at various locations with a maximum of 5 on the 13th. Oystercatcher singles were reported on the 11th and 12th and a single Lapwing on the 12th. Two Grey Plover passed SW on the 6th with singles on the 7th and 8th, on the 14th and 15th and a single with Golden Plover at Koltemyr on the 31st. Ringed Plovers were noted with one to two birds until the 7th and a Bar-tailed Godwit was on passage heading SW on the 7th. Six Knot were also on passage SW on the 6th and a Ruff was present on the island between the 12th and 15th. Purple Sandpiper were reported with a maximum of 20 on Lausingen on the 22nd. Tringa and calidris waders were along the coast of Utsira, with a Greenshank on passage on the 13th the most notable species. Jack Snipe were well represented through the month with a maximum of 22 on the 3rd. A Great Snipe was on Bakerijordet on the 6th and Common Snipe reached a maximum of 45 on the 10th.

October is normally a good month for seabird passage, and the 6th and 7th were the most productive. Grey Phalarope were represented with four different birds, two in the west and two at Pedleneset on the 6th. An adult Little Gull passed west on the 6th and eight Little Gulls were feeding in Nordvikvågen the same day. Most Lesser Black-backed Gulls have left the country, but an adult was reported on the 6th and six others on passage on the 7th. There were moderate numbers of Great and Arctic Skuas on passage early in the month, with two Pomarine Skuas on the 6th and three the following day as well as a Long-tailed Skua on the 10th. Kittiwake and Auks normally peak late in the month, with Kittiwakes a maximum passage of 250 on the 16th and 450 on the afternoon of the 23rd. One to three Little Auk were registered between the 7th and 25th both on passage and on the sea. Razorbills were noted with a maximum of 350 on passage on the 23rd, while Guillemot were noted with a maximum passage of 550 and 200 on the 6th and 7th respectively, as well as 103 on the 21st. Puffin were noted with a maximum of 18 on the 6th and one to four on the sea and passage until the 12th. Divers were sparse on passage with Red-throated Diver peaking 29 on the 6th, a Black-throated diver on the same day, two Great Northern Divers passing SW on the 7th and another on the 12th. A White-billed Diver was on the sea by Jupvikshaugen on the 25th. An unidentified Albatross was reported passing north at Aust on the 7th. Otherwise, a Storm Petrel was seen passing west from the terrace on Bølgen on the 12th. The 6th also resulted in a large passage of 1600 Fulmar as well as a maximum for Sooty Shearwater with 248, with 27 on the 5th and 108 on the 7th and one on the 10th. Manx Shearwater were represented with ten on the 6th and seven on the 7th. A Balearic Shearwater was seen from the Wind Turbines on the 6th, while the best bird in this group was found by Grete Heggland in the form of a Glossy Ibis on Rabbajordet on the 16th, new for Utsira.

The big question of the autumn was if Utsira could land another American passerine, four years in a row. And the answer was….yes! On the 2nd Truls W Andersen put out the Grey-cheeked Thrush found in the net in Merkeskogen and an hour later Swedes Martin Hedèn and Gustav Eriksson found a Red-eyed Vireo at Hovland. The Grey-cheeked Thrush was kind enough to stick around Herberg until the 9th.

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Grey-cheeked Thrush (Photo: Håkon Heggland)


A Stock Dove was seen at various localities on the 22nd. Eivind Gjerde and Kjell Morten Jekteberg found an unexpected adult Lesser Grey Shrike in Siradalen on the 10th with the bird reported at various localities until the 16th. A Great Grey Shrike was in the Kutre area on the 1st and 2nd with a new bird on the 7th. Five Jackdaw paid a brief visit on the 3rd, with one to three others between the 24th and 29th with seven others at Austrheim towards the end of the month. Four Carrion Crows reduced to two by the end of the month. Waxwings were reported with three on the 15th, eight on the 19th, one on the 20th, ten on the 22nd and one on the 25th.

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Lesser Grey Shrike (Photo: Torborg Berge)


One to three Coal Tit accompanied the tit flocks from the 6th until the end of the month. Blue Tit hit a maximum of 800 on the 15th, and 303 were ringed in Merkeskogen. Great Tit less numerous with a maximum of 25. Three Woodlarks passed over Hålandsjorde on the 5th. A Shorelark was on Breimyr on the west side on the 13th, on was one Pedlestemmen on the 17th, two on Breimyr on the 21st and one was over Norvik on the 21st. Swallow were noted in low numbers with the last on the 13th while singles of House Martin were reported until the 7th. Eight Long-tailed Tit were ringed in Merkeskogen on the 14th with 13 there the following day, five on the 17th and a single on the 22nd.

The Western Bonelli’s Warbler from September was again reported on the 1st in Helgesenhagen. Yellow-browed Warbler were noted in moderate numbers with one to five daily until the 22nd, and only one day with double figure counts when 12 were noted on the 10th. Kjetil Johannessen found a Radde’s Warbler at Klovning on the magical 2nd at the same time as the Vireo at Hovland. Two new Radde’s Warblers were ringed in Merkeskogen on the 10th.

