Third winter for the Hooded Merganser

Kambönd – Hooded Merganser – Mergus cucullatus

The Hooded Merganser is a breeding bird in North America but is considered rather rare. This Hooded Merganser was on Lake Helluvatn just outside Reyjavík this week. It was first spotted there in the middle of November after having been seen in Álftanes, south of Reykjavík, several times. This is the third winter that this bird is seen on Lake Helluvatn and on nearby lakes.


8 days to Christmas


It is 8 days to Christmas. The ice crystals from last weekend have melted away and the snow has changed into huge slabs of ice that is  melting slowly away. The long term weather forecast predicts a white Christmas with snow and frost in the last days before Christmas.


Short days and long nights


It is 16 days to Christmas and the sun just crawls above the horizon these days. Winter solstice is on December 22. It is the day in the year that is the shortest with the longest night.  Today sunrise was at 11:05 and sunset at 15:35. It was light for 4 hours and 29 minutes.

17 days to Christmas and violent storm


Today is December 7 and we count 17 days to Christmas. Beautiful Christmas snow makes everything especially festive but the weather forecast predicts violent storms or hurricane force winds for all areas of Iceland this evening and night. More snow or rain could also follow. Hopefully everyone will get through this without problems.

Number ONE website for travellers


The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration monitors driving conditions all over Iceland. In the winter time their web is our number ONE. There you can see maps of roads with info on the temperature, driving conditions and how many have been going that way in the last 10 minutes. There are also webcams on many of the most travelled roads. Special warnings are issued when very bad weather is on its way.

Main road Selfoss
Main road Selfoss

Their website is
From their site:
The best way to get information about road conditions and the weather on the road system is to call 1777 (if problems use +354 522 1100,   +354 522 1100). Open 8-16 in summer and 6:30-22 in winter. An English answering machine with similar road information is in phone number 1778. 

We arrived home safely
We arrived home safely

Annual Fieldfare

Gráþröstur – Fieldfare – Turdus pilaris

After yesterday’s snowstorm three Fieldfares turned up in the garden. They were obviously hungry and tired and enjoyed frozen apples on feeding trays and branches. They are annual visitors in Iceland and visit our garden from autumn to spring. Then they  leave for their breeding grounds in Scandinavia.


Snowy December


Today is December 1 and the weather has been most winter-like. In the morning there was a winter storm and people were advised to stay at home if possible.  As the day progressed more and more snow piled up and people have had a difficult time getting home.


Now is not the time to think about tomorrow. Let’s just enjoy the snow and watch how beautiful everything is, or go outside an make a snowman.