All posts by Örn Óskarsson

Ptarmigan

The hunting season started today lasting in total 12 days, four long weekends. The Ptarmigan used to be the classical Christmas dinner in many families but today there aren’t as many of them as they used to be and the hunting season restricted to these 12 days.

rjupa-26

I spotted this couple outsize town in Grímsnes, South Iceland. I always feel sorry for the Ptarmigan this time of the year.

rjupa-25

Little Egret by the river

This Little Egret was taking a stroll by the river Ölfúsá where it flows through Selfoss. It’s the first heron of this kind I have come across this year. Actually only two of these have been spotted in Iceland this year and this is the second one.

bjarthegri-4

The Little Egert used to be a very rare vagrant in Iceland but  in recent years the numbers are increasing. They probably come from Great Britain or Ireland. His relative the Grey Heron, however, is a very common vagrant in Iceland especially during winter.

Redpoll or Arctic Redpoll

Redpolls vary both in size and in shade of brown. The Icelandic variety is the palest and has whiter wing bars and less streaked underparts than others.

hrimtittlingur

Today I saw two unusually white Redpolls which resemble the  Arctic Redpoll a lot. They are probably just ordinary Redpolls but quite unlike the normal Icelandic  Redpoll. This is one of the whiter ones

hrimtittlingur-2

and this is the other one. Below is a normal Icelandic Redpoll.

audnutittlingur-61

Common Crossbill

krossnefir-9

Common Crossbills are new breeding birds in Iceland.  New spruce and pine forests are growing fast in many places in Iceland and are now big enough to be a habitat for some new settlers like the Crossbills.
They are regular birds in my garden and I feed them on sunflower seeds. This pair was in a group of seven Crossbills coming to the feeding place this beautiful Sunday morning.

A visitor in the garden

fjallafinka-3

This beautiful female Brambling appeared in the garden yesterday and again today. Bramblings are annual guests in Iceland. They come from Scandinavia but do not breed here.

fjallafinka

Hopefully a male Brambling will visit us next week but then the forecast says colder weather and snow. – Makes life easier for our little friends to come and get the food we set out for them 🙂

The most common garden bird

audnutittlingur-58

In former times Redpolls could only be found in birch forests in North Iceland. In the sixties they started to breed in South Iceland and are now among the most common breeding birds in woods and gardens.  Around 50-70 Redpolls visit the feeder in my garden every day.

Redpolls are my favourites because they are very active, charming and have a great diversity in colour and appearance.

audnutittlingur-43

Sunrise and sunset in the volcanic mist

solsetur-7

Six weeks ago a volcanic eruption started in Bárðarbunga in Vatnajökull Glacier, more precisely in Holuhraun, just outside the glacier. Seismicity continues in the Bárðarbunga area, see:
http://en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/earthquakes/ 

solaruppras-4

The eruption is in full action and the flow of lava has by now created a lavafield of over 55 square kilometers. It is estimated that the eruption produces 35,000 tons of SO2 daily both from the craters and the lava field. The gas pollution spreads over different parts of Iceland depending on the direction of the wind. The gas alters the clear skies and our sunrise isn’t as dazzling and blinding as usual.

solaruppras-5

Photos from Selfoss South Iceland at sunset 12 October and sunrise 13 October.