A Gyrfalcon was searching for prey by River Ölfusá yesterday. He flew over a flock of ducks and swans. They did not move and most stayed in the water. Soon some Ravens came by and chased the Gyrfalcon away. The Ravens are a tough bunch. This time the Gyrfalcon fled without a morsel to eat.
The Gyrfalcon is not a common breeding bird in Iceland so seeing one is always a treat. Estimated number of breeding pairs is 300. They are more common in the North but can be spotted all over the country. Their numbers are determined by the numbers of Ptarmigan which is their main food although they hunt most … Continue reading Young Gyrfalcons
The most voluminous river in Iceland is River Ölfusá. Around this time of year you can expect to see a lot of ducks and gulls there, some Greylags and Swans and a Gyrfalcon, a Merlin or even a White-tailed Eagle flying above. Due to spring water a big part of the river never freezes. When … Continue reading Ölfusá River in winter
It is always exciting to see a Gyrfalcon, the biggest falcon in the world. Its main food source in Iceland is the Ptarmigan but it also hunts other birds such as ducks, geese and gulls. Last weekend we saw a Gyrfalcon eating a duck far out on the ice on Ellidavatn Lake, just outside Reykjavik. … Continue reading Out on the ice
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 … Continue reading Pursuing a Mallard
We were looking for a Gyrfalcon, which we did not find, when we came across our first Wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe) this spring. There were a few at the roots of Mount Ingólfsfjall, most of them males. Their winter grounds are in West Africa. They make their nests in rocks, lava and heathland, mostly in lowlands … Continue reading Seeing Wheatears made our day
The birds accounted for here belong to very different species of which there are not many in Iceland, only around 10 bird species. Of falcons, hawks and eagles there is only one species of each. There are two owl species, of gallinaceous birds there is only the Ptarmigan and of pigeons there is also only the Rock Dove. … Continue reading Landbirds, non-passerine