THE NORWEGIAN BIRD REPORT 2000 - a report on locally uncommon and scarce birds in Norway in 2000, by the Norwegian Bird Records Committee (NFKF)
The basis of this report is the annual reports produced by the county rarities committees. For 2000 all the counties, with the exception of Finnmark and Sogn og Fjordane counties contributed to the report. Only limited information for some species was received from Troms. The Svalbard archipelago and Jan Mayen are not represented in this report. With the exception of the northernmost counties the report thus reflects fairly well the observations reported from Norway in 2000. Readers should take care to note the geographical and time delimitation of the records stated for the different species, as stated in codes immediately after the scientific name of the species. This report details records of locally uncommon and scarce birds only, and not national rarities. National rarity records are treated by the Norwegian Rare Bird Committee (NSKF) and are published separately (e.g. Mjølsnes et al. 2005). Notable observations in 2000 were influxes or higher numbers than usual of different species, such as Corncrake Crex crex, Spotted Crake Porzana porzana, Snowy Owl Nyctea scandiaca and Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros. New arrivals of Guillemot Uria aalge in the larger freshwater lakes in southern parts of Norway were notable. This influx follows the larger influx in 1997 from which birds still remain in these freshwater bodies. The growth of the recently established colonies of Cormorant of the subspecies sinensis continued, with 482 nests at Øra (ØF) (first confirmed breeding in 1997). The status of the colony at Orrevann (RO) in 2000 is unknown, but contained more than 100 nests in 1999 (first confirmed breeding with 6 nests in 1996). In addition many birds have been recorded from other freshwater sites in Southern Norway. The Norwegian population of Lesser White-fronted Goose (the last remaining wild population of this species in Europe) still lingers on, with 64 individuals recorded during spring migration. Breeding failure prevailed this year with only one pair with 2 juveniles recorded (compared to 17 successful breeding pairs in 1999). The partly introduced population of Barnacle Goose in the Oslofjord-area continued to increase (59 pairs in 1999). White-tailed Eagles also continued their range expansion in the southernmost regions, e.g. 5 birds recorded at Øra (ØF), where the last breeding record stems from 1882. The Peregrine also increases strongly in Norway, with now around 500 breeding pairs (up from a low of ca. 50 pairs in the 1950’s and 1960’s). The aid of playback of sound recordings has revealed more Water Rails during late autumn and winter than
hitherto known, suggesting that many birds migrate to the western coasts of Norway. The Corncrake had another good year with a new record of 131-137 individuals in 2000. The first wintering record of Common Crane from 2.1-12.3 at Jæren (RO) was notable and as with other species indicate that the climate is changing towards milder winters. Many new lekking sites of Great Snipe were also detected this year, and one unusual late record of a specimen at Østensjøvann, Ås (OA) was made 3.12. Woodcock also occurred in unusually high wintering numbers with 134 individuals. An influx of Iceland Gull was noted in the southern parts of Norway with 58 individuals, including one inland observation from Mjøsa (OP). One of the birds in Trondheim (ST) was a possible kumlieni. Readers should note that both Glaucous Gull and Iceland Gull are common and occur in larger numbers (hundreds) in the northernmost counties. An influx of Snowy Owl during the autumn was noted in all parts of the country, with 57-58 individuals. The trend towards milder winter climate has brought a significant increase in the breeding population of Grey Wagtail, and the numbers of wintering White Wagtail and Dunnock have increased. The numbers of White Wagtail subspecies yarrellii occurring during the summer months are steadily increasing. A spring influx of Stonechat brings back hope for a re-establishment of the western coast breeding population. The autumn migration of Yellow-browed Warbler resulted in a new national record in one year with 64 individuals. Also notable was a winter record of a Willow Warbler in December. Bearded Tits continued to occur in good numbers following the influx of 1999. The influx of Nutcrackers in 1995 helped establish a thriving breeding population outside their normal breeding areas in Norway (such as in ST), while the remnants of the influx of Two-barred Crossbill in 1996 finally seem to fade away. The Hawfinch is still spreading northwards and is now recorded more frequently, including as far north as TR.