Category Archives: Birds

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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Time flies – November is here

Next week the weather forecast is predicting colder weather. Then we can expect more birds in the garden. Today we have around 15 Redpolls, 10 Starlings, five Blackbirds, two Redwings,two male Blackcaps and a female Caffinch. There was also a Raven but they tend to stick to the treetops.

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We can usually see several Ravens in the sky above our house and by the river. They are a sight to see and you might think they were showing off their flight agility. Sometimes when they visit the garden they remind us of naughty kids, – full of mischief, sitting in the top of the trees breaking off branches and crowing loudly.

Being different

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Most of the Redpolls we see are just the ordinary Icelandic ones but once in a while you see an individual bird that stands out from the rest. This autumn we had a Redpoll that was quite different. It was a very beautiful and much whiter Redpoll than the ordinary ones.

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Early in 2011 we also had a Redpoll that was different. News spread around town of a small white bird that came into gardens with a group of Redpolls. The local paper even had some news on this peculiar bird. The bird turned out to be a white Redpoll. It was first spotted in autumn 2010 and was seen in Selfoss most days until the end of March 2011.
Read more in articles: White Redpoll

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.

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.

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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

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

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Common Crossbill

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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.