2010 review – part one

Well, how was the faroese bird year 2010? You’re about to find out if you keep on reading. This might not be an all inclusive or totally objective review, but rather my own thoughts on the year as a Faroese birder. 2009 ended with the first tundra bean goose for the Faroes. I found it on 31th december and it stayed until it died a few months later. It could be seen from my kitchen window now and then.

The winter was very cold. Snow covered the ground from december to late april, which is unusural. That meant that birds like jack snipes and water rails were easy along the slow floating streams, but birding was mostly just freezingly cold and the rewards didn’t match the efforts. The first real highlight was a 2cy ross’s gull, which I found at Toftir. According to netfugl.dk 5 ross’s gulls have been seen in 2010 in wp and 2 of them at the Faroes! The 2cy stayed for months, but mostly seen near Tórshavn. It was very heavily twitched – I know of two other birders who saw it!

Rodmund found the 3rd smew for the Faroes in Vestmanna on the 24th of February and an adult female ring necked duck on the 28th. March was very cold too, and no really good birds were found. Probably most birders were just trying to survive the winter. In april Rodmund found the second taiga bean goose for the Faroes at Hvalvík, where it stayed for weeks. Even though the winter was very cold, Iceland gulls were rather scarce with some 15-20 birds being seen all in all. This is a huge contrast to some 350 birds in 2009 which included about 17 ssp. Kumlieni. April also included a mistle thrush on the 30th and a yellowhammer and a very early osprey on the 21th.

May – sun and lots of birds – well, that was 2009 with 5 subalpine warblers and lots of good stuff. This may was cold and bitter – dominated by westerlies. Classic migrants such as pied fly, whinchat and redstart weren’t even seen, so maybe for once I acturally should have placed myself in the dunes af Skagen (Denmark) – seing a lot of dots flying by! But faithful to the habbit, we – the Faroese ornithological society – took a trip to Suduroy rather than Skagen on the 21th to 23th. Not much to see, but it only takes one good bird to make the day – and that bird was the first national record of a 2cy+ bairds sandpiper at Fámjin. As far as I can see, there are less than 10 records of adult bairds sandpipers in wp, but I might be mistaking… but a nice new to Faroes.

Early june produced some easterlies, and my father in laws brother sent me a mail on the 2th of june attaching a splendid ad male golden oriole seen just 5 minutes drive from my home the previous day. I checked the place, but it was gone. It’s the first record of an ad male for the Faroes. I managed to find an icterine warbler and two common rosefinches on the 3rd, but that is just a small comfort compared to an ad male golden oriole. All in all the first half of the year was cold and dull. There were only a few highlights like the ross’s gull and the bairds sandpiper, so most of the time was used discussing bean geese-races and so on. But coming up next is july to december. Autumn is clearly my favorite when it comes to birding faroes.


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