This morning when I woke up it was dark. Well, it is really getting dark around here now. The weather has been really bad since november started, so it was quite a surprise that the weather seemed to be good, when there finally was enough light to look out the window at 9am.

The wind has come from southeast almost since the month started and it has meant that a lot of migrants have arrived. I just haven’t had the time or the weather has been to bad to find them.

A starling sings while mosquitos are flying around

But with blue skies and 10 degrees celsius I had to get out for a few hours today. And as so many times before I went to Viðareiði. It almost felt like spring with singing starlings and mosquitos flying all over.

As soon as I came it was obvious that hundreds of redwings were present and eventually I found a few fieldfares, song thrushes and four skylarks. But right upon arrival I came across a jackdaw – a somewhat lighter individual than the very dark spermogulus-birds that were seen earlier.


While watching the jackdaw two geese flew over the village. The forewing was not greyish, so it was not grey-lag geese. As they came closer they looked more and more interesting. And when they flew just a few hundred meters away it was obvious: Bean geese! I followed them till they sat down in a field.

Fly by bean geese

I went over to the field and checked the first flock of geese I found. There were about 20 geese in one flock containing one greenland greater white-fronted, one pink-footed and the rest were grey-lag geese. After walking a bit I found another flock of geese. What??? 18 great white-fronted geese and the two bean geese togerther. I hurried back to the car to get the telescope to check the birds.

Tundra Bean Goose in front

One of the bean geese was a classic tundra-type with a rather short bill and small orange/pinkish patch. Furthermore it had some white colour at the bill base. The other one was a wee bit bigger and had more orange on the bill, which also was bigger. I haven’t had the time to look into the birdingworld article on the subject. So I do not dare to say if it is a tundra and a taiga. But it is interesting enough that the birds were so different. But no matter what the 4th record of bean goose on the Faroes was a reality.

Tundra og Taiga?

Bills for comparison

I then got another surprise. Normally we see a few greenland white-fronted geese (ssp. flavirostris) each year. Most often it is one or two birds joining grey-lag geese. The european race albifrons has only been recorded three times on the Faroes. But well, I turned the telescope to the white-fronted geese and saw that they had pink bills, not that many black markings on the belly and the heads didn’t seem all that dark – 18 european white-fronted geese in one flock! That is not what I expected! But this is the Faroes – you simply never know.

Part of a flock of 18 european white-fronted geese


Note the pink bill and relatively light head

After having documented the geese I checked the gardens, where I found two chiffies and a blackcap. On my way home I checked Hvannasund, where I flushed two woodcocks.



One comment on “Geese

  1. Chatterbirds says:

    What a stellar day for geese!

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