Today I went to do some birding counting around Norðskála. They plan to plant a lot of trees in the area, so they wanted to know which birds were around.
American Wigeon ?
By chance the first bird I saw was the putative American Wigeon, which is still around in the area.
Other good birds included Reed Warbler, 2 Slavonian Grebes and 12 Curlews.
I also checked Hvalvík. There were a few Yellow-browed Warblers around, but suddenly I heard a call resembling Hume’s Leaf Warbler and soon after I located a tricky plain phyl. I tried to play back Hume’s Leaf Warbler and it responded right away – but it never gave good views and disappeared in the plantation.
Hume’s Leaf Warbler or?
Hume’s Leaf Warbler or?
The bird was pale with the wing bars looking pure white, the feet were dark but not totally black. The bill was kinda orange underneath. It is just a pale Yellow-browed or could it be a Hume’s?
While searching for it a yellow-rumped Yellow-browed Warbler appeared. It didn’t show any crown stripe and both legs and bill appeared orange – so I guess it is just a weird Yellow-browed rather than a Pallas’ Warbler. Quite a funny fellow.
Appearence just before take-off
It started to rain and get windy so I had to give up. So I gave Eiði a try. Best birds there were 5 Goldfinches and a Yellow-browed Warbler.
Tomorrow is my last full day on the Faroes before heading back to Turkey. But as the weather looks now with storm and rain I guess this was it for now.
Today I went birding with Harri and Markus on Suðuroy – visiting birders from Finland.
First we checked Sumba, where they already had located the 3rd Steller’s Eider for the Faroes and we found it easily close to the shore.
Then we checked the gardens, where good numbers of Blackcaps were present. We also found Willow Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat and Goldfinch.
Then we checked futher north on the island and a total of 56 species were seen including 18 Yellow-browed Warblers, Barred Warbler, Common Rosefinch and 3 Goldfinches.
After a period of bad weather birding has again become good. A few days ago I found the 3rd ever Little Bunting for the Faroes at Viðareiði, but I didn’t get any pics as it was chased away by a house sparrow.
Today I checked Hvalvík. New birds have arrived and the mass invasion of Yellow-browed Warblers just continues. 7 Yellow-browed were found but many more could be around – and remeber this is just one village in the middle of the Faroes. Hundreds have already been seen by birders this autumn. But there must have been thousands maybe?
Other birds around included Barred Warbler, Redpolls, Common Teal, hundreds of Redwings and a Red-breasted Flycatcher.
After two days of stormy southeasterlies I went to Svínoy today. I had high hopes of mass arrivals (in Faroese standards) due to the weather situation.
As soon as I arrived with the ferry a Willow Warbler greeted me and while walking to the village two lapwings and an Iceland Gull were seen.
When I reached the first gardens it was obvious that many birds were around. So I checked the gardens:
4 Yellow-browed, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Barred Warblers, Common Nightingale still present, 20+ Bramblings, Chaffinch, 3 Chiffchaffs, 11 Blackcaps, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Robins, lots of Redwings, Common Rosefinch… And remember this is the Faroes. Crazy!
I then went to check adjacent fields and soon found a Richard’s Pipit – the second for the Faroes. It gave reasonable views and I got some usable photos.
Other birds included 20+ Common Snipes, Barn Swallow and a Pink-footed Goose.
Blackcap and two Chiffchaffs
Due to the weather the ferry came early so I didn’t have so much time as I could use. But it was amazing with all the birds present – the day only lacked a true mega…
Birding has been a little slow due to lack of both time and proper weather. But there are still good migrants around including Yellow-browed Warblers, Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and a few Common Swifts.
And the Common Nightingale was still present on Svínoy a few days ago.
Yesterday I checked Eysturoy and came across a female type American Wigeon at Nordskála. It could be a bird that was also present last year but rejected as an American Wigeon by the Danish rc due to features not matching American Wigeon and also due to lack of photos of the underwing.
Otherwise the winds look amazing for the next long period. It should bring loads for sibes to our shores. I’d only wish there would be more birders around to find them.
The last few days have been a little quite due to bad weather. But there are lots of birds around. 20+ Yellow-browed Warblers, Garden Warblers, a few Barred Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Lesser Whitethroats – and a few days ago a juv. Turtle Dove was present in the plantation in Tórshavn.
Today I checked Viðareiði, where more Yellow-browed Warblers and a Common Swift were seen.
Then I headed to Àrnafirði. Close to the beach there is an area with garden angelica. While checking the area a very small warbler was foraging on th path. I was just 5 meters in front of me when I noticed it. I got it in the bins for less then 10 seconds – but yes! Pallas’ Grashopper Warbler! The second for the Faroes and my second!
The Sedge Warbler-looking face but with a little less obvious eye-brow, pale edges on tertials, striped back, warm reddish-brown rump and broad rounded tail. Quite soon it disappeared into the vegetation as I started fumbling with the camera.
Probably due to excitement I went closer, which only meant that I flushed the bird and it flew a few meters into more dense vegetation.
I waited for a while but it didn’t come out. The first bird in Svínoy actually flew out of the vegetation when flushed, so I hoped this bird would do the same. So I went closer, but nothing happened. I thought it had moved on but then it finally took off just one meter away from me – and now I even saw the faint white tips on the tail – which can be really tricky to see on the field.
I couldn’t follow the bird, as it went behind a fence and in spite of intense searching I couldn’t relocate the bird – and the wind also made birding harder and harder.
At least I have high hopes it will be around tomorrow.
Lesser Whitethroat (eastern?)
Yesterday my family and I came home to the Faroe Islands, where we are going to stay for a month. Of course I have been following the wind charts, latest sightings and the stock marked.
So I was excited to come home to enjoy the arrival of migrant birds. After picking up a rental car in Tórshavn I made a quick stop in Hvalvík, where 5 Yellow-browed Warblers were present. Kinda cool welcome-party right?
Today I met with 3 Swiss birders and together we went to Svínoy. We had high hopes just as Pink Floyd, but the island chose to challenge our patience.
During the first hours the only migrants seen were a putative eastern type Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler.
So our hope had to be that we had either overlooked something or that new birds would arrive. So we had our lunch and started birding again.
First Chaffinch was seen. Then a Barred Warbler was located. Then a second and normal looking Lesser Whitethroat was seen. Then 2-3 Chiffchaffs were around.
And then while walking on my own I saw a passerine on a wall. What? That’s a freaking nightingale…
Yes, it was. And it was just sitting there on the wall. So I needed to see it better to confirm what it was. But it flew off to the church yard and then down the village. So I rushed down to the Swiss knifes, but the bird had just landed in front of them. During the next hours we obtained good views and had to id the bird as the second ever Common Nightingale for the Faroes – rather than a Thrush Nightingale due to lack of malar stribe, markings on breast and Garden Warblerish grey neck. But it is ok anyways.
While watching the Common Nightingale another Barred Warbler and a Yellow-browed Warbler were also located.
Svínoy – you are my darling!