White-fronted and Ring-billed

Gannet photographed from the kitchen window

I started the day doing some sea watching from the kitchen window while eating my oat meal and drinking my morning coffee. The sea watch produced only 17 Iceland Gulls, 1 Glaucous Gull, lots of kittiwakes, guillemots, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls and 1 razorbill – but the star was an adult Gannet. Only my third from the kitchen window.

I haven’t had time to do any proper birding since I came back from Denmark, so today was the day. After finishing the coffee I went to Eysturoy. I didn’t find any Bean Geese at Kambsdalur, but a Great Cormorant which was found at Norðagøta yesterday was still present. Great Cormorants do no longer breed on the Faroes (at least what we know of), but they are seen now and then. And this winter has been very good for the species, so maybe they’ll re-colonize the Faroes?

Great Cormorant - Norðagøta

Millum Fjarða is a good spot for geese and among some 50 Greylags 14 Greenland Greater White-fronted Geese where present.

Greenland Greater White-fronted Geese - Millum Fjarða

GGWFG

I then went to Skálabotn, where I found 4 Great Northern Divers  and my first Golden Plover of the year. At Norðskála about 10 Wigeons were present. A few more Wigeons, about 15 Whooper Swans, 10 Iceland Gulls and some Tufted Ducks were at Eiði.

I then decided to try to see the Ring-billed Gull which Rodmund found the other day. So I went to Sørvágur. On the way there I found another two Great Cormorants at Hósvík.

Great Comorants and GBBGs

As I drew towards the beach of Sørvágur all of a sudden the Ring-billed Gull flew just a few meters over the car. I jumped out but it was gone. So I had to look for another 20 minutes before it came back and landed on the beach, where I got a few pictures. It was impossible to get really close, but I did get some very good views after all.

2cy Ring-billed Gull - Sørvágur

There were also 3 Glaucous Gulls and 14 Iceland Gulls in Sørvágur along with two Razorbills and one Gannet. I then tried to find the male Smew at Sørvágsvatn, but I only found two Slavonian Grebes moulting into summer plumage.

Ring-billed Gull - note the broad tail band.

After visiting Vágar I went to Tórshavn, where the only interesting thing was a male Long-tailed Duck and a Barnacle Goose. So I decided to check Kirkjubø. There I found another 15 Greenland Greater White-fronted Geese and a futher 8 were present at Velbastaðhálsur along with a Lapwing.

More GGWFGs at Kirkjubø

37 Greenland Greater White-fronted Geese is a person record for me in a day. Normally we only see a few birds now and then during migration, but this winter/autumn has been crazy when it comes to geese – so who knows – maybe a mixed flock of Lesser White-fronted and Red-brested Geese will appear during april?

SiO

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