Sandoy

The second white-rumped sandpiper for the Faroes

We woke up early this morning and took the ferry to Sandoy at 7.30 am. Sandoy is from a birders perspective a good island to visit. Its most notable feature is the lakes. There are several of them and they often contain some aythya-ducks – sometimes more than 100 birds. So Sandoy is the duck-island of the Faroes and ring-necked duck, blue-winged teal, lesser scaup, ruddy duck, green-winged teal and american wigeon have all been seen.

Another good feature is the islands capability to get birds from both east and west. During easterly winds good numbers of migrants can occur and a lazuli bunting has been seen once – but not submitted to the danish rc.

The second white-rumped sandpiper for the Faroes

We started the day checking ducks. We found about 50 tufted ducks, 9 teals, several mallards, 80 wigeons, 2 slavonian grebes, great northern diver and 3 grey herons. But there were no american ducks today. As we checked the ducks I noticed a small sandpiper on the shore of Gróthúsvatn. I found myself looking at a sandpiper with a very long primary projection, no dark markings on the breast or belly and a slightly curved bill. We all managed to see it before it took of and revealed a nice white rump. YES! The second ever white-rumped sandpiper for the Faroes was a reality. We saw it for about 30 minutes where it gave good but rather distant views, but eventually I obtained some pics that document the bird. It was a lifer for Mads and a faroese tick for Søren, so we were all happy.

The second white-rumped sandpiper for the Faroes

After enjoying the sandpiper we checked Dalur, where we saw two lesser whitethroats. We suspect them to have an eastern origin as they are really pale on their backs and the sandy-brown colour on the back continues up to the top of the head.

"Eastern" lesser whitethroat?

Other warblers on the island included 2 blackcaps, 2 chiffchaffs and a willow warbler – so it was very nice and quite a contrast to yesterday, where we saw ONE chiffchaff.
We then decided to check some more beaches and saw 2 curlews, 3 sanderlings, common sandpiper, some oystercatchers, lapwing, ruff, redshank, lots of turnstones and common snipes.
All in all a good day. Now we’re sailing to Suðuroy, where we hope for more action!

SiO

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