The eruption in Geldingadalir, Reykjanes Peninsula, is an extraordinary event, and the longest lived eruption in the 21 century, lasting 181 days. Although the area has been considered active, the last eruption in Reykjanes Peninsula was around 800 years ago. Geologists say that we are now entering an era of volcanic activity in this area which has several active volcanoes.
The eruption seems to be over but there are still earth quakes in the area and some smoke coming from the crater and the lava. In the middle of November the Icelandic Met Office confirmed that uplift has started again south of Fagradalsfjall and north of Keilir.
The eruption in Geldingadalir started on March 19 2021 after a period of earthquakes.
At first there were several rather small fissures that spewed lava and then closed, and a new one or two opened.
In April one crater became dominant and for six months it went from being very active to less active, with a few short dormant periods in between.
At times the lava flowed extensively and there was concern that it would reach the road and the town of Grindavík. But these were never in any actual danger. The lava flow was never constant resulting in accumulation of layers of lava in the same areas.
There was a lot of interest in this eruption and Icelanders as well as tourists came from all over the World to experience the sensation of seeing a volcanic eruption and feeling the heat from the flowing lava. Most days thousands of people hiked to the site and although it is not far from the urban area it is considered remote wilderness. Rescue teams had a busy time assisting and finding people who had lost their way or were injured e.g. broken bones. Although the eruption has ceased, the site is still a popular scenic attraction.
Ornosk went several trips to the volcanic site and took some interesting pictures. These are a few of them from different times.
This summer we came upon these Arctic Skuas in Mýrar, West Iceland, a pair with their offspring. One of the pair was of the pale morph and the other the dark morph. Looking after their young one seemed quite a handful, keeping them busy chasing him him. As we watched them one of the pair, the white morph, stayed in its place and the others kept coming back. Not so different with us humans.
The Robin is always very welcome, such a delicate bird. We have not seen many of them in recent years and sorely miss them. A few of them were seen throughout the country in October. This one stayed here for three days and is hopefully making use of feed in some to other nice people’s garden now.
It is November already and Christmas around the corner. How time flies. Our web ORNOSK.COM has not been up to par the last year or so. However, better times are ahead. We have moved the hosting to Iceland and problems with SSL certificate and Facebook sharing have been resolved. The last two years have been very special for us, to say the least. Not only COVID restrictions but also some health issues. Yes, we have been seriously reminded that we are not growing any younger. – Our resolve is to continue blogging and emphasise the essential role birds have in our ecosystems.
This American Yellow Warbler got blown here by the leftovers of Hurricane Larry, presumably, and was spotted in Þorlákshöfn, South Iceland, in late September. It is the fifth time that this species is recorded for Iceland.
This little Goldcrest pair was diligently combing a Siberian fir (Abies sibirica) in the garden in search of food when I managed after many attempts to catch a picture of them. These delightful little beings are difficult to photograph as they are constantly on the move.
With added speed and a high ISO I managed at last to freeze a few moments in their lives.
Nikon Z50 og Nikkor 200-500mm lense. ISO 5000, speed 1/1000 og aperture 6,3.
For the fourth time a Black-and-white Warbler is reported in Iceland. This very tame little bird was spotted in a garden near Lágafell in Snæfellsnes Peninsula. It has been there for more than a week now, first spotted June 10.
The Black-and-white Warbler is a breeding bird in North America, migrating south to the Caribbean Sea and South America in winter. It makes its nest on the ground but spends most of its time picking insects from the limbs and leaves of trees.
The Black-and-white Warbler in Snæfellsnes Peninsula is very tame and has not been disturbed by the excited birders that have visited the area with their great big lenses.
Today, June 10, a partial solar eclipse is visible from Iceland, where weather conditions permit. It started at around 9 o’clock am and was visible until around 11 o’clock am. This picture is taken a little before 11 o’clock in Selfoss when the sun could be seen through a layer of clouds.
A total eclipse could be seen in Greenland and northern Canada, and in some places in Russia, In Northern Asia, Europe, and the United States a partial eclipse could be seen.
A Great White Egret was by Markarfljót, near Seljalandsfoss, for about two weeks in the beginning of April. The Great White Egret is tall with a long neck and long feet. It has lacy, delicate plumes on its back that curl over its tail. It is a majestic bird, unliked anything we are used to.
This Great White Egret seemed to be in its ideal surroundings by the road near Markarfljót where it frequently caught small fish in the creeks and ponds that do not freeze over. It stayed calm despite the traffic and just kept on fishing as if it didn’t have a care in the world.
Great White Egrets are rare vagrants in Iceland. This is the ninth bird for Iceland and the last one spotted here in 2016. This Egret probably came from its breeding grounds in the Mediterranean where it can be found in all types of wetlands and by the shore.
In the last few days a Great White Egret has been spotted in several places in Reykjanes Peninsula. It might well be the same bird.
At last spring is in the air and our Icelandic migrants are returning home. After an exceptionally mild winter we had some very cold and snowy weeks in March and April. Now the temperatures are rising and we look forward to frost free nights. The days are getting longer and it doesn’t get dark until after 10 o’clock.
Fields and farmlands have now come alive with flocks of Greylags, Pink-footed geese and Whooper Swans. The Golden Plover has also arrived much to the delight of all Icelanders. Black-Tailed Godwits are also arriving although we have news that great flocks have still to leave the shores of Holland.
Redshanks can be seen, as well as Meadow Pipits and we have noticed a lot of Snipes this spring. Only a few Whimbrels have been spotted and we have not seen or heard news of the Wheatear.
There is also little news of Pied Wagtails and we sorely miss the pair that has resided here in the garden for many years. We love spoiling them with whole meal crackers and have waited patiently for their arrival. We think we might just have heard one in the neighbourhood today.