Today looked good for birding. No wind but cloudy and foggy. Much better than wind and rain – so the opportunity had to be used. And why not use it at my favorite location – Svínoy. The Fair Isle of the Faroes!
I took the early ferry from Hvannasund 100 meters from my house and arrived 20 minutes later at Svínoy. The first tree contained the first warbler – a Blackcap.
Svínoy is bigger than Fair Isle, but many passerines seem to get attracted to the village. So I headed to the village to check the gardens.
It was good. Really good. Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps, Garden Warblers, Lesser Whitethroats and a single Common Rosefinch and a Wood Warbler were seen during the first few hours. In the bay a Great Northern Diver and two Grey Herons were present.
I then took a break and got something to eat. After sitting down for a bit I checked the central gardens again, and it was obvious that new birds had arrived. The first nice surprise was an Arctic Warbler. It gave amazing views and called right away – so nailing it was straight forward.
The record if the 6th for the Faroes and the third, that I have found.
I then decided to check the garden, where I found the Palla’s Grashopper Warbler a few years ago. But on the way there a bunting was flushed 5 meters away from me. It gave a tek call several times and showed a nice reddish-brown cheek.
Yes! Probable Little Bunting! I saw where it went down and went there. Soon I relocated it on a fence and got the details down. But just as I was working with the camera it flew of. I relocated it again further away a bit later, put just as I were about to push the trigger, a Merlin chased it away. Did it get it? I was not sure…
Bummer! That would not look good in a description to the danish rarity comittee when describing a national second (the first one was collected on a ship east of the Faroes 8 years ago).
I searched for it for more than an hour. Svínoy is pretty big and there are ditches, grass and meadows everywhere. And the ferry was leaving within limited time – hurry up and find that bird before deadline.
But the 5 minutes before deadline I relocated the bird and got some distant shots – yes! It is nailed!
I rushed through the village (seeing a few new warblers… uffff…) and reached the ferry in time to get back to Hvannasund.
All in all a brilliant day of birding had come to an end. What would Svínoy contain if checked daily? One can only wonder!