Cold spring spoils nests

Himbrimi – Great Northern Diver – Gavia immer

Veiðivötn (Fishing Lakes) are a cluster of lakes in the southern interior of Iceland. Ordinarily there are around 35 to 40 Great Northern Divers there over the summer time and usually 10 – 15 nests. This spring it was very cold and a lot of snow and ice. The Great Northern Divers turned up at their usual time and at least 10 pairs layed eggs by the water edge of lakes. When it at last started to get warmer snow and ice melted and six of the nests went under water and were destroyed.  Only three chicks hatched from two nests in the area. This is by far the worst breeding to be seen since I started observing the Great Northern Diver in the area 15 years ago. The nest in the picture went underwater but in recent years this pair has always managed to raise two chicks.

With two chicks in summer 2014
With two chicks in summer 2014

This picture is of the same pair with two chicks last year.