All posts by Örn Óskarsson

The smallest bird in Europe

glokollur-5The Goldcrest is the smallest bird in Europe, weighing only 5-7 grammes. In 1996 the first known breeding in Iceland was confirmed and since then their numbers have increased. Today they are common breeding birds in spruce forrests.  For two years now they have been breeding  here and in spruce trees in adjoining gardens. We see these tiny little birds with their golden crown almost daily.

Overnight guests

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Hundreds of Starlings stay in our garden every night. Just before dark they come from all directions and in huge flocks they fly in big circles before they land in the trees. They found this place to overnight 25 years ago and have now decided to return.

Starlings have overnighted in different places around Selfoss through the years, changing places regulary.

Three different Finches

This autumn  three different finch species visited the garden. All rare birds in Iceland.

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Chaffinch / bókfinka

A male Siskin was here in the beginning of October, a female Brambling in the middle of October and now there are two Chaffinches, a pair.

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Brambling / fjallafinka

It is getting darker in the afternoon and difficult to get good photoes of the birds, especially on cloudy days like today.

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Siskin / barrfinka

But I managed to get these three photoes, –not as bad as I thought.

Grey-cheeked Thrush

A Grey-cheeked Thrush Catharus minimus was spotted on Friday, October 31, in Hvolsvöllur (a small town 40 minutes drive east from Selfoss). The Thrush was still there today when I came to look for it. This is a new species for me and it is the fourth time it is seen Iceland. – I was able to add the 200th bird to my list and here is a photo I managed to catch while it was still bright enough 🙂

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Morning glow

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At 9 o’clock this morning the sun was coming up in the South East. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer and will continue to do so until around December 22.

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The wind was blowing, shaping the clouds, and some mist in the sky from the eruption. –The beauty of it all just takes your breath away 🙂

Colourful Starling

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This beautiful Starling is one of the birds that appreciates an apple. Not everyone likes the Starlings because they come in flocks, are noisy and boisterous and people believe they above other birds carry lice. All birds carry lice. The Starlings are bossy and often run other birds away, especially if there are some tasty bites to have. The Starlings that overnight in our garden and adjacent trees are probably well over two hundred and when they arrive in the twilight there is a lot of noise.

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.

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

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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.

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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.