In the last couple of days we have had temperatures below zero. The days are getting shorter and the river Ölfusá has begun to freeze. This photo is taken around 5 o’clock this afternoon and as you can see the sun is setting.
This Blackbird is one of a group of eight Blackbirds that are in the garden now. This is a young male which can be seen from the dark brown colour and the colour of its beak, similar to the female’s colours.
When it grows up it becomes black and the beak becomes bright orange-yellow. It also gets an eye-ring of the same colour. This makes the adult male Blackbird one of the most striking garden birds. The song of the Blackbird is also very vocal so it does not go unnoticed.
This weekend my students at the local secondary school are counting their garden birds. Of course I took part in this interesting project and counted the birds in my garden in the hours between 11 and 12 am. I also took some photoes, but that goes without saying 😉
Weather: NE 12 m/sec, clear sky and temperature 0°C.
In this one hour I counted:
Nú um helgina eru nemendur mínir í FSu að telja garðfuglana sína. Ég tók að sjálfsögðu líka þátt í þessu skemmtilega verkefni og taldi garðfuglana mína á milli kl. 11:00 og 12:00 í morgun. Jafnframt tók ég myndir af nokkrum tegundum.
In the winter time when it’s really cold outside the Redpolls come and eat from the palm of my hand. They like the seed blends you can buy for Canaries and Finches. You can usually buy them in grocery stores and pet stores.
Holding them in your hand gives you a very special feeling which is not easy to describe. You could say that I feel like I enjoy some privilege not everyone has access to. –It’s a wonderful feeling.
The Goldcrest is the smallest bird in Europe, weighing only 5-7 grammes. In 1996 the first known breeding in Iceland was confirmed and since then their numbers have increased. Today they are common breeding birds in spruce forrests. For two years now they have been breeding here and in spruce trees in adjoining gardens. We see these tiny little birds with their golden crown almost daily.
Hundreds of Starlings stay in our garden every night. Just before dark they come from all directions and in huge flocks they fly in big circles before they land in the trees. They found this place to overnight 25 years ago and have now decided to return.
Starlings have overnighted in different places around Selfoss through the years, changing places regulary.
Can you guess? Well, this is my Common Crossbill, a bit different from the one outside in the garden.
I like drawing birds. Most of my bird-drawings originate from my imagination. They are usually not made to look like any special bird, they stand on their own and I would say they look like all birds, or no bird at all 😉
This autumn three different finch species visited the garden. All rare birds in Iceland.
A male Siskin was here in the beginning of October, a female Brambling in the middle of October and now there are two Chaffinches, a pair.
It is getting darker in the afternoon and difficult to get good photoes of the birds, especially on cloudy days like today.
But I managed to get these three photoes, –not as bad as I thought.
A Grey-cheeked Thrush Catharus minimus was spotted on Friday, October 31, in Hvolsvöllur (a small town 40 minutes drive east from Selfoss). The Thrush was still there today when I came to look for it. This is a new species for me and it is the fourth time it is seen Iceland. – I was able to add the 200th bird to my list and here is a photo I managed to catch while it was still bright enough 🙂
Next week the weather forecast is predicting colder weather. Then we can expect more birds in the garden. Today we have around 15 Redpolls, 10 Starlings, five Blackbirds, two Redwings,two male Blackcaps and a female Caffinch. There was also a Raven but they tend to stick to the treetops.
We can usually see several Ravens in the sky above our house and by the river. They are a sight to see and you might think they were showing off their flight agility. Sometimes when they visit the garden they remind us of naughty kids, – full of mischief, sitting in the top of the trees breaking off branches and crowing loudly.