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Impressions of Iceland - an island born of fire and formed by ice


Botswanadreams
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Botswanadreams

What can we do in 2021 to escape from home a second time? Our postponed trip from 2020 to Alaska was postponed a second time. We had the big hope to go to Svalbard instead but the trip was canceled a weak before Norway reopened it's borders. And now? Iceland maybe? We ended up with a four weeks self drive trip around this island organised in three weeks before our plain took off to Keflavík International Airport. 

 

I would like to show a few images of the nature wonders of Iceland. As a tester for chapter one - birds of Iceland - a beautiful Puffin at Látrabjarg Cliff

 

P1094111.jpg.efc5e408cb2ec9903ae9a1ecb5422db1.jpg  

 

Edited by Botswanadreams
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Wow, what a terrific teaser. A wonderful Puffin photo!

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offshorebirder

Wonderful Puffin photo @Botswanadreams

 

I am looking forward to this trip report, thank you for posting it.

 

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Love the puffin photo.

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Botswanadreams

Thank you very much @michael-ibk, @offshorebirder and @Wildship for your kind praise of the Puffin image. At Látrabjarg Cliff it is easy to get pictures like this. The Puffins are so close on top of the cliff. Please don't expect other birds in this quality. I do not have any kind of professional camera. 

 

It is time to start with our "Birds of Island"

 

P1093379.jpg.8c43126a61c74a7db96d38424c11c968.jpg

 

P1138140.jpg.af31e7b88ed8c519b166d291a763f91c.jpg

Whooper Swan (Snæfellsnes peninsula) and at the eastern fjords

 

P1093439.jpg.d41f880b498aa93e79325948e25f8655.jpg

Ruddy Turnstone at Ytri Tunga Beach on the Snæfellsnes peninsula (a vagrants bird to Iceland)

 

P1093905.jpg.0163f76aa41d9e12bc7af963058e26bc.jpg

Eurasian Oystercatcher you find all over the country

 

P1104454.jpg.937df12f12c65478bf19f05439b15e60.jpg

Common Raven 

 

P1093874.jpg.82e3f7a01eb0906b5e296bda6c814a12.jpg

 

P1093537.jpg.178898d4a75720b0e27d8fad2b1e2bbb.jpg

Black-legged Kittiwake - one of the most common seabirds in Iceland

 

I really would appreciate that the birders on the forum correct me with any ID mistake. I was trying my best but as a non birder and only a lover of our feathered friends sometimes it isn't easy. Thanks in advance.   

 

 

 

 

 

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Botswanadreams

Sorry for the long gab. Let's continue with our birds of Iceland.

 

P1126744.jpg.a0edc018da8adb9b7cd3d905ccdf271f.jpg

Northern Fulmar

 

P1093557.jpg.fda6c34e72b69a768d7bfa7ed55af10c.jpg

Great Black-backed Gull, juv.

 

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Redwing
 

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Arctic Tern and the chick

 

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P1104631.jpg.0f64167a489210cf29a0c5f05ba04f12.jpg

Common Eider
 

 


 

 

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Botswanadreams

P1105498.jpg.b606568f6d3a788405f51516d77a53f3.jpg

 

P1105499.jpg.3b695287224c3a57e18df0fe7fa5a66b.jpg

Black-headed Gull 

 

P1115542.jpg.b373d19eb24e519b046732e93b7ebf2a.jpg

Common Redshank
 

P1094011.jpg.6567394d8a57906697612f71d3425e5c.jpg

Common Ringed Plover

 

P1094076.jpg.31038b3c1cac43f308fc3e7cf9fa02be.jpg

Razorbill 
 

P1127403.jpg.b84e69d0bfa81be4cfee46d75ae84514.jpg

Common Murre or Common Guillemot together with Puffins and Black-legged Kittiwake at Skoruvíkurbjarg


 

 

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Botswanadreams

A few more birds

 

P1139279.jpg.d641a135faba7c6955c409c7b0cd0801.jpg

 

P1139284.jpg.de8cc90e7e0da27d635a3d6906f031d3.jpg

Pink-footed Goose

 

