All or nothing


To go to Mykines to watch migrating birds is an “all or nothing” gamble in one way. You can find amazing migrants out here. And the island has already good birds on its list like black and white warbler, needle-tailed swift, black-browed albatros, subalpine warbler, rustic bunting and red-rumped swallow. Other birds that have been claimed but never submitted include mourning dove and alpine swift. So the islands potential has already been proven. If the weather is right anything can happen and birds from both sides of the pond can show up.

But these 5 days that we have spent on island did not produce what we hoped for. A few birds came in on the 5th were we saw 2 willow warblers, 2 chiffchaffs, 1 blackcap, at least 25 northern wheatears (large numbers so late) and a putative little bunting. The story behind the bunting is this: At about 9 am I saw a bunting circling over the village before I lost it behind a house. It was rather small with a “bunting-bill”, but I only saw it against the white clouds and therefore I didn’t see any details. It looked like it went down on the churchyard and 10 minutes later Mads and I flushed a small brownish bunting from there. The belly didn’t seen strikingly white as it normally does on a rustic bunting. But that was pretty much what we saw – a small brownish bunting. We used the rest of the day trying to relocate the bird, but it had vanished from the face of Mykines…  T

On the 6th the weather was very nice in the morning. The sun was shining and it was calm. So we checked the village but did not see anything of interest. So we went out on Mykineshólmur. And it was quite an experience. Steep cliffs, breeding gannets at very close range, amazing scenery and a nice walk really made the day for us. We didn’t see any unusual birds, but the gannet colony, sunbathing seals and the most beautiful rainbow that was simply amazing.

So when it comes to migrant birds Mykines is “all or nothing” – you can find the wildest rarities or just long to see a willow warbler… But if you wish to experience the rough nature, the most beautiful cliffs and gannets at a very close range Mykines is a “sure bet” and I would go as far as saying that it is a unique place in the entire world! Go there and have a look!

Finally we really want to say thanks to Katrina and Esbern í Eyðansstovu for letting us rent a house, giving us food when we had none left, telling us where to look for warblers, inviting us to dinner, coffee and much more. To all you others: If you go to Mykines don’t hesitate to contact them for info on accomodation, food, birds and everything else concerning Mykines. Their homepage can be seen here:

And as soon as we get a better connection I’ll post some stunning pics from our days on Mykines!



One comment on “All or nothing

  1. Edward says:

    Sounds like Heimaey in autumn, all or nothing. But Mykines is definitely one of the places I will go to when I finally visit the Faroe Islands. I remember reading about Mykines in Jørgen-Frantz Jacobsen’s novel “Barbara” – no mention of rare warblers in there!

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