Rarities – no. Scarcities – yes. That would pretty much describe the first 20 days of august. The first wave of migrants have hit our shores and have departed again. About 20 willow warblers, 10 chiffchaffs, 2 wood warblers and 1 spotted flycatcher may not seem like a lot, but it is quite good numbers for the Faroes.
We’re in the process of designating the islands of Mykines, Nólsoy and Skúvoy as Ramsar-areas. I’m the representative of the faroese ornithological society during meetings. This week some Ramsar-people from Denmark and Iceland were here and two days ago we went to Mykines. It is the westernmost island of the archipelago and has contained good birds like needle-tailed swift, black and white warbler, red-rumped swallow and two subalpine warblers. But the island is massively underbirded as there to my knowledge only is one local who does a bit of birdwatching.
The island has no trees or scrubbery, so warblers are most often found along the stream in tall grass in the village. But when we were there no warblers were seen and the only migrants of note were a common swift and some curlews. But the island is awesome non the less. It has the larges numbers of puffins on the Faroes even though no chicks made it this years eighter (7. year in a row). The same thing can be said about arctic skua, arctic tern and to some extent about the kittiwakes too even though we did see a handfull of juveniles.
Futhermore the island contains the sole gannet conoly of the Faroes and they’re doing fine. It is a spectacular view to see the gannets up close on Mykineshólmur. On Mykineshólmur some leach’s storm petrels, european storm-petrels and manx shearwaters also breed, but we didn’t see any this time. But all in all it was nice to be back on Mykines seeing all the puffins, gannets and kittiwakes once more.
Yesterday I checked Viðareiði, where I found a bar-tailed godwit, a ruff, the first autumn garden warbler and some willow warblers and chiffchaffs. So all in all the first 20 days of august have seen good numbers of birds and a few scarcities like bar-tailed godwit (considered a rarity that had to be submitted to the RC untill a few years ago), cuckoo (rarity till 2010), wood warbler (rarity till 2010) and spotted flycatcher. But nothing really rare has turned up just yet!