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!
On the 24th of June Selma Mc Intosh photographed this falcon on her porch in Tórshavn on the Faroe Islands. The bird was not shy and stayed around the house for a while, where Selma managed to photograph the bird.
There are only two pictures available, but they seem to suggest that the falcon is in deed an Amer Falcon, which has been comfirmed by several birders experienced with the species.
The origin of the bird is not known. As mentioned it did not appear shy and as the pictures show it was sitting on a door step. Tórshavn is not the first place an exhausted bird could land as it would have reached other places before reaching Tórshavn. But on the other hand it could simply have looked for a good place to rest before coming down. And it wouldn’t be the first bird behaving weird after reaching the Faroe Islands are crossing the sea. So it doesn’t need to suggest captive origin.
Do Amur Falcons even appear in captivity?
It will be exciting the follow the conclusions reached by the danish rarities comity about this possible mega rarity.
Waxwing in my garden
The weather has been bad since last weekend. Windy, rainy and the first snow has come. It feels like the end of an era. Or does the autumn of 2014 still have a few more surprises?
The Western Islands, Shetland and Orkney have been flooded with yanks and right now I am on the ferry to Suðuroy. Is there a lingering yank around?
I have been birding a little bit though during the week when not swinging the hammer. Still good numbers of Bramblings, Blackcaps, Robins, Redwings and Goldcrests around.
In Viðareiði a Tree Sparrow was present a few days ago. Might be the same as a month or so ago.
Waxwings have arrived and have frequented my garden daily for a week. What a nice bird :)
Millum Fjarða a few Pink-footed and a single Greenland Greater White-fronted Goose have joined the Greylags.
Greenland Greater White-fronted Goose