In the autumn of 1956 the first Tennessee Warbler was recorded for Iceland, then in Snæfellsnes. Now some 63 years later the second one has been spotted in Reykjanes Peninsula on September 8, by the picturesque lighthouse Reykjanesviti.
The Tennessee Warbler is a breeding bird in the Canadian boreal forests and winters in Central and South America. Its arrival in Iceland is the fault of some heavy southerly winds caused by a low pressure area. These have blown our little friend straight over the North Atlantic and the lights from the lighthouse Reykjanesviti have probably guided it ashore. Reykjanes Peninsula, however, is not the best place for this bird that relies heavily on insects as its main food source. The area is mostly without vegetation but hopefully the Tennessee Warbler will soon start looking for a better place with spruces and pines – its ideal habitat.
A lot of birders have already seen this little bird that does not seem alarmed by the attention. It is probably not far from the truth to say it may be the most “twitched” bird in one day ever in Iceland.