The Ptarmigan changes its colour to white in the winter. Nature is peculiar. The male stays whiter longer but the female gets its camouflage colours earlier to match the colours of nature. The female needs to go unnoticed while keeping the eggs warm in the nest. The male is white and thus catches the attention of predators, keeping them away from the nest.
This photo is taken in the Icelandic Westfjords in the beginning June, 2012.
The Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) is a new breeeding bird in Iceland. The first known breeding was recorded in 1990 in Eyjafjörður, North Iceland.
Shelducks were first seen by the river Ölfusá in Selfoss about 10 years ago. They have slowly been increasing in numbers and last spring 16 Shelducks were spotted by the river near Selfoss. They are seen on the river every year with their chicks but nests have never been found.
The days are getting longer and although summer is still a long way off we have begun to think of spring. It’s time to start preparing by sowing summer plants and vegetables. The Icelandic summer is so short that to secure a harvest in the autumn preparations have to begin early. That will be this weekend’s project 🙂
During the winter time the Ptarmigan takes on the white colour of the snow, Being white offers protection from birds of prey and foxes. It is difficult to spot the Ptarmigan nestling in the dense forest.
This male Ptarmigan is awaiting spring in a pine grove in Grímsnes, South Iceland. Photo taken last weekend.
The Scaup (Aythya marila) is a common duck in ponds and lakes both in the Icelandic lowlands and highlands, especially in the North and the East. The breeding populations counts around 2000-5000 pairs. Most of them leave the country in the autumn and overwinter by the shores of Irland and Britain.
The Scaup is a common breeding bird in Veiðivötn in the southern interior of Iceland. There the males gather in big groups in July and shed, or moult,their feathers . You can see up to 700 birds in a group. Scaups are synchronous moulters, they change their flight feathers all at once in a period of two to four weeks. During this period they cannot fly.
The photoes are taken in Veiðivötn, in the South Interior.
Winter Light Festival was opened last night with Marcos Zotes light installations. Zotes took one of Reykjavík City‘s best known landmark, Hallgrímskirkja church, and transformed it into a mesmerising visual experience.
This Redwing is all puffed up in the cold. I bet it’s dreaming of warmer weather and the coming of spring, at least we are. This winter has been one of the worst we remember. Endless blizzards week after week and snow that probably won’t melt until April.
One of the perks is of course all the birds that frequent our garden, lots of Redpolls, Snow Buntings, Starlings, Crossbills, Thrushes and vagrants such as the Chaffinches. They know for sure that here they will get enough food.