I’ve been back home on the Faroe Islands for about a week now. I must admit that mentally my binoculars and my birding expectations had already taken their summer vacation. But I had to check if the night heron, which was seen at Eiði in early may was still around. Well, it wasn’t but I found a singing common whitethroat – and that made me wonder what other good birds could be around.
I have been a few times to Viðareiði hoping to find a calandra lark, but willow warbler and chiffchaff were the best birds there – and knowing that july and february are the two worst months for rarities I didn’t expect much. Therefore it came as a surprise, when I opened my mail-box late friday night. Rockmund had found what looks like a 2cy male american white-winged scoter at Vestmanna. He didn’t think it was a deglandii at first, and thus I was not notified untill late in the night. Saturday I could have gone to Vestmanna for a few hours, but that would mean that I had to cancell some appointments. And to be frank I was quite sure it would linger – it shouldn’t move that much during molting season. So I waited untill this morning to go to Vestmanna. I came very early and searched for seven hours including the island of Vágar, but there was no trace of the bird – bummer. This could easily be the rarest bird on the Faroes in 2011 and I didn’t see because I was over-confident. The closest I got was to see two common scoters.
I still think it is somewhere around the isles, but there are just hundreds of kilometers to check. My mood was not good when I drove back to Klaksvík. But then I talked to a guy who knows quite a bit about birds. He had seen two crossbills with white wing-bars yesterday in Hvannasund. There is only one sighting from Norway this last week of two-barred xbill, but I drove the about 10 km to Hvannasund just to check. There were no crossbills, but when I checked the last garden a nice male subalpine warbler caught my eyes. I ran for the camera and managed to get some documentation. There is way to many leaves on the trees now… But a nice male, but I’m not sure about the subspecies. This is my fouth self-found subalpine warber on the Faroes in two years.
But a question remains. Is this a good day or a bad day? Well, it is somewhere in between. The subalpine male is much more exciting than a 2cy deglandii, but the deglandii it a true WP-mega and a lifer for me…
Besides the two-barred crossbills there are a couple of rumours going on. A lady has seen a small brown dove at Viðareiði – probably a turtle dove. An icelandic birder has heard a possible quail at Viðareiði. A man told me that a ‘nightinggale’ had been singing in his garden – I wonder what that could be. So I guess that this july is a bit odd which lots of good birds around the islands.