I really love birding on the Faroes. It is just so unpredictable. The next rarity can be both in you garden or overseas. Yesterday I checked Svínoy – one of the two eastern islands. It is my favorite spot on the Faroes and I’ve found quite a good selection of birds there. Yesterday was no exception. 11 Blackcaps, 5 Chiffchaffs, Willow Warbler, Barred Warbler, Reed Warbler, Water Rail, Siskins, Redpolls and Barn Swallow. Nothing extreme but not bad for the Faroes (you need to be Icelandic to understand this I guess). But frankly is was quite relaxing to be ”stuck” on the island for 7 hours.
Today I wasn’t permitted to do a lot of birding. Some Ikea furniture needed to be put together and the kids needed to catch craps and fish. But eventually I got permission to go out for a few hours. So I went straight to Viðareiði – the northernmost village of the Faroes.
Good numbers of migrants were present. Yellow-browed Warbler, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Chaffinches, 6 Ruff and…
As so many times before I checked the garden of our former prime minister. I had left the camera in the car overnight, so the batteries had cooled down and didn’t work for long. I had just changed the battery in the camera before checking the prime ministers garden. But I hadn’t checked if the camera worked.
As I reached the garden a small sparrow put on an appearance 30 meters away. Reddish crown and white wing bar. Quite long tail. Yes! Surely one of those American Sparrows. I took my camera and pointed towards the bird – just to find out that the battery wasn’t working… Are you kidding me? Now? Just now?
I rushed to the car to get another battery. And finally the camera turned on. I went back to the garden – but no bird. I searched frantically. One garden. Two gardens. Three gardens. Then I saw a bird on an electric wire. Yes! The bird! It took off, but then landed in a potato field, which it often frequented during the afternoon. There I managed to obtain some photos of the bird before it moved on. I sent to pics to Yann Kolbeinsson, who was twitching a Great Knot. It’s KNOTS… Totally nuts. So many megas in Shetland, Faroes and Iceland. Yann had a look at the pictures while I tried to get better photos. Juv. White-crowned Sparrow was his conclusion while I struggled to document the bird. Oh the joy of the new era with facebook and everything.
I also called Rodmund, but he didn’t have time to twitch the bird. Imagine finding a national first without anyone even trying to twitch… that happens ONLY on the Faroes!
The bird was present but somewhat mobile in central Viðareiði during the afternoon. Due to dark skies it wasn’t possible to get really good photos. And I needed to buy groceries, so I left the place after about 1½ hour. Hopefully it will be around tomorrow.
Another self found national first became a reality today. Not one of the most expected, but a much rarer one. Just keep them coming!
More on this bird will be posted later!