Once again we are visited by the Blackcap. This vagrant has come by our garden in the autumn almost every year for a long time now. They are not breeding birds in Iceland and most likely come from Scandinavia. They have been spotted all around the country this autumn.
This Red-flanked Bluetail is a first for Iceland! Two birds were spotted last week. These beautiful birds are supposed to fly south to warmer climates in winter. Their summer habitat is in Northern Asia and Northeast Europe, as far as Finland. They winter in Southeast Asia.
The Red-flanked Bluetail has been a rare vagrant in Western Europe but has lately been spotted more often, mostly in Great Britain. This one was obviously blown off course and ended up in Southeast Iceland, in the fishing village of Höfn in Hornafjörður.
ORNOSK’s picture of the Red-flanked Bluetail appeared in Iceland’s leading newspaper: http://www.mbl.is/frettir/innlent/2017/10/24/flaekingsfugla_hrekur_til_islands/
The Wren is very busy these days catching winter moths. It seems to be a great part of its diet at this time of year. This clever little bird is very diligent and picks them off the walls and in crevices where they might hide.
One has claimed our house as his own private property, driving others away with force, and cleaning the moths off the walls like a perfect little housekeeper.
There are more Wrens this autumn than often before so this summer seems to have been a prosperous one.
The Red-eyed Vireo is an American vagrant and a near annual in Iceland. This autumn two have been spotted in Iceland, one in Stokkseyri and the other near the neighbouring village Eyrarbakki, in Floi Reserve.
This is the third year in a row that a Red-eyed Vireo is spotted in the same garden in Stokkseyri – nice coincident that. The birds that fly off course, way over the North Atlantic, will not survive the winter in Iceland. Their winter habitat is in warmer climates, in lowland forests in South America.
It is autumn and winter is almost upon us. Last night temperatures dropped to around zero, 0° C. There are still groups of Starlings here, and Redwings and Blackbirds eating berries. Most of the Redwings will be flying South soon.
Our new visitors this autumn, the Siskins, are migrants but whether they stay for the winter remains to be seen. There are still eight of them here. Once winter comes and the seeds from trees and plants become scarce Redpolls, Crossbills and Siskins will be dependant on the feed put out for them.
This autumn the Northern Lights activity has been high but weather conditions not always as good as desired. Often there have been cloudy skies but conditions for viewing better in the North.
The Northern Lights are always as fascinating and I never seem to tire of trying to catch a good photo.
Last week I managed to catch some nice photoes but one must be vigilant and ready with the camera because the activity most often only lasts for a few minutes at a time.
The Ptarmigan is getting ready for winter. Its plumage is changing from the earthen colours of its summer habitat to the white of the winter snows.
It seems there are more Ptarmigans now than often before. The summer was a good one for breeding and in the forests that we frequent we see groups of them. These are probably parents with their grown young ones from early summer but the chicks are often 10-12 in one breeding.