Winter is coming

Sheep and snow in the mountains at Viðareiði

Autumn is slowly turning into winter on the Faroe Islands. The mountain tops are covered in snow and temperatures are down to just above freezing during the night. After mid October this normally means a clear-out of migrants, but due to rain and wind pretty much every evening good numbers of birds are still present on the islands.

Carina watching a Ring-necked Duck

Last weekend we went on a family trip to Sandoy to visit some good friends. I took the two youngest kids out sightseeing on Wednesday while our oldest had an online test. As we drove past Gróshúsvatn I checked the lake briefly from the car and found a Ring-necked Duck on the lake. It is the 17th record for the Faroes and my 5th individual this autumn.

Ring-necked Duck

Ring-necked Duck

After returning to our cottage I went for a short walk only to find an Arctic Warbler 2 minutes walk from the cottage.

Arctic Warbler

Arctic Warbler

The Arctic Warbler was joined by a Yellow-browed Warbler and a rather dark Lesser Whitethroat. Quite a good result when not really birding intensively. One can only guess what else is out there.

Lesser Whitethroat

Back home in Hvannasund I found a Hawfinch close to home joined by a few Blackcaps, Wood Pigeon, Fieldfares and Yellow-browed Warblers.


I have also checked the northernmost village on the Faroes called Viðareiði. It is an awesome place for birding, but the area is quite vast. Siberian Chiffchaffs are now the most common warblers around with about 10 present in the village.

Three Siberian Chiffchaffs

A skulky Dunnock eventually showed itself and close by a presumed rostrata or northwestern Redpoll offered great views.

Northwestern Redpoll

In the ditches close by I flushed a Jack snipe, which is my first this year. Also a nice bird to observe.

Jack Snipe

In the fields Eysturi á Heiðum I found a Yellow Wagtail. First it was very flighty, but eventually I obtained good views. I also recorded the call and consensus is that it is a western Yellow Wagtail. But still quite a good bird for the Faroes – especially this late.

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

With upcoming easterly winds this autumn still might have something to offer.

On another note a Subalpine Warbler, that I found on the 3rd of July 2011 in my hometown of Hvannasund has been accepted as the first Western Subalpine Warbler for the Faroes. As this has been split from Eastern Subalpine Warbler it becomes the 21th national first that I have found.

Western Subalpine Warbler

Western Subalpine Warbler

Western Subalpine Warbler


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s