Wales and whales

I know. It has been quite a while since my last post. But it is july and there is not a lot going on. Wales and whales have pretty much been the headlines for the last weeks. Wales is metioned because a faroese student found out that fifa made a miscalculation when making the national ranking. The Faroes are 0,07 points better than Wales which can mean that we finally leave the weakest group and get to oppertunity to win some footbal matches 🙂

Brigitte Bardotte - on of Paul Watsons ships is "shepherding" the Faroes. Janus and I spotted this vessel off Húsavík.

Whales are mentioned all the time at the moment. Paul Watson is doing his best to stop us harvesting a few pilot whales each year. But most whales are acturally left alone here! Last week 3 fin whales were seen less than one km from my house and if I had been at home I could have seen them from the kitchen window.

Shearwater and whale

Last week I also found some bottle-nose dolphins and Skálafjørður. It was quite a sight as several manx shearwaters and one sooty shearwater and all the common birds were feeding on sandeel in the firth. Some day a Cory’s og Great shearwater will be among them 🙂

Birding has been quite slow the last weeks. One week ago I checked Toftavatn, where I found a 2cy greater white-fronted goose. It is quite an odd sighting in july. The  bill was pink and it only had very few black stribes on the belly. The overall colour was rather light too, so I think it is a continental albifrons and not the more common flavirostris. If it is accepted as an albifrons it would be the 4th record for the Faroes.

Two days ago Janus Hansen and I went to Sandoy. We were strongly inspired by a short-billed dowitcher and a white-rumped sandpiper in Iceland with additional white-rumped in Norway, Nederlands and the UK and red-necked stints in Norway and Utopia, Nederlands (awesome name :-). But we also went to could breeding pairs of red-necked phalaropes, geese and stuff.

The last faroese breeding pair?

There were 114 brent geese at Gróshúsvatn and breeding succes looks really good. But even though they fly freely they have been released in the area many years ago I’ve heard. The normal hybrids were also present and greylag geese numbered 176 birds. But red-necked phalaropes are really on the werge of extinction. We didn’t find one single bird on Sandoy, which normally is the main stronghold for the species. Admittedly it was a little late to search for the birds as females can have departed, but not finding any birds is really bad. That means that the only birds I know of in 2011 are three birds near Tórshavn. It is probably just a matter of years before they disappear totally as breeding birds on the Faroes.

Other birds on Sandoy included about 10 knots, 12 curlews, a grey heron, a common goldeneye, a redshank, two great nothern divers and some tufted ducks. So really nothing much to blog about. But there’s light at the end on the tunnel. The first juvenile willow warblers and barred warblers can show up within weeks and an awesome autumn lies ahead!


One comment on “Wales and whales

  1. Chatterbirds says:

    Whales seen from your window- what a fantastic place!

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