Yann Kolbeinsson texted me a few days ago: Sæll Silas! Watch out for the low pressure coming between you and Iceland on Saturday, might bring you some yanks…
So Rodmund and I talked about going to Suðuroy. But the forecast looked horrible and we decided to stay home. But the front hit us yesterday night with wind and rain.
I had a few hours at in the morning at Viðareiði. After all I’ve found 4 pec sands, 2 buff-breasted and 1 semipal sand there – so I hoped for something good.
Soon after getting out of the car (10 minutes after leaving the house) a shorebird flew by at 200 meters distance. I got reasonable views and noticed a “common snipe jizz but slimmer” with long straight bill and greyish plumage. And didn’t that bird have some white on the back? It surely looked so. Furthermore the bird called several times as it flew northeast just to disappear. I managed a few very distant shots.
Then I checked the call of Long-billed Dowitcher on the internet and it was spot on. So I called Rodmund to inform him of a possible Long-billed Dowitcher, but he didn’t answer.
But crappy photos and not too good views would not be sufficient for a national first. And luckily the bird returned after 10 minutes and I obtained great views and photos and shared the news on the Faroese birding group on facebook.
A while later Rodmund returned my call. But unfortunately he couldn’t get a car to twitch the bird even though he wanted to.
I decided to leave the bird about spending 15 minutes with it and check the gardens. 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 4 Barn Swallows and a House Martin had arrived – so I guess the islands are loaded with birds now.
After checking the gardens I went back and easily relocated the Long-billed Dowticher. As I sad down in the grass the bird came within 2 meters distance – wow! Just reminded me of a picture of an Upland Sandpiper in the UK walking just in front of a row of birders. If only european birds were like that!
No need to say that I was an amazing experience to get a national first like that! After watching the bird feed for 30 minutes it went to sleep, so I decided to leave it.