onsdag den 20. juni 2012

North Iceland 2012

Back for another field season in northern Iceland. The project started out with Red-throated Divers in western Iceland but has now evolved into Divers, Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks and Greater Scaups in northern Iceland. The project area is the northern most part of Adaldal between the rivers of Skjaldfandi og Laxa. This year we rented a house just a few hundred meters from the project area. The weather was good for most of the period which made everything a hell of lot more easy than last year (snow, rain and very low temperatures). Northern Iceland is truely an amazing place with Harlequins, Barrows Goldeneye, Gyr Falcons, Great Northern Divers, Phalaropes all being fairly easy. With flights from Reykjavik to Akureyri and now also to Husavik in the summer period this area is quite easily accessible. A whale watching tour from Husavik will give you the chance to connect with the largest animal ever to have roamed this planet, the Blue Whale. We did not have time for a tour during my stay this year but we did enjoy a whisky from Yann's terrace one evening with views of Two distant Blue Whales and a pod of White-beaked Dolphins in the telescope. Visits to the to local light house (situated just north of town) will often result in observations of whales with Humpbacked Whales, Minke Whales and WB Dolphins seen on two short visits there this year.

6/6 Kaldbakstjarnir just south of Husavik. The first record of Bonapartes Gull in northern Iceland.

6/6 Sandur. A pair of Ptarmigans used our "garden" for feeding and as a look-out on most days. Ptarmigans are easily found in the lava fields in the valley. Their sexy call only matched by Great Bustards...

10/6 Islandica Black-tailed Godwit. Really pretty birds.  

11/6 River Laxa. The garbage container for the local area is placed on a small dust road just next to the river Laxa. Some times it is just nice being the one who gets "allowed" to take the garbage out!

11/6 River Laxa. The grey adult Gyr Falcon hunting over the nearby mountains made this observation even better.

11/6 River Laxa. I almost ended up in the river trying to get the right angle on this female only holding on to a single tussock with my foot.

11/6 River Laxa. Trying to impress - so it came a little closer. Very nice ducks indeed!

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