Two Stonechats were ringed in autumn 2019, being only one more bird ringed in autumn since 1990.
Report from autumn 2019
Lista Bird Observatory completed in 2019 its 30th consecutive year of autumn ringing campaign. The station has been run for a total of 124 days from July 15 until November 15. 13 mist-nets have been currently used on the standardized (138 meters) and the results have under average with 3040 birds ringed (average for autumn is 4072) of 62 different species.
The registered number of White-tailed Eagle in the area has been the highest since 1990 with 50 records in autumn (average is 10 records per autumn and 26 per year).
The average temperature has been higher than normal throughout the year, with 1°C higher than normal from July until October, being August 2,2° C above normal. The precipitation has been higher during the whole autumn campaign excepting July. In October the precipitation was 51% higher than normal. Average precipitation from July until October has been 20% above average. There have been some days with strong winds, preventing the use of nets during 21 (compared to 19 days in 2018 and 11 days in 2017).
The numbers of ringed birds have been 25% down average and the number of species has been lower than last year. The "top 5 species" in the nets have been Blue Tit (935), Willow Warbler (438), Robin (181), Goldcrest (127) and Chaffinch (126).
The larger thrushes have been ringed in low numbers, especially Song Thrush, which has been ringed 49% down average. However, most of the species of small thrushes such as Robin, Common Redstart and Northern Wheatear were 30% above average. Other uncommon species, which are not ringed every year, such as Bluethroat, Black Redstart and Stonechat have also been ringed during this autumn.
An exception has been the Whinchat which despite being seen in good numbers during the spring (reaching average levels for the first time in 5 years) was ringed 53% down average in autumn 2019.
Finches, tits and Buntings have been in general low in the ringing, especially Willow Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Brambling, Greenfinch, Siskin, Redpoll, Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting. All those species have been ringed over 50% down average.
Many warblers have been ringed in low numbers, such as Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler and Blackcap. Willow Warbler has been slightly lower than average, while Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff have been ringed above average. Spotted Flycatcher and Pied Flycatcher were ringed in record numbers in spring, but were ringed around 40% under average in autumn.
This year we have again monitored the Wheatears breeding in the station area, ringing adult and young birds with colour-coded rings. The effort has been very good, being a good number of people in the field this year. We suspect it has been a normal-low year, resulting in 10 nests found in the lighthouse area (Gunnarhaug, Vågsvollvåien, Vågsvollvika). 6 adults and 16 chicks were colour ringed by the nests.
In addition, we have been catching and colour-ringing Rock Pipits with playback and walk-in traps. A total of 85 individuals have been ringed by the traps this autumn (79 in 2018 and 57 in 2017).
In the standardized we have continued colour ringing all White Wagtails, Stonechats, Rock Pipits and Wheatears, taking part of a national project of colour ringing, most of it run by Kjell Mork Soot. This year two Stonechats were ringed in autumn, being only one more individual of this species ringed in autumn since 1990.
Owl’s playback has been used during the nights in autumn when weather was suitable, catching 11 Tengmalm’s Owl.
From 1st of January to 15th November, 224 species have been recorded in the station area (10 less than last year).
There has been a number of species that have been registered in very high numbers, such as, Red-breasted Merganser, Shag, White-tailed Eagle and Kittiwake showing some of the highest autumn numbers since 1990.
In general, there have been normal or high numbers of seabirds on the move. Apart from the marine species mentioned above, Goosander, Gannet, Red throated diver, Common Gull, Guillemot and Razorbill have been seen above average. The exception has been Fulmar, Black-headed Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull which have been seen in low numbers this autumn and in the last few years.
The number of waders registered in the area has been in general low, including Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, and Spotted Redshank. However, some species with numbers under average this autumn have shown a progressive increase the last 3-4 years. Common Redshank, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper and Wood Sandpiper were among these. Ruddy Turnstone and Red Knot did show the second highest and highest numbers ever.
There has been a good number of unusual species in the area during the autumn. We have registered Great Egret, Black Kite, Red Kite, Red-necked Phalarope, Hawk Owl, European Bee-eater, Olive-backed Pipit, Water Pipit, Firecrest, Rose-coloured Starling, Pine Grosbeak and Little Bunting.
The Bird Observatory has continued to guide schools and private visitors in autumn in cooperation with the Lista Wetland Center. A total of 6 groups have been guided by the Bird Observatory this autumn.
Jordy Kwaks (Netherlands), Mireia Martínez (Spain), Alina Krämer (Germany), Jonas Brüggeshemke (Germany), Koen Stork (Netherlands), Christina Ninou (Greece), Grigory Evtukh (Russia), Oddvin Lund (Norway) and Naïd Mubalegh (France) have been volunteers at the station and helped Rubén Piculo and Aïda López, which have been the responsible people for the fieldwork in autumn 2019.