Garth Peacock
Iceland - Day 2 - Tuesday 6th June 2017

Archive

The past ten days.

Thursday 16th November 2017

Birdguides Photo of the Week

Wednesday 8th November 2017

A week in pictures

Friday 3rd November 2017

Nothing exciting

Tuesday 17th October 2017

An update from the last few weeks

Wednesday 4th October 2017

Iceland - Day 8 - Monday 12th June 2017

Thursday 14th September 2017

A quick visit to Norfolk

Saturday 19th August 2017

Back to Norfolk

Friday 14th July 2017

A break from Paperwork

Saturday 8th July 2017

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Tuesday 11th July 2017

Back to Tuesday 6th June 2017. It now seems to be ages away because it has taken me much longer than usual to find the time to continue the editing process.

The day started early - well, very early for me - leaving the hotel at 6.00am. The hotel in Selfoss was basic but adequate. It was set up for self-catering as there were no facilities for breakfast  - just a packed breakfast left in the fridge the previous afternoon. Cheese and cucumber roll, yoghurt, fruit and a drink - just about adequate but Iceland is an expensive country for us to visit so I did not expect luxuries. I was not disappointed.

The day was spent at the Floi Bird Reserve. Weather cloudy and cool but that is normal Icelandic weather. 6 layers of clothing was the norm.

Driving down the long approach road, the usual birds were there. Snipe

and Redshank

Yes, they are easily photographable in the UK but the backdrop seems to be much more attractive here. In the reserve, the first birds to notice was a flock of Eider flying around,

and then a noisy and very approachable Dunlin as we walked across the reserve. We needed to take care as we were  close to a nest.

But the main subject was Red-throated Diver. They are reasonably common in Iceland with an estimated 1000 odd pairs and a pair seemed to be on every decent sized pool. Care was need as it was obvious that many were sitting on eggs so non-disturbance was a priority. They feed in the nearby sea, mainly on sand eels but by just quietly sitting on the waters edge and waiting, it was only a matter of time before one flew in.

On the same pool, I was distracted by a very close Red-necked Phalarope

This species is different in that the male incubates the eggs after mating while the female moves off to find another mate and repeat the process. The female is much more brightly coloured than the male. They are surface feeders, usually spinning round in the water to churn up food.

Then on the far side of the pool, a female Eider appeared with a duckling.

Unusual, I thought as female Eiders normally form creches with other females, and then they all cautiously appeared.

and became more relaxed

and even the ducklings came close

while the male stood guard on the bank.

Although difficult to photograph against the grey sky, Arctic Terns were feeding.

After a break back at the hotel, we returned later for another session. On the approach road, I jokingly complained to Paul Hobson, our driver that he had failed to provide a Snipe on a post. 2 minutes later...

and another Redshank

and a Black-tailed Godwit close to the road.

On the reserve, a Red-throated Diver made a quick exit

We were entertained by a pair of Whooper Swans in the distance chasing some Eiders away from their cygnets

but the weather was not as bright so the session was not as successful. Back tomorrow!!!