Nice sunny weather and fresh snow in the mountains. Spring is slowly arriving. We finally have plenty of daylight and birding is a delight. Scarce and rare birding are also turning up.
A White-tailed Eagle was first seen about a week ago on Suðuroy. It’s the 9th record since 1842. Since its discovery it has moved further north and was seen yesterday in Leirvík. I’ve been trying to relocate the bird several times without luck. Raptors are in deed very difficult birds to work with on the Faroes. They tend to be mocked to exhaustion by local gulls, ravens and crows. Only smaller falcons seem to be left alone. Actually raptors that I’ve seem on the Faroes like Gyr Falcon, Peregrine, Honey Buzzard and Black Kite have all just given brief views before flying off.
With records of Red Kite from both Utsira and Shetland during the last week I warned Rodmund that one might be coming this way. And yesterday it materialized. A Red Kite was photographed at Velbastaður close to Tórshavn. It was observed with a crowd of crows chasing it. After the sighting was published on facebook it looks like people have seen a raptor that might very well be the Red Kite two days ago in Gjógv and later Saksun. In spite of intense search it has not been relocated today. There is one previous record of a Red Kite found dead in Leirvík a few year back also in late March.
I spent Wednesday to Friday on Sandoy with the family. I managed to get out for a little birding. Highlighs included the wintering American Wigeon, Short-eared Owl, Hawfinch, Common Merganser, Greenland Greater White-fronted Goose and an early Sanderling.
The best bird of the trip was quite a surprise. While leaving the island on the ferry I found a white winter plumage Mandt’s Guillemot in Skopun. It was sitting on a rock but as it took of I managed to see white on the upper side of the primaries. I also managed to get a few shots of the bird.
I immediately suspected that it was the bird from Sund that had moved on. So on the way back home I checked Sund and Kaldbaksbotn. Rodmund had relocated that bird one day earlier at Kaldbaksbotn. To my surprise it was still present making the Skopun bird the second Mandt’s Guilemot for the Faroes. So maybe it’s not such a rarity after all?
The bird in Kaldbaksbotn gave amazing views yesterday and seems to check all the boxes when it comes to Mandt’s Guillemot.
Now let us see what the next week brings. Happy easter everyone!