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This group of 18 inhabited islands, a self-governing region of Danish territory, is situated in the north Atlantic roughly midway between Shetland and Iceland. Despite the often bad weather, these islands are becoming increasingly visited by birders for their important seabird colonies.
Most of the northern European seabirds breed here on the rugged coasts, steep cliffs with boulder screes in the north and west and steep grass-covered slopes elsewhere.
Internationally important numbers of skuas and auks breed as well as Northern Fulmar, Manx Shearwater and European Storm-petrel and Leach's Storm-petrel. The European Storm-petrel colony on the small island of Nolsoy[Map 2] in the east of the group is the largest in the world and there are 2,000 pairs of Northern Gannet on Mykines[Map 3], the only gannetry in the islands. Other birds breeding on the cliffs include Rock Dove and Rock Pipit.
The remaining habitat is mainly sheep-grazed grassland with occasional patches of moorland and hayfields with breeding waders such as Whimbrel and Golden Plover and there are small woodlands in some areas with Redwing and the Faroese race of Wren. The moors have peatbogs and there are also many ponds and a few lakes where Red-necked Phalarope and Red-throated Diver nest and the mountains which reach more than 880m have Purple Sandpiper and Snow Bunting.
Although only around 50 birds breed vagrants are frequently seen and more than 250 species have been recorded. Nolsoy produces many of the vagrant records.
Birds you can see here include:
Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Northern Fulmar, Manx Shearwater, European Storm Petrel, Leach's Storm Petrel, Northern Gannet, European Shag, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Tufted Duck, Greater Scaup, Common Eider, Common Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser, Merlin, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Faroese Snipe, Whimbrel, Common Redshank, Ruddy Turnstone, Red-necked Phalarope, Pomarine Skua, Arctic Skua, Long-tailed Skua, Great Skua, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Iceland Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Common Guillemot, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Atlantic Puffin, Little Auk, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Faroese Wren, Northern Wheatear, Eurasian Blackbird, Redwing, Hooded Crow, Northern Raven, Faroese Starling, House Sparrow, Snow Bunting
June is generally the best time to visit.
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Most of the larger seabird colonies are found in the north with Mykines probably the best but Kallsoy[Map 4], Vidoy[Map 5], Fugloy[Map 6] and Svinoy[Map 7] also have good numbers. StreymoyMap  is the main island, also with good seabird colonies including Great Skua and Sandoy[Map 9] to the south is one of the best islands for wildfowl and waders.
Access and Facilities
The airport at Vagar has regular flights from Glasgow, Reykjavik or Copenhagen or the islands can be reached by boat from Norway or Denmark
Internally there is a good public transport system including regular boats between islands and car rental and boat hire is available.
The capital, Torshavn, has hotels but more basic accommodation can be found in most areas.
- Faroe Islands on Google Maps
- Nolsoy on Google Maps
- Mykines on Google Maps
- Kallsoy on Google Maps
- Vidoy on Google Maps
- Fugloy on Google Maps
- Svinoy on Google Maps
- Streymoy on Google Maps
- Sandoy on Google Maps
Content and images originally posted by Steve