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Postcard from Iceland - Day Three

  • 18 Apr 2008
  • Tags: When to go,
  • Author: Graham Appleton

Report information

It is always interesting to see what has happened overnight. Has there been a major arrival of new birds or will we just see the same old faces? We started the day with early morning visits to Grafarvogur and Leiruvogur, the two small estuaries on the edge of the Reykjavík conurbation. There were still no colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwits and only 15 more in the flock than yesterday. Lots of birds are presumably either waiting for better take-off conditions in the UK or struggling with whatever the weather has to offer them over the North Atlantic.

We decided to take a trip down to Eyrarbakki and Stokkseyri, two former fishing villages on the south coast of Iceland. If there were new arrivals to be seen, this is where we would find them. As we came over the mountains, we appreciated just how different the weather had been down here. There was still a good 25 cm of fresh snow and the only nine Black-tailed Godwits that we found all day shone brightly in their red breeding plumage.

We watched for signs of arriving birds for the next two hours and were surprised only to see two pairs of Whooper Swans flying low as they came in from the sea. The only other visible migration occurred as the tide covered the beach and small flocks of Oystercatchers that had been refuelling after their trip from the UK, took off in small parties to complete their journeys to other parts of Iceland.

Given that we had seen so little in the way of bird movement during the day, we were not surprised that there had been no addition to the flock of Black-tailed Godwits at Grafarvogur, when we checked again in the afternoon. Perhaps tomorrow.

Further Reading:

Next report: Fourth Postcard from Iceland
Last report: Second Postcard from Iceland

User comments

Hezi Aris
I learned so much about the Brent Goose. Thank you. How exciting.

Jean Deville
Such a nice idea and such an interesting set of correspondence - thank you LOCATION: 50.6947,2.9883 DATE: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 06:18:27 GMT

Tim Walker
With regard Black-tailed Godwits in Iceland. Birds are still in Hampshire. On 14APR08 on the Hamble Estuary at Warsash 70 birds were feeding on intertidal mud at low tide. One of these was colour ringed, Y//R+RY//m. The same bird was seen 2 days later at 1530 at the same locality in a flock that had increased to 86. Today, 21APR08 (1600), at nearby Hook with Warsash, 40 birds were counted roosting on an island, one of which was colour ringed O//R+OO//m. Some of these birds were in full breeding plumage, a dark rich red which is indicative of the Iceland race, and so will departing imminently. Also present were 2 Whimbrels, at rest, on their way north to the northern Scottish Isles or even Iceland to breed. LOCATION: 50.8580,-1.3074 DATE: Mon, 21 Apr 2008 21:07:58 UTC LOCATION: 51.500000,-0.116700 DATE: Mon, 21 Apr 2008 21:08:18 UTC

Interesting, because i like so much the scandinavian lands. Can you help the seals with this project to stop the massacre in the north pole? LOCATION: 44.883301,11.066700 DATE: Sun, 20 Apr 2008 10:29:48 GMT

Mike Maunsell
Jenny,This post card is fantastic, well done, it's great to get up an date on what's happening in Iceland. As you know we got a count of 6,000 on the Little Brosna Callows, County Offaly Ireland on 02/04/08, including one from Portugal. I'll check out the site again to see what numbers are there at present. Keep up the good work and the postcards comingMike LOCATION: 52.473301,-8.155800 DATE: Fri, 18 Apr 2008 10:17:51 UTC

Dudley & Carol Hird
Thanks Jenny, and love the postcards.What a fantastic idea.We still have plenty of godwits here on the Medway Estuary system.Found three Iceland ringed yesterday.They do seem to be staying with us a little later than this time last year.Hope you find arrival dates for as many as possible. LOCATION: 54.000000,-2.000000 DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2008 20:32:40 UTC

Jim Wilson
Best of luck with the search for colour ringed birds. Will be out at the weekend looking for colour ringed godwits here in Cork Harbour. Lets hope you find one of 'ours'. LOCATION: 51.898602,-8.495800 DATE: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 20:52:19 GMT

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