Spring has arrived

Willow Warbler at Svínoy

They’ve been predicting southeasterly winds several times during may – and finally they came! Temperatures around 12 C and sun – it had to contain some birding surprises. And the first one came two days ago. A woman called me. A weird bird was in her garden. It had hit something so it was in bad shape. So I went to her house and it turned out to be a Red-throated Diver. It was rather confused and the bill had obtained a minor injury – but otherwise it seemed ok. So I released it in Borðoyavík and it seemed like it would manage.

Red-throated Diver

Along with the wind migrants started to arrive. Yesterday 3 Barn Swallows were in Klaksvík and Rodmund also saw a few in Sørvágur. So I took the ferry to Svínoy. But it turned out that the ferry was going to dock, so I only got 40 hectic minutes on the islands before I had to leave. Another 3 Barn Swallows, more than 10 Willow Warblers, Brambling and two Long-tailed Ducks was all I managed to see – but I didn’t have time to check the island or the gardens properly at all. There probably was much more to be found…

All the birds on Svínoy made me go back today. This time for 7 hours. It was obvious that many birds had already departed, but I managed to find 5 Willow Warblers, 1 Chiffchaff, the years first Redstart and Common Whitethroat and a few Barn Swallows.

Tree Sparrow – the first in 28 years on the Faroes!

But after spending 3 hours on the island a sparrow flew over my head. It sat down and revealed a uniform brownish head – YES – my first Tree Sparrow on the Faroes. Arguably you have to be locally oriented to be happy to see Great Tit and Tree Sparrow – but that’s what I am.

Tree Sparrow – the first in 28 years on the Faroes!

Tree Sparrow bred at Tórshavn in 1888 and on Skúvoy from 1888 to about 1910. After that 10-15 birds were seen in Sumba in 1960, where they might have bred. The latest sighting was in 1984, where Søren Sørensen saw one in Sumba. So todays bird is the first one in 28 years – and naturally a new faroese tick for me. So all in all it was a good day even though it looks like Utsira and Shetland currently are hitting the Jackpot big time with Isabelline Shrike, Thrush Nightingale, Bee-eater and Subalpine Warblers…



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