P1104487.jpg.46cdff88367860c996bed54367543f92.jpg

 

P1104482.jpg.debe028209e027377238562edb7c4fa5.jpg

Greylag Goose
 

P1104506.jpg.f86e22d48f8a29574d2db31e248475ad.jpg

Red-throated Loon 

 

P1115676.jpg.68be6733ea6bc5f13331c071d1676038.jpg

Whimbrel 

 

P1104545.jpg.2fd59d467a8e647badd02a7fb7dbe44d.jpg

Ruff

 

P1139304.jpg.fadd79948b6241e5d019189591432626.jpg

Black-tailed Godwit
 


 

 

 

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Botswanadreams

P1104716.jpg.83ad663e0c9e20a018dd602895a278b3.jpg

How beautiful they are? A Common Merganser family

 

P1104934.jpg.395d581a31e2ad14d7eb8ccc50a6524d.jpg

Common Loon or Great Northern Diver

 

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Dunlin

 

P1105292.jpg.9b1bf2566a3661faf50e6b83fcfe05af.jpg

Purple Sandpiper

 

P1105185.jpg.a55e4ce2dca1070d4519a51b69f34181.jpg

 

P1105186.jpg.96fa14a38e1e3a742b40db4014d1fcdd.jpg

Black Guillemot at Illugastadir in Northern Iceland - Why are not all birds pose like this? 

 

 

 

 

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Botswanadreams

P1116358.jpg.257430c5285c4b525e31025f8bfd0b88.jpg

Tufted Duck 

 

P1150681.jpg.d166c4288b2b990b8d012ad5b19da609.jpg

Mallard

 

P1126845.jpg.6da137bed01d182de089d52eefb123c6.jpg

Red-necked Phalarope

 

P1126863.jpg.9167e551d68065afe06e798253ee3b36.jpg

Northern Wheatear

 

P1138213.jpg.8df03dbd9c54ce5e6f743ec11b16f0a6.jpg

White Wagtail

 

Edited by Botswanadreams
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Botswanadreams

P1126893.jpg.bf60abf36b4f1cbc56bbd5ba0ff4a0f8.jpg

European Golden-Plover

 

P1138593.jpg.da23c4ab50ab3f633a939f16772bbeb8.jpg

Snow Bunting

 

P1139155.jpg.f2363a6f010684f0b6916234beb3f26d.jpg

Barnacle Goose

 

P1139240.jpg.3b28e8cc7aee1b2eac44462b89f0f652.jpg

Wood Sandpiper

 

P1150686.jpg.487ff7ca5d0b0c3f9272bf663e137071.jpg

Lesser Black-backed Gull

 

Slowly we are coming after No. 36 to the end of our discovered birds on the way through Iceland. Our two highlights will get a separated post.  

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Botswanadreams

Stóri Karl is a rock pillar jutting out of the sea on Langanes peninsula in Northern Iceland that houses the second largest gannet colony in the country.

 

P1127422.jpg.98f99db226a18e3c8f3d4b1193649d72.jpg

 

P1127423.jpg.3304795fc9910194527935e44f1b0c3f.jpg

 

P1127047.jpg.dccb3445809e23218fca7e4d835d8349.jpg

 

P1127045.jpg.49662c1a72cee461faca710d8f3b6340.jpg

 

P1127076.jpg.507555a4e630f17f51ef3fa8728915dd.jpg

 

P1127083.jpg.360016cc900a04d2b026fa5a214ee0ec.jpg

Northern Gannet

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what a fascinating trip, with some lovely images. Story Karl with it's decorative topping of gannets is striking. I assume the pink on the surface is the guano? 

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Finally had a chance to read this enjoyable TR - thank you @Botswanadreams for sharing!

 

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Botswanadreams

Thank you very much @wilddog and @Kitsafari. Yes I think it is guano. I don't know for how many years Stóri Karl is used by the Gannets as breading colony but for a long time. What I read are good news. The number of breading pairs in Iceland is growing. The largest gannet colony in Iceland is located on Eldey Island, southwest of the Reykjanes peninsula. However, it is not accessible to tourists and is under strict protection. There is now no space for more breading pairs. 

