As we travelled south back to Reykjavik yesterday, it became clear just how bird-free Iceland still is. Only eight Black-tailed Godwits at Myrar, compared to 380 on the 15th April last year, and very few anywhere else. The main study site at Grafarvogur (near Reykjavík) had 24 and there were none of our old friends wearing coloured rings. This ties in with e-mails from birdwatchers in England who are still reporting big flocks.
Although we have seen only sunshine since we arrived, the Black-tailed Godwits arriving on the south coast on Sunday met a sudden snow storm. Nearly a foot accumulated and we have been sent an e-picture of birds well up to their bellies in snow, huddled and cold. It does show what a lottery this migration business really is. Had these birds flown on for another hour they would have found glorious weather conditions. The Greenland White-front Geese in the Southern Lowlands will have had to cope with the snow too; let’s hope that are all still OK.