I caught sight of this Gyrfalcon over the river yesterday. It is a young bird, probably a male. It is always exciting to see a Gyrfalcon and I was ready with my lens when it passed by at great speed. It was pursuing a Mallard on Ölfusá River, South Iceland. The chase was without the desired result.
Photo taken on Nikon D90, Nikkor 200-500mm, f 5.6, 500mm, 1/1250, ISO 800.
In the last few years more and more Greylags choose to overwinter in Iceland instead of going to the British Isles. They are now unusually many on Ölfusá River near Selfoss. The group counts more than 500 birds. It is winter weather now with snow and frost and soon the river will freeze over. Whether the group decides to stay or leave remains to be seen. Will they decide to stay and struggle through the winter or flee to warmer places?
Blackbirds are becoming the most common garden birds in the winter time at least in some areas. In the garden we now have 12 Blackbirds all in search of food. Some are becoming quite tame and are not disturbed by my camera when I take photos of them.
Skaftafell in Öræfi, Southeast Iceland, is part of Vatnajökull National Park. The scenery around Skaftafell is spectacular with jagged mountain tops and Iceland’s highest mountain, Hvannadalshnjúkur.
Volcanic eruptions in Öræfajökull have formed the landscape as well as the glacial rivers, Skeiðará, Morsá und Skaftafellsá, which contribute to the huge sands, Skeiðarársandur, that cover an area of around 1000 km2.
Þjórsárdalur is a wide valley located inland in Árnes county, South Iceland. Several rivers flow through the valley, forming waterfalls as they plung off the edge of the plateau.
Hjálp, or Hjálparfoss is one of the waterfalls in the valley, situated north of the volcano Hekla. It is a two-stepped waterfall, near where the rivers Fossá and Thjórsá join together. Beautiful basalt formations surround the waterfall. It is easy to reach from the main road and footpaths lead down to the riverfront.
It has been getting colder in the last few days. The frost was around -7° C today and the forecast predicts up to -10°C tonight in the South and even colder in the North and the East. Cold air is on its way from Northeast Greenland and forecasts predict that the cold will reach West Europe tomorrow. A little ice has started to form on the river.
Two European Robins where in the garden yesterday. The one who was here first drove the new one away, again and again, – not willing to share the food with another of its kind. Like some other birds, the Robin claims territory over the winter time. The presence of other Robins is not tolerated within the territory.
The sun now rises at about ten o’clock in the morning and sets at about half past four. We see the days become shorter and twilight takes up a bigger part if the day time. Sometimes the sun is a great nuisance, – it is low on the horizon and gets in ones eyes e.g. when driving.
Low on the horizon the sun lights up the clouds lending them brighter colours .