 

Thanks to the viewing platform at Stóri Karl, you had the chance to look safely from above at the majestic sea birds. It was fantastically beautiful.

 

Live from the northern gannet's nursery

 

 

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Lovely photos from your trip.  Great selection of birds.

A great memory from our trip was birds such as your Godwit sitting on fence posts!

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Dave Williams

Thanks for bringing back some memories! I loved Iceland and would love to go back one day. I went with a friend and spent 5 days around Husavik. We were expecting it to be really expensive compared to our usual annual trip but it wasn't nearly as expensive as usual because we didn't use any pro photo hides, abstained from alcohol and ate frugally in restaurants! With virtual 24 hours of light we were fully occupied behind the camera!

Whale watching was superb there too.

I think you have a photo of a Ruff above the shot of the Godwit on the post.

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Botswanadreams

Thanks very much @TonyQ and @Dave Williams.

As you know we are not this really Birders. All this birds crossed our way driving around 5'000 kilometres in 4 weeks on the island more or less by chance. Ok it was more a stopp and go because we had enough time. 

Iceland isn't cheep but you have a lot of options to make it affordable like accommodation with chaired bathroom, a normal car instead a 4x4 or shopping in the supermarket instead having every meal or drink in a restaurant.   

 

@Dave WilliamsTo be sure you are talking about this bird as a Ruff. Thanks that you took the time to look so careful.

 

P1139311.jpg.d59b6abd1eacef530ff484613c46482e.jpg   

 

 

 

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Dave Williams

No, this one!

P1104545.jpg.2fd59d467a8e647badd02a7fb7dbe44d.jpeg.77ad4911c009b71fa908cc8a1bb09b74.jpeg

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Botswanadreams

Oh my good. Thank you so much @Dave Williams. I have to learn a lot about birds and in English too. I will correct it. 

Edited by Botswanadreams
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Botswanadreams

My favorit bird of Iceland is the Puffin. It was so beautiful to watch this little clowns. 

There are a few places in Iceland were you have the chance to see them very nicely and close like Látrabjarg, Grimsey Island, Hafnarhólmi Marina or Dyrhólaey.  

 

P1104203.jpg.8be7e346f3b29177853cc3a8fc044843.jpg

 

P1104155.jpg.47afbbc34e72b66b5af44d611e546187.jpg

 

P1094106.jpg.b36495d4a916c4631bbb0dff25839903.jpg

 

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P1150111.jpg.3e194d6b9c6ecb49ec024e251eb8ccbc.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow, fantastic @Botswanadreams, I love Puffins too, they are so "cute" (sorry you birders out there).  Sorry, I may have missed it, but when was your trip?  I'm not sure if the Puffins are year round residents (help please on this), as I would hate to miss them if we ever do go to Iceland.  My hubby and I have transited there several times, but have never left the airport (Iceland Air is great from Canada to Europe).  We have always wanted to stop and make that our destination.  Thank-you for sharing!

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Dave Williams

@MMMimIn case @Botswanadreamscan't answer your question, I can tell you that Puffins start to return to their breeding grounds in the UK late March in to April and have usually raised their young and gone back to sea by mid July.

When I went to Iceland I didn't look for Puffin but in the week or so before we were due to arrive I was concerned we wouldn't get there as the snow was still blocking some of the major routes and that was late April. As it happened all was well and the melt happened pretty quickly so I imagine the Puffins may well have arrived in May, around a month after the UK and leave a month later too..

Edited by Dave Williams
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Botswanadreams

@MMMim we traveled from mid July to mid August in Iceland. In Iceland the Puffins normally arrive in May but due to the weather I wouldn't go earlier than mid June. Mid August they start to leave Iceland. For me the best time would be mid June to the end of July. The best time to watch them is the evening. 

Thanks very much for you nice replay. 

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Botswanadreams

 

 

 

 

Edited by Botswanadreams
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