The month of May

Pilot Whale

The month of May was cold on the Faroe Islands. Actually the coldest ever measured. Snow and freezing temperatures were its trademarks this year although the last week of the month improved a little bit.

The first ten days of the month I spent on a long-liner west of the Faroes. More on that later. But that meant that I only started to do proper birding on land from the 10th onward.

The first highligh was on the 12th when Jón Aldará found a ssp. thunbergi male Yellow Wagtail at Sandágerð in Tórshavn. As I was only 10 minutes away I twitched the bird. The same period also proved good for hirundines as Sand and House Martins and Barn Swallows showed in good numbers.

Then cold weather again made spring migration slow down, but on the 25th an American Black Duck was present along with a presumed hybrid ABD x Mallard at Søltvík, Sandoy.

On the 26th I a total of 49 species were present on Svínoy including a Wood Sandpiper – the 9th record for the Faroes.

On the 28th I visited Suðuroy. In Sumba I found Spotted Flycatcher, Greater Whitethroat, Rook and a Skylark was singing at Akraberg.

The real highlight was on the 29th though. As I scanned Sumba I found Common, King and Steller´s Eider in the same flock off the coast. That was quite amazing. The Steller´s Eider was a long-staying female, but the King Eider was a nice male.

I saw 74 different species during two days on Suðuroy. That is quite ok taking the wind and weather into consideration. Another highlight was a male Reed Bunting in Sandvík – an uncommon fellow up here.

On the 31th I found another Wood Sandpiper on Viðareiði. On the 1st of June Jóna Ólavsdóttir sent me at video of some small white geese. She was the one who found two Snow Geese in late Apríl. The geese looked spot on for Ross´s Goose, so at 19:45 I drove 1½ hour to Vatnsoyrar, where I managed to connect with the Ross´s Geese.

There is one previous record of Ross´s Goose from the Faroes in 1962, but it was considered an escape. If these birds are accepted it will be the first record for the Faroes.

On June 2nd I went to visit Svínoy along with Jórun Pólsdóttir. Birding was nice with Red-backed Shrike, Garden and Willow Warbler, Greater Whitethroat and Common Swift.

Outside the village I checked a flock og Eurasian Golden Plovers. Two Arctic Skuas flew over the flock and within the flock a large, brown bird with white on the outer wing and slow wing beat took off. I almost panicked as I told Jórun that I just found an Eurasian Stone-curlew – first for the Faroes.

Finally I pulled myself together and obtained some photos as the bird landed. We got a little closer and more pictures were obtained. Then it took off and settled behind some rocks, where it hid.

Eurasian Stone-curlew was not on my top ten over most expected new additions to the Faroese list. But well, always a pleasure to add another bird to the Faroese list. This is the 25th that I have added.



One comment on “The month of May

  1. jan jelen says:

    Is it interessting to visite the Faroes now.? Greetings Jan

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