Birding among the dead

The weather has been horrible. Snow, wind, more snow, more wind, then rain and wind… it has been almost unbirdable for a week. The highlights have been an iceland gull seen from the kitchen window, a brambling at the “in laws” garden and the typical great northern divers.

But it has been an interesting week non the less. A few days ago I visited a man, who wanted to show me his birds. He had a waxwing and two northern wheatears in the freezer. And oh yeah, by the way he told me he had a stuffed Yellow Wagtail. He had sent it to the local conservator, and this guy had been sure it was a yellow wagtail.

A bright Yellow Warbler found on a trawler east of Flemish Cap.

Yellow wagtails are rare on the Faroes, so I asked if I could see the bird. He went up stairs and came down with a YELLOW WARBLER… Wow… not exactly a bird that looks most like a Yellow wagtail. I wonder what other “weird” birds have been stuffed and labeled as something not so rare.

I then asked the man where he had got hold of the Yellow Warbler. And this is the less dramatic part, ’cause it turned out that he had found it on board a trawler somewhere east of Flemish Cap. So it is impossible to say where it made “boat-fall”. But still interesting to bird among the dead!

When it is bad weather you can always do cyber-birding. And a few days ago Janus sent me a link with a picture on facebook of a Dark-eyed Junco onboard a trawler. I wrote to the photographer right away. He soon replied that the bird had landed on the trawler in march 2010 east of Canada – and that they had given it bread while it stayed onboard.

So this week brought two american passerines to my intention, but none of them can be admitted to the Faroese list. And it makes me wonder if most american passerines in fact are ship-assisted?

By the way Jens-Kjeld has caught a Black Redstart a few days ago on Nólsoy.




One comment on “Birding among the dead

  1. Chatterbirds says:

    Wow, what a surprise that must have been! Does make you wonder what else hitches a ride on those trans-Atlantic ships.

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