Northerly winds and a lot of rain – and a short trip to Denmark – have meant that the overall conclusion has been “nothing to report” for the last few weeks. The wind has has made it very hard for the two-barred crossbill invasion to reach the islands, but it’s not to late yet. The feeling here is that autumn is kicking inn.
Yesterday Dick Forsman and four other finnish birders had asked me to take them birding. The cruise ship was a little delayed so I had some time to check the plantation in Hoydal. There I found the first wood warbler of the autumn and a wood dove was also present – autumn is at hand!
I picked the finnish birders up at their cruise ship afterwards. First we went to Kirkjubø. On the way there we saw one red-necked phalarope. In Kirkjubø we saw some rock pipits and manx shearwaters far off shore, but there wasn’t much else to see. Thus we went to Mjáuvøtn, where about 20 tufted ducks were present. Dick also picked out a male greater scaup – my first this for many months. In Kollafjørður we spotted an adult and an 2cy great northern diver. They were fouraging together and gave really good views. I acturally can’t remeber that I’ve ever seen an adult in perfect plumage that well! The finnish birders were happy to see the great northern divers. In Finland you see about 20 yellow-billed divers for every great northern. Here on the Faroes there are just 3 records of yellow-billed. In Kollafjørð we also saw hundreds of puffins and a few manx shearwater, but they were quite far off shore.
The primary target was to see great skuas, so we went to a place where 4 pairs have been breeding this year. But again the autumn really has kicked in. Only one adult was present, but it gave good views down to about 25 meters before taking off.
After that we stoped for a cup of coffee and then headed back to the cruise ship in Tórshavn. All in all a good day – but the period is kind of strange as many breeding birds have left their breeding grounds and autumn migration hasn’t really peaked yet.
Today I checked the plantation in Kunoy, but it was empty except for a few robins. But down in the village a 1cy cuckoo flew around. Even though it is no longer a rarity this is only about the 22nd for the Faroes. And if there is a wood warbler and a cuckoo around there could easily be something better out there!