The cold weather has returned with temperatures below 5 C. There is new snow in the mountains and the weather has not been appealing the last few days.
I did check Eiði and Hvalvík the other day, and the result was a single Yellow-browed in Hvalvík and 4 Common Pochards at Eiði.
Today I checked Árnafirði briefly and both a Lesser Whitethroat and a Blackcap were seen in between the hail showers.
In the afternoon Rockmund called me. He had found what appeared to be a female American Wigeon at Norðskála. My reply was: “You’re a brave man, Rodmund”. We have had a few American Wigeon-types over the years, but they have never been accepted. So under normal circumstances I would not twitch such a bird (not even a male for that instance).
But since I am guiding a tour for the Faroese Ornithological Society during the weekend on Suðuroy I happened to drive past the place just an hour after Rockmunds call. So I did stop to check it out. And it took me only a few seconds to spot the bird Rockmund was referring to. The grey head, striking bill, dark eye patch and its size made it very easy distinguish from the Wigeons.
I did spend some time with the bird and my conclusion is that it must be an eclipse male American Wigeon (maybe the same bird that has been around Eiði a few kilometers to the north in a previous year?). My arguments for the identification are:
– Large white patch in front of the mirror on the inner wing.
– From some angles it showed “ghostly markings” in the head resembling ad. male American Wigeon in full breeding plumage.
– The bill was bright blue-grey.
– Overall colours were quite saturated.
– It was visibly bigger than all the Wigeons it was foraging with.
– A small white patch was visible on the folded wing just above the flanks.
If accepted it would be the 6th record for the Faroes and amazingly Rockmund has found 5 of those!