Action on Svínoy

Rain, rough seas and hostile enviroment - Svínoy

Yesterday morning it was raining cats and dogs. Not the weather that inspires you to go birding. But the forecast looked promising with drier weather later in the day. So I convinced my wife that I had to go to Svínoy. She took me to the ferry in Hvannasund  and then I headed for Svínoy. It was quite a rough ride as we had to go all the way south of the island due to the wind, but an hour after departure I came to Svínoy. It was still raining a lot, so I went into my usual house (Dansistovan) and had some coffe and enjoyed the newspaper – but on the two minute walk from the harbour to the house I managed to see a barred warbler! After an hour or so the sun started shining and knowing that a barred warbler was out there I went out.

One of six barred warblers


At least 20 willow warblers were in the villages

It didn’t take me long before the fact that a major arrival had occured dawned to me. Up to four willow warblers in the same tree, two barred warblers in the same bush – well it was nice. After another hour I heard what sounded like a citrine wagtail flying in from the ocean. After an hour I relocated the bird and got some crappy photos before it flew off – sometimes you really could use an extra birder when you’re covering an entire island yourself. While searching for it I found one, no two, wow three common rosefinches including a spledid red male. Acturally my first red on the Faroes! And they just gave stunning views!

Common rosefich - a nice trio


Now I had to choose if I wanted to go to Fugloy for a few hours or stay at Svínoy. There was a ‘not to well-seen citrine wagtail’ to enjoy and I could always watch the 3 common rosefinches more . And when a stonechat and a whinchat popped up I chose to stay.

Citrine wagtail - quality could have been better

Well... it is a citrine wagtail... but it is distant

Somewhat later I relocated the citrine wagtail. Now I was focused to see the bird properly as photos were already obtained – though they were worse than I’d expected. And for 5 seconds I saw it within 10 meters distance and saw the pale ‘cheek-surround’, dark bill, white undertail coverts, dobble white wingbars – surely a 1cy citrine wagtail.

Wood warbler

I did one more garden census and found more two barred warblers and two garden warblers in the same scrub to the east of the village. And in the tallest trees a wood warbler had come in. All in all a really good day with superb birds and a good rarity 🙂

Now I just wonder what would have been found if the other 17 islands were checked…


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