In Hellisskógur by Selfoss there is a little pond in the wood where wetland has been restored.
In the last four weeks a few Red-Necked Phalaropes have been on the pond feeling at home it seems . The Phalaropes’ nests are well hidden in the dense vegetation and difficult to find so whether they have bred and nested by the pond remains to be seen. Hopefully their chicks will appear on the water in the next couple of weeks.
The Red-necked Phalarope is one of the latest migratory birds to arrive in Iceland, in the middle of May. They also leave early. They merely come here to mate and only stay long enough for their young ones to grow old enough to travel.
Now they are getting into their winter plumage that is much lighter than the summer plumage. Most of them have already left lakes and ponds for the sea. There they put on some weight for their long journey to the Pacific coast of Peru where they stay on the open sea while winter rages in the northern hemisphere.
The first Red-Necked Phalaropes (Phalaropus lobatus) have been arriving in Iceland in the last few days. They are the last of the migrants to arrive along with their cousins the Grey Phalarope/Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius) of which there are only a few in Iceland. The Icelandic Red-Necked Phalarope probably overwinters with the North American population on the Pacific coast of Ecuador and Peru. They are seabirds that only come inland to breed but they breed both in lowlands and highlands.
The Red-Necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) is a wader and can often be seen on ponds, lakes and streams. With the Red-Necked Phalarope the roles of the sexes is reversed.After the female has laid the eggs she goes her way leaving the male with the responsibility of the nest and the upbringing of the chicks. They are migratory birds and leave for the winter. Some probably go all the way to the Pacific, West of Peru.
A good place to view and photograph the Red-Throated Diver and the Red-Necked Phalarope is in Flói Nature Reserve in the Southern Lowlands of Iceland. Fuglavernd– BirdLife Iceland runs a reserve there in co-operation with Árborg community. This is a wetland area rich with birdlife. The reserve is a river delta at the eastern bank of the river Ölfusá, in the Flói area not far from Selfoss.