THE NORWEGIAN BIRD REPORT 2002 - a report on locally uncommon and scarce birds in Norway in 2002, by the Norwegian Birds Records Committee (NFKF)
The basis of this report is the annual reports produced by the county rarities committees. For 2002 all the counties contributed to the report, although the Svalbard archipelago and Jan Mayen as well as Finnmark, Troms, Sogn & Fjordane, Rogaland and Vest-Agder counties did not publish own county reports. We believe this report reflects fairly well observations from Norway in 2002. Readers should take care to note the geographical or time delimitation of the records stated for the different species, as stated in codes immediately after the scientific name of the species. The Norwegian Birds Records Committee (NFKF) has been publishing annual reports since 1991. The occurrence of Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus was the third best in NFKFs history, while the occurence of Lesser White-fronted Geese Anser erythropus at the traditional feeding and roosting site Valdakmyra, Porsanger (FI) continued to be low. Gadwalls Anas strepera have occurred in steadily increasing numbers in Norway in recent years, and 2002 was the best year to date for this species. Also Garganeys Anas querquedula occurred in good numbers giving the second best occurrence in NFKFs history. Due to favourable weather conditions during spring migration, Quail Coturnix coturnix, Corn Crake Crex crex and Spotted Crake Porzana porzana, all occurred in exceptionally good numbers in 2002. Both Sooty Shearwaters Puffinus griseus and Manx Shearwaters Puffinus puffinus experienced their third best year since 1991. There was a further increase in numbers at the recently established colonies of Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo of the subspecies sinensis at Øra (ØF), where the first confirmed breeding was in 1997. Both White-tailed Eagles Haliaeetus albicilla and Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus have steadily increased in numbers. The White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla has expanded its breeding distribution southwards, while the Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus has expanded or re-established at inland locations. The Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo is another raptor that has occurred in high numbers in recent years, and 2002 was the best year ever. The occurrence of Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta was the best since 1998 and was the third best year since 1991. Several shorebirds, such as Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus, Great Knots Calidris canutus, Dunlins Calidris alpina and Woodcocks Scolopax rusticola wintered in considerable lower numbers than in the last two years, probably due to colder pre-winter temperatures. The occurrence of Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa, Glaucous Gulls Larus hyperboreus and Iceland Gulls Larus glaucoides was the best in NFKFs history. Also the occurrence of Little Gulls Larus minutus was the best ever and new breeding locations were found south of its known breeding distribution. Black Terns Chlidonias niger was seen in good numbers (second best year), while Sandwich Terns Sterna sandvicensis experienced a poor year. Kingfishers Alcedo atthis had a good year with one breeding attempt recorded. The number of Hoopoes Upupa epops was the lowest since 1996. The occurrences of Red-throated Pipits Anthus cervinus, Pied Wagtails Motacilla alba yarrellii, Marsh Warblers Acrocephalus palustris, Barred Warblers Sylvia nisoria, Red-breasted Flycatchers Ficedula parva and Great Grey Shrikes Lanius excubitor was the highest ever recorded, while Wood Larks Lullula arborea experienced second best numbers since 1991. Many breeding attemps of Waxwings Bombycilla bombycilla were recorded, especially in Nordland county. Stonechats Saxicola torquata occurred in good numbers and four breeding pairs were recorded. At least three observations of Siberian Tits Poecile cinctus were recorded from its presumed distribution gap area in Nord-Trøndelag county. Arctic Redpolls Carduelis hornemanni continued to occur in good numbers after the autumn 2001 influx. In late summer and autumn, southern and western parts of Norway experienced a giant influx of Two-barred Crossbills Loxia leucoptera. The Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes still show a marked increase in the north of its distribution range, especially in the Trøndelag counities. The situation is not as bright for Ortolan Buntings Emberiza hortulana, which continues to occur in low numbers and is now in danger of becoming lost as a member of the Norwegian avifauna.