Harbour Raid

They are lovely those Icelanders

It’s january. It’s gull-time. And I have been checking harbour big time. A few days ago I tried to boost my year list and made a harbour raid to Eysturoy and Streymoy. At Runavík there were 3 Glaucous and 4 Iceland Gulls – one being rather kumlieni-like. At Toftavatn there were some tufted ducks and one Iceland Gull, but the lake was almost totally frozen, so not many birds around.

Glaucous Gull in the low winter sun at Runavík

At Toftir there was yet another Iceland Gull. At Eiði another six Iceland Gulls and a moorhen were present. At Hósvík there was one more. And in Kollafirði there was yet another Iceland Gull.

Kumlienish Gull at Runavík

Yesterday I checked the northern islands. There were two Iceland Gulls and one Glaucous Gull at Hvannasund and a Glaucous Gull in Árnafirði. In Klaksvík there were nine Iceland Gulls, two Glaucous Gulls and a common scoter.
Today our oldest daughter had caught a fever, so I had stay home with her – but I managed to get 30 minutes at the catch quite late in the day. But what does it matter that you cannot get out when you can overlook the biggest fishing port of the Faroes from your kitchen window? It was quite windy today so a lot of gulls had come in. And I counted no less that 17 Iceland Gulls and two Glaucous Gulls from the kitchen – an all time largest count by far! And I even managed to get 15 white-winged gulls on the same picture!

15 Iceland Gulls photographed from the kitchen - CLICK TO ENLARGE

When I finally made it to the harbour the gulls were still there. But there was only one obvious kumlien’s gull and two or three with some kumlieni-indications. Man, I really would like to get one of those really solid dark adult soon. Or an Ivory Gull…

Maybe the palest possible Kumlien's Gull?

Iceland Gull with faint markings on the primaries

And finally a fairly straight forward 3rd winter Kumlien's Gull (a new 3rd winter compared to last weeks kumlieni).

Thumbs up for Iceland Gulls



5 comments on “Harbour Raid

  1. Russ says:

    Hi Silas.

    Nice gull photos. Check out http://www.shetlandbirding.blogspot.com for more including a well marked adult Kumlien’s in Lerwick today


  2. birdingfaroes says:

    Hi Russ

    Thanks for the comment. And that is really a nice Kumlien’s and really good pics on the blog too – I would really like to find one of those here. Well, as long as there are plentry to check it can be out there!


  3. Martin G says:

    Hi Silas
    What a way to ‘christen’ your new site layout! Lovely stuff, and this influx of Icelands is also being seen in the Northern and Western Isles of Scotland. Here they are also waiting for a tag-along Ivory! Your Gull images are fantastic and the white-winged flock photo may be a European record!? The 2nd winter bird at Runavik is another Iceland, no? Best of Luck in days to come Martin

  4. birdingfaroes says:

    Hi Martin

    Yes, white gulls are lovely stuff 🙂

    Interesting that they show up in the UK and Ireland in numbers too. I wonder how weather dependant their migration is. ‘Cause we often have NW-lies without these numbers of Iceland Gulls.

    Well, my picture isn’t a european record unless we sell Iceland to the americans. According to Yann Kolbeinsson flocks of 200-400 Iceland Gulls are not that uncommon after hard weather in Iceland. This picture from Høfn demonstrates it: http://www.netfugl.dk/pictures.php?id=showpicture&picture_id=45046

    No, the 2nd winter is a Glaucous Gull. Maybe a rather small one, but still…


    • Martin G says:

      Hi Silas
      Do we have to look further afield than ‘our’ winter weather to explain the occasional big white-winger year. What’s been happening on their usual wintering grounds?

      The Orkney Islands are in the midst of this influx too, but it’s very localised in the islands, with just one small uninhabited bay holding almost 30 Icelands and 8 Glaucous.

      Will you be selling Iceland on EBay? I might just bid

      Best for now Martin

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