The Redwing is one of the most common birds in Icelandic forests and probably the most popular bird in Iceland, – everyone knows the Redwing. Most of them go to UK in the wintertime but many overwinter in Iceland. The Icelandic Redwings are bigger than the European ones and you can also recognize them by their underwings which are redder. There are always some of them in the garden every winter.
Now we have four of them but a lot of them are still in the forests. Their numbers will increase if we get some real winter weather and the forecast predicts colder weather in the coming days.
After four weeks the Crossbills are back. The weather is colder and it snowed yesterday. –Wonderful to have these colourful birds back. We also have more Redpolls, they have now multiplied in numbers and there are probably around one hundred in the trees and on the ground outside our living room window.
Now it is the time of year when we can start looking forward to seeing the Waxwing. They sometimes come in huge flocks from Scandinavia or even all the way east from Siberia. This autumn a few have been spotted in the northern part of the country and the east.
We have apples for them in the garden and as you can see from the photoes they quite like them. –Now we just have to wait patiently and see if they will pay us a visit.
The photoes are taken in January 2011 and do not need explaining. During this time there were groups of Waxwings in Selfoss and we had 6 -10 in our garden most days and sometimes the birds fought for the apples.
In the last few days we have seen one or two Robins (Erithacus rubecula) in the garden. In the “spring” weather today one was singing by our front door. I say spring weather because the temperature has been around 10° C which is most uncommon for this part of the year.
There are a lot of Robins in Iceland now, mainly in the East and Southeast. They are vagrants and probably annual visitors but it is a long time since so many have been seen. Long time no see – it has been 20 years since we last saw one in our garden so we are very excited.
The Robin is a common garden bird in Britian but in Scandinavia they are shy woodland birds. The Robins that are visiting Iceland now are probably originated from Scandinavia.
The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) used to be a very rare vagrant in Iceland but in recent years they have been seen more often. The birds that come to Iceland probably come from Great Britain or Ireland where their numbers have been increasing in the last 20 years.
This guy was taking a stroll by the River Ölfusá in October. It is the first Little Egret that I see this year and probably the second bird to be seen in Iceland this year.
The Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) is the most common passerine, or perching bird, in Iceland. Meadow Pipits in Iceland are believed to be around one million. They usually live in open habitats where they breed and they feed on insects.
Meadow Pipits come to the garden both in spring and autumn, often in groups.