King Eider

The Eider King is a high Arctic bird that lives near the Arctic Ocean. It is an annual visitor in Iceland over the wintertime.

Æðarkóngur – King Eider – Somateria spectabilis

Once in a while the Eider King mates with the Common Eider and that is what this King Eider has done thus staying in Iceland during the summer time. This bird was in a group of Eiders in their nesting area in the Icelandic Westfjords, summer 2011.

A Sick Visitor

Whooper Swan  (Cygnus cygnus) recuberating in the garden

On Christmas Day this Swan visited a house by the River Öflusá. When the family looked out their living-room window there it was in the snow and stayed there for four days.  Temperatures were down to minus 12° C and blizzards most of the days. The Swan wouldn’t eat anything and was obviously not feeling well. Birders thought that it had come there to die.

At noon on the fourth day, however, it stood up and walked to the river. It had some water to drink and was obviously very thirsty. The Swan was last seen on its way down the river that same day.

On the River Ölfusá in the Selfoss area there are now 48 Swans overwintering. That is a bit more than in recent years.

Whooper Swans on River Ölfusá

Winter Snow


You might say that asking for a White Christmas has gone a bit out of hand here in Iceland during the last month. There is such a lot of snow everywhere that when it melts there will be tons of water everywhere. Now they are predicting temperatures above zero, and even above 5° C,  so the roads will probably be more suitable for going skating than driving.  – Drive carefully everyone :*

Continue reading Winter Snow

Such long legs

It’s such a handsome bird with its long legs and fine colours. The Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) is a migratory bird in Iceland and a common breeding bird in grown wetlands. In winter it is mostly in Ireland or by the coasts of West Europe all the way south to Portugal.

Black-Tailed Godwit , Jaðrakan (Limosa limosa)

Winter birds

In the cold weather there are a lot of Snow Buntings in the lowlands and especially in the towns where they expect to get food.

Snjótittlingur – Snow Bunting – Plectrophenax nivalis

For us they represent the winter because in the summer their colours are different and you only come across them in the highlands.

Snjótittlingur – Snow Bunting – Plectrophenax nivalis

Here they are in our garden here in Selfoss.