Little Auk in the harbour

Haftyrðill – Little Auk (dovekie) – Alle alle

Today and in the last few days Little Auks have been spotted in the harbour in Thorlakshofn (Þorlákshöfn) where they seek shelter from the storm. The Little Auk is an Arctic bird and rather common by the Icelandic coastline in the winter time.

It used to be a breeding bird by the north coast and in islands north of Iceland but has now disappeared as a breeding bird from these areas probably because of global warming. It is now a common breeding bird in Arctic areas such as Greenland, Jan Mayen and Svalbard.

Stormy weather

Storm at the sea

In the last few days one storm after another has moved across Iceland. Most days the wind has  been between 15 – 23 m/s. This has disrupted travels and plans for Christmas. Life for sea birds has also been difficult in the turbulent sea.  Some look for shelter in fjords and harbours where the wind is not as harsh as out in the open seas.

The harbour in Thorlakshofn (Þorlákshöfn) is one of these sheltering places where birds flock in bad weathers.

Black Guillemot – Teista – Cepphus grylle (winter plumage)

Groups of Eiders, Long-Tailed Ducks, Red-Breasted Mergansers and Gulls have been there and a few Cormorants and King Eiders have been seen. Also a Black Guillemot and a Razorbill in the company of Little Auks.

The shortest day of the year

Today was the shortest day of the year, winter solstice. The sun rose at about 11.15  and will set at around 15.30. It was a beautiful day, with intermittent snowfall and some blue skies could even be seen during the brightest time of the day. The weather forecast predicts a White Christmas and today was one of these perfect days to get into a Christmas mood.