It’s been 1,5 years since I moved from the Faroes to Mongolia. But this Christmas we spent the holidays back home on the islands.
During my time away a few good birds have turned up. A Black-browed Albatross was seen last spring both south of the archipelago by Icelandic fishermen and also around the gannet-colony on Mykines.
Other rare birds include a Franklin’s Gull in August 2018, Glossy Ibis in September 2018 and a Red-rumped Swallow in April 2019.
Visiting Dutch birders also found Bonaparte’s Gull, Rustic Bunting and Ring-necked Duck during the autumn of 2019. Pictures can be seen here: https://faroer.observation.org/foto/index
A Snow Goose had been present for several months in Norðadalur, but left only a few weeks before I came home for the holidays.
In late December it is impossible to do any intensive birding on the Faroes. There are about four hours of light, but it has very little intensity. In reality there is a window between 11 and 13 with enough light to document birds. After that it is just dark grey before getting dark.
In spite of the odds I did a little birding. Shortly after arriving from Mongolia I visited Eiði on the 17th of December. There I found a Little Grebe. This is the 12th record for the Faroes and my second.
I tried to relocate the Snow Goose from Streymoy by checking good areas on Eysturoy, Streymoy and Sandoy. But apart from two Russian White-fronted Geese I didn’t find anything unexpected.
The arctic gulls hadn’t really arrived yet. About ten Iceland and four Glaucous Gulls were present I different harbours. This isn’t strange though as especially Iceland Gulls tend to arrive from late January onward.
I still dream of finding both smiths and caspians, but so far I need to do with pale and brown Herring Gulls I guess.
All in all it was great being back home. And luckily I get to spend late September and October on the Faroes this year. So hopefully a rare gull will turn up!
A few days in Denmark meant, that I had the opportunity to twitch a Northern Hawk Owl on southern Sjælland. I have only seen it one before, so it was great connecting with this nice owl. Now I need to find one in Mongolia.