Two days ago we had gale force winds combined with heavy rains. So I decided to check Svínoy. It is peak season, so staying home and dry is not an option. As I boarded the ferry the crew laughed at me – how are you gonna do any birding in the kind of weather? In fact the weather was so bad that the ferry couldn’t even go to the eastern island of Fugloy. But it did go to Svínoy and after a rollercoaster trip we finally arrived.
The rain was pouring down, so I made a check around the village with the camera. In spite of the bad weather there were many birds in the bushes. Yellow-browed, Barred, Garden, Reed, Willows, Chiffchaffs, Lesser Whitethroat and some Redpolls.
But the highlight was that I flushed a small rusty-rumped warbler twice from some tall grass. It was very small. The rump was rusty-red. And it crept around like a mouse on the ground. I couldn’t flush it a third time so I left it for a while. The bird was at the same location where I found a Pgtips some years ago. When I came back I couldn’t relocate it and I ended up using pretty much all of my time searching for this likely Pgtips. But one person on an island four times Fair Isle combined with gale force winds and rain makes finding a pgtips hard.
Yesterday I started guiding a tour to Suðuroy for the Faroese Ornithological Society. On the way to the ferry I checked Eiði, where I found an Iceland Gull.
The ferry trip from Tórshavn takes two hours, and we used it for sea watching. After about 1 hour of sailing a smart 1. cy Sabine’s Gull passed the ferry just 200 meters away. The tour had a good start!
As we arrived on Suðuroy we went straight to look for the American White-winged Scoter. And it took us about 30 minutes to relocate the bird, but is was quite distant for proper photos.
Today we checked the whole island. A total of 18 Yellow-browed Warblers, 1 Whinchat, 1 Hawfinch, 1 Kestrel, many Willows, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, 1 Grey Wagtail, some Bramblings and Chaffinches, 2 Common Crossbills and some Redpolls were quite ok.
The greatest surprise of the day was when I flushed a Quail from central Sandvík. It is an annual visitor, but flushing one in a village is quite weird.
The American White-winged Scoter gave better views today. But it is still quite shy. Maybe it will mingle with the Eiders and become more tame as time goes by.
In the evening we checked Akraberg before sunset. Upland Sandpiper was seen on Shetland, so there should be something here. At Akraberg I spotted a flock of Golden Plovers. I’ve been mocked and the nations reputation is suffering due to the fact that American Golden Plover is not on the national list. So I checked the flock only to find 5 Ruff and a single Buff-breasted Sandpiper in the flock of Golden Plovers. It is the 3rd record for the Faroes and my second self-found.
Rodmund found something even better today in Kunoy. At the plantation he found a Northern Goshawk – the second for the Faroes. How dare you looking in my hood while I’m away 😛