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2 July 2016

Sepac 2016: Seasons

Islandic Oystercatcher (冰島蠣鷸)
Faroe Islands (2016)
22th Fenruary, 2016. Tórshavn

Winter storms, drizzle and sleet, the ocean's relentless hammering on the coast and - the almost permanent winter darkness. Although the merciful Gulf Stream guarantees relatively mild winters, temperature wise, here in the North Atlantic and we rarely suffer from extreme cold, winter is a tough time of year to go through. Rain, snow and hail, combined with winter darkness and the harsh Atlantic gales, can faze even the strongest.

It is therefore no wonder that the Faroese rural dean, nationalist and poet, Jákup Dahl (1878 - 1944), probably on a stroll in the hometown Vágur, was torn out of his depression by the sound of the oystercatcher's calling - and inspired to write one of the most beloved Faroese songs: "Tjaldur, ver vælkomið" - a welcome hymn to the Faroese national bird, the.

As a matter of fact, spring in the Faroe Islands is heralded, even before it physically manifests, by the arrival of the oystercatchers, from wintering in the British Isles and the French Atlantic coast. The symbolic significance of this particular bird's arrival is not only a cultural condition – the oystercatcher's first call, the characteristic “klip, klip,” also affects the instincts, the unconscious computer, which detects and combines the small signs of oncoming changes. Just like the arrival of the first lams, a couple of months later, the first calling of the oystercatcher is something that people notice and talk about.

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