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Radde’s Warbler (Photo: Tore Vang)


One of these was noted on the following day. Our Swedish friends found a Dusky Warlber up in Svehojen on the 1st and Torborg found another at Austre Plantning on the 14th. Willow Warbler were scarce with one to four until the 15th and a late bird at Klovning on the 23rd. Chiffchaff were well represented with a maximum of 60 on the 14th and tristis noted between the 10th and 19th, four on the 10th and three on the 15th. Egil found a Blyth Reed’s Warbler by Grotlehagen on the 10th and an elusive Marsh Warbler behind the barn at Austrheim on the 2nd. Grasshopper Warbler was note with only a single at the dump on the 1st. Blackcap reached a maximum of 400 on the 10th. Barred Warbler were noted with one to six birds until the 15th. A juvenile Barred Warbler from September was present around Siratun-Herbergshoien until the 4th, one was at the dump on the 10th and 11th, one was at Austrheim on the 12th and 13th while one was ringed in Merkeskogen on the 14th. Lesser Whitethroat were reported with up to ten on the 11th, otherwise in lower numbers until the 17th, and Whitethroat noted with one to two birds until the 7th.

The Goldcrest influx from September continued until the 1st and 200 birds on this was the months only three figured tally. Wren showed the same trend with a maximum of 250 on the 1st. Treecreepers were noted with one to four birds throughout the month.

Mistle Thrush were noted with singles on the 1st, 9th, 30th and 31st. Two Ring Ouzel were noted on the 1st and singles on the 4th and 17th. A single Spotted Flycatcher was in Sjoardalen on the 2nd. Three Red-flanked Bluetail were recorded during the month with ringed birds observed between the 11th and 16th of birds ringed on the 11th, 12th and 14th. A Red-breasted Flycatcher was stable and well photographed in Grotlehagen between the 4th and 11th. A new bird was ringed in Herberg on the 7th and then another ringed in Merkeskogen on the 15th and seen in Herberg the following day. A male Black Redstart was at the shop on the 15th, and then four were seen on the 21st, two on the 22nd and then one to two till the end of the month. Redstart were seen until the 6th. A Stonechat was also at the shop on the 21st and then in Veito the following day. Two new males were in Grotledalen on the 30th and 31st. Grey Wagtail were well represented throughout the whole month with a maximum of ten on the 11th. A Richard’s Pipit was at various locations on the 21st. Olive-backed Pipit were well reported with numerous individuals reported. One was at Svehojen and the dump on the 1st, one at Hovland on the 2nd (when the bird at the dump was also reported), one at Klopp and Svehojen on the 3rd and others reported elsewhere until the 5th, three together on the 10th, singles at Austrheim and Herberg on the 11th and ringed birds in Merkeskogen on the 16th and 30th.

Chaffinch and Brambling were reported in only moderate numbers during the month with a maximum of Chaffinch on the 14th. Hawfinch were noted with one to two bird’s mobile between the 10th and 25th. A flyover Bullfinch was reported on the 15th. Twite was noted with five on the 2nd and 3rd, four on the 7th, five on the 8th and eight on the 13th. Linnet was noted with one to seven birds until the 11th. Parrot Crossbill were represented in flocks on passage between the 1st and 21st with a maximum of 80 on the 15th. Crossbill were also noted in similar flocks throughout the month with a maximum of 400 on the 15th. Two-barred Crossbill were noted with one to two birds among the other crossbill flocks between the 9th and 21st.

Goldfinch were in flocks of various sizes with up to 25 from the 9th until the end of the month. Lapland Bunting were noted with one to three birds between the 1st and 22nd, two of which were stable at Klovning. Snow Bunting were noted throughout the month with one to three birds. A single Yellowhammer was at Siratun on the 22nd. Little Buntings were at the dump on the 1st, one at Klovning on the 8th and the church on the 11th. Fredrik Tjessheim found a stable and well photographed Rustic Bunting in Sjoarskogen on the 2nd and 3rd, while Reed Bunting was conspicuous with on to fifteen until the 22nd.

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Rustic Bunting (Photo: Torborg Berge)


A total of 1893 birds of 41 species were ringed during 25 days of ringing in Merkeskogen. The best day was the 15th with 390 birds of which Blue Tit (303), Blackbird (28) and Great Tit were the most numerous. This year was a slight improvement on the previous year when 1334 of 44 species were ringed in 30 days of ringing. There are few other Norwegian localities than can match: Two Olive-backed Pipits, three Red-flanked Bluetail, a Grey-cheeked Thrush, a Barred Warbler, two Red-breasted Flycatchers, four Yellow-browed Warblers, two Radde’s Warblers, a Great Grey Shrike and a Tengmalm’s Owl on the years October ringing list.

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Red-flanked Bluetail (Photo: Truls W. Andersen)


Year ticks:
A total of 23 new birds for the year: Great Grey Shrike and Dusky Warbler (1st), Grey-cheeked Thrush, Red-eyed Vireo and Radde’s Warbler (2nd), Woodlark (5th), Coal Tit, Balearic Shearwater, Little Gull, Grey Phalarope and Great Snipe (6th), Two-barred Crossbill (9th), Lesser Grey Shrike (10th), Storm Petrel (12th), Shorelark (13th), Long-tailed Tit (14th), Waxwing (15th), Glossy Ibis (16th), Tengmalms Owl (20th), Stock Dove and White-fronted Goose (22nd).

Rarities/local scarcities:
1st record of Glossy Ibis (approx. 30th for Norway)
2nd record of Grey-cheeked Thrush, last in October 1973
2nd record of Red-eyed Vireo, last in October 2019
Fifth and sixth records of Grey Phalarope, last in October 2018
Sixth record of Balearic Shearwater, last in August 2005
9th-11th record of Radde’s Warbler, last in October 2021
21st and 22nd records of Dusky Warbler, last in November 2021
34th-36th record of Red-flanked Bluetail, last in September 2022
35th record of Blyth’s Reed Warbler, last in June 2022


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Red-eyed Vireo (Photo: Torborg Berge)