Grind and stuff

Mandarin Ducks in Tórshavn


It seems like a lot of stuff is going on in the countries around the Faroes. But we haven’t got much to report. Visiting birders SEP and PJP and I have been on Suðuroy during the last few days. The weather has been calm, but the wind still comes from the north and it is very cold – just above freezing temperatures. That is not a good thing when it comes to migration, and we really haven’t seen much.

The best birds have been about 15 Great Northern Divers including a summer plumage bird, a few Glaucous and Iceland Gulls, Snow Bunting – it all sounds pretty arctic, right?

Pied Flycatcher in Sumba

Well, especially today a few migrants have been around including 7 Pintails, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Pied Flytatcher, 2 Blackcaps, a handfull of White Wagtails and a Gadwall.

Tree Pipit in Sumba

Most visitors wish to see the Grind – the hunt which has been going on for maybe a millenia for the non-threatened Long-finned Pilot Whale. We got the news about a pod of whales when we were in Hvalba, so we drew right to the chase in Tvøroyri.

Grind – Long-finned Pilot Whales

Grind – a risky buisness

It might look very dramatic, but the harvesting happens very fast.

We came in time to see the end game – 62 whales were quickly harvested and the killing went very well. The meat was giving the inhabitants in the perishes of Hvalba, Sandvík and Fámjin – a very welcome addition to the household economy.

Red Knot with metal ring – come on… there’s no way to read these!

Just after this I found 3 Red-necked Phalaropes and the beach of Trongisvágur, but nothing else of interest was found except for a Pomarie Skua.


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