I had the day off from work and decided to make use of the beautiful weather. The clear blue skies and snow covered ground gave an excellent opportunity to have an outing after the dark and cold winter.
Here are a few photoes from yesterday taken in the South, in Dyrhólaey. You can see the Atlantic Ocean and Dyrhólaey, which is almost an island, jutting out to the sea. Now there is a road so you can drive there even when the tide is in. The view from this cliff island is magnificent and to the east you can see all the way to Reynisfjara and Reynisdrangar, out in the sea.
Yesterday we came across this European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) when we visited the family summerhouse. The snow was probably 30 cm deep and we just made it there. The Robin was not shy to come close to get to the feed. It was probably in dire need of food. Getting a good picture was not easy because of its rapid movements.
It seems that more Robins have been here this winter than in recent years. They are vagrants and probably annual visitors.
The first migratory Redwings (Turdus iliacus) were seen in gardens in Selfoss and groves in Grímsnes today. This afternoon ten Redwings were here in our garden, eating bread, apples and sunflower seeds. There are always some Redwings that stay in gardens during the winter time but the newly arrived birds can easily be recognised from the others. They are full of excitement, flying quickly from one garden to another in their search for food.
Since snow covers everything these newly arrived birds have to depend on feed in gardens like the ones who stay here in the winter time.
The Common Snipe is a migratory bird in Iceland although a few stay behind and endure winter. These birds keep to warm springs and ditches. Early in April the migrators will be arriving in Iceland.
The Common Snipe is known for the special sound it makes on flight with its tail feathers.
It lives in marshes, stream banks, bogs, wet meadows, and even the Arctic tundra, preferring lush vegetation for cover. The common snipe’s habitat ranges from North America, South America, Europe, Eurasia, and Africa.
More snow had fallen when we woke up this morning, as can be seen from these photoes. At 4 we woke up to a thick blizzard, something that belongs to the middle of winter. But here we are and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Örn went out around 8 to clear the snow so as to be able to feed the birds. He offered them some seeds from the palm of his hand but they were probably not cold enough to be tempted.
It will probably be a terrific day to play outside, make a snowman or snow house, or even go skiing if the wind stays calm. For us it is time to make coffee and admire the view over the snowy river from our kitchen window. Would be nice to have some birders here to share some birding gossip and a nice cup of coffeee. – Hope you have a terrific day and that you too feel that where you are is also the best place on Earth 🙂
The Redpolls gather round the feeding tray and we make sure there are enough sunflower seeds for everyone. We haven’t had so many Redpolls in the garden since January. Where did they go? We don’t know but this morning there have been more than one hundred.
They woke us early this morning because they are louder and fighting among themselves, a sign that it is almost spring.
In the last few days temperatures have been dropping and snowfall on and off everyday. We are waiting for spring and hoping for a summer this year. Last year summer was a total letdown so we do not know what to expect but we are full of hope. The photoes are taken this morning.
The Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) is the biggest seabird in Iceland. It breeds in cliff islands not very far from land and is usually not seen inland. The breeding population counts around 31,500 pairs. Half of the population breeds in Eldey, a tiny island, or sea cliff, that can be seen from Reykjanestá in Reykjanes, the southwestern most point of Iceland.
A Grey-cheeked Thrush (Catharus minimus) was spotted in October 2014 in a garden in Hvolsvöllur, South Iceland. This Thrush is a breeding bird in North America and has been seen only four times in Iceland. It is the most infrequent of the American Thrushes (Spotted-Breasted Thrushes) to visit Iceland.
The photo was taken in Hvolsvöllur, November 3, 2014.
We just had an article published! The magazine is The Summerhouse and the Garden (Icelandic: Sumarhúsið og garðurinn. 1. tölublað, mars 2015). The article is about the garden and the birdlife there, and of course our web. Article and photoes by Örn Óskarsson .