After the magnificent arrivals prior to and on the 25th, where Svínoy was loaded with birds things have slowed down a bit. On the 26th I checked the areas on the northern isles where you down need to take a boat.
It was obvious that the birds had mostly come in from northeast. Viðareiði – ther northernmost village on the Faroes – was good with at least 3 barred warblers, some 10 willow warblers, bar-tailed godwit, 4 black-tailed godwits, 2 ruff and pied flycatcher. After a while I saw several gulls chasing a big raptor way up in the sky. It is always nice to see big raptors here as they are really scarce, but excitement went down a bit as it was soon obvious that it after all was the most common big raptor – and osprey. But still a nice year tick and a nice bird. But the bird also taught me a lesson – that I already knew to some extent. Raptors are really difficult on the Faroes. I only saw the osprey for a few minutes before it flew off to the north. And even though I stayed in the area for several hours it didn’t reappear. Raptors are some of the most difficult birds to see here on the Faroes as the are very mobil and almost impossible to keep track on when they ventur up the mountains as they often tend to do to escape the gulls and crows. So the majority of the raptors I’ve seen here I’ve only caught a short glimpse of. Maybe this is the reason montagu’s and pallid harrier never have been recorded?
Well, after Viðareiði I checked Hvannasund where there was one robin and a willow warbler. In Árnafirði there was one garden warbler and both Kunoy and Klaksvík were void and empty. This shows that the birds did made landfall to the northeast, ’cause Árnafjørður and Klaksvík tend to be rahter good when birds come from southeast.
The night between the 25th and 26th was rainy so the birds that arrived pretty much stayed, so maybe I should have checked Svínoy again as there – at least on Fair Isle – is a tendency that rarities arrive one day later than the common migrant. And if you check the fibo-warden blog you’ll see exactly that. Lots of birds on the 25th but no rarities. Less birds on the 26th but both a booted and a melodious warbler were logged… I bet there was a rarity out there on Svínoy on the 26th… but we’ll never know.
Well, the night between the 26th and 27th was clear and totally calm, so most birds have departed. And now we’re seeing an atlantic depression giving us more than 20 m/s from north – the only good thing to say is that glaucous gulls, snow and lapland buntings could show up soon – but probably not any greenish, booted, arctic, thick-billed, olive-tree or whatever warbler I’m dreaming of.
But this is the Faroes. Expect the unexpected. And the forecast a few days ahead may no look totally hopeless after all.