Newcomers in the garden

Glóbrystingur – European Robin – Erithacus rubecula

There are new guests in the garden. A European Robin, two female Blackcaps and a Brambling.  They are more than welcome and the Robin got a piece of melon, the Blackcaps an apple and the Brambling some seeds.

Hettusöngvari – Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla

They seemed happy with the refreshments but as the day went on they had to fight with Starlings, Blackbirds and Redwings for food.

Fjallafinka - Brambling -
Fjallafinka – Brambling – Fringilla montifringilla

Eight Blackbirds

Svartþröstur – Blackbird – Turdus merula

Today eight Blackbirds were in the garden hopping around in the leaves looking for food or picking berries from trees and shrubs. They seem to know of the frost and snow predicted in the next few days.


Blackbirds are becoming more and more noticeable in Iceland. They started breeding in Reykjavík in 1991 but in the last few years they have spread around the country and now they breed in many places.
In Selfoss breeding was confirmed three years ago and their numbers are growing.

Still enough berrries

Hettusöngvari - Blackcap - Sylvia atricapilla
Hettusöngvari – Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla

The winter has been mild so far. The Blackcap is here again after having been away from some time. There are still enough berries on trees and shrubs so Blackcaps, along with other small birds and vagrants, are not as dependent on the food put out form them. At least not yet. The mild weather increases their chances of surviving the winter.



The smallest church?

Núpsstaðakirkja, the church at Núpsstaðir, South Iceland

Churches come in all shapes and sizes. This is the church at Núpsstaður, one of the smallest churches in Iceland and perhaps in the world. It is a turf church made like the old Icelandic traditional farmhouses. A little less spectacular than the Sagrada Família in Barcelona.


This tiny chapel is a valuable heritage and became Iceland’s first building to be protected by law in 1930.


The old buildings of Núpsstaður are listed tentative – UNESCO World Heritage Site, see: The Turf House Tradition

Endangered Puffin

Lundi - Atlantic Puffin - Fratercula arctica
Lundi – Atlantic Puffin – Fratercula arctica

The Atlantic Puffin is on the list of threatened species. It is listed endangered (EN) within Europe. In Iceland this decline has not gone unnoticed. It is especially noticeable in South Iceland where breeding has been poor for years.
The European Commission issues the European Red List of Birds 2015, compiled by BirdLife International.

Barrows Goldeneye at winter grounds

Húsönd – Barrows Goldeneye – Bucephala islandica

The Barrows Goldeneye has arrived at its winter grounds in Sog River, South Iceland.  Sog River is the biggest spring-fed river and does not freeze even in the coldest of weathers. It is the perfect place for the Barrows Goldeneye that prefers to stay in spring water  the whole year round. It is not a migrator and does not go out to sea like many non-migratory birds.

Endangered Fulmar

Fýll - Fulmar -
Fýll – Northern Fulmar -Fulmarus glacialis
The Northern Fulmar is on the list of threatened species. It is listed endangered (EN) within Europe and  vulnerable (VU) in countries in the European Union. Here in Iceland the decline in the stock has been 30% in the last 25 years.
The European Commission issues the European Red List of Birds 2015, compiled by BirdLife International.