Thursday, June 22, 2023

Water Creatures=Some Birds of Iceland

 Hi everyone. 

Last week I shared some 4 legged land creatures I saw in Iceland.

Today Rain's Art and Dinner Date challenge is water creatures, and I am going to sort of stick to the prompt. Let me show you some of the birds I saw in Iceland. At least some of the ones who have something to do with water-smile.

I didn't go to Iceland for birding, but I did learn that Iceland is a huge birding spot. I love seeing new birds, but sadly not my hubby. Ever since I once took him on a puffin tour with a group of birders off the coast of New Brunswick (Canada) he is always leary about any birding situation, including the feeders I have up in the backyard-😜- smile. Of course we had to stop and take photos of lots of bridges and other engineering feats because that's his thing, so he does put up with me on the bird watch. Smile.

Speaking of puffins, when I visited Iceland with friends in 2016, I really wanted to see  a puffin. I didn't think I did. When I came home and went through my photos, I discovered I had a photo of one. The same thing happened this trip. We were supposed to take a ferry out to an island so I could see the puffin colony and so I/we could officially venture north of the arctic circle. The ferry had been under refurbishing; it was supposed to have been open for service again in early June when I booked tickets. Sadly, a few days before we left I received an email that said they had to push back  the  open for service date, and  so we couldn't go to the island. Sadly that meant no puffin colony and no arctic circle.

This trip I also came home thinking we hadn't seen any puffins. And low and behold, once again, when I went through my photos, look what I found.

Not just one but 4 puffins.
They were a bit off shore for my zoom lens to get a super close up so you might have to enlarge the photo, but they are definitely puffins. 😀 I guess I should have been paying better attention. 
And maybe I should have brought my big zoom lens with me, although the one on my camera zoomed to 400.

One of the other types of birds I saw a lot of were these common eiders.

We occasionally get them down on the ocean in my area during the winter, but not anything like I saw in Iceland.

And  here are some photos from one of the  nesting bird  cliffs I came across. It was lightly raining  when we visited Snaefellsjokull National Park where I saw these birds, so the photos are not as sharp as I would have liked. It didn't help that I had to zoom all the way to 400 in the weather for these photos. ( The rain later got heavy and the fog rolled in also.)  If you zoom on this and if I am correct there are a lot of  common murres in these next few photos. On the top left I think there are a couple of razorbills too.

I think this one is the sharpest.

I'll share more from the park in another post, including more bird cliffs.

And when we visited Pingvellir National Park (pronounced Thingvellir), there were several pairs of Greylag Geese nesting near one of the trails. It wasn't raining nor foggy, and I was at a nice distance for my zoom to get some super photos. 

I read that these geese are the ancestors of all domesticated geese, and that they are pretty common in Europe. Here in New Hampshire, we don't have them nesting wild, and so I've included them here.

And finally for this post, as we were walking back to the car from a short glacier viewing hike, I noticed this bird swimming. It had the loon (or as I learned also called a diver) shape. This particular loon is a new species for me, the red throated loon (or diver). 

I have more birds and a lot more photos to share, but they'll have to wait for another post.
Have a super end of your week and weekend ahead.


Tom said...

...Erika, you captured some gorgeous images. Thanks for taking me along to see the sights.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Now here’s the deal, Erika, if your husband doesn’t like birding, leave him behind and I’ll go with you! Then we will go from Birding 101 on the first day to post graduate work by the end of the trip! Great experiences of some classic Iceland birds here. It’s weird that you only discovered the puffins on two trips after returning home and processing the pictures. Great experience altogether, I am sure. My wife loved it when she was there. Hugs - David

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Great photos.

Hels said...

The geese look perfect. Despite the water, grass, wind and rocks, they do not have a single feather out of place.

Christine said...

Puffins spotted!

CJ Kennedy said...

Great photos and memories of your trip. Too bad about not being able to make it above the artic circle. Oh, well, something to do on your next trip.

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful photos, Erika. Loved the bird cliffs, so much to see. You must have been really excited all the time you were there! Have a great day, hugs, Valerie

Iris Flavia said...

So sad you couldn´t see the puffin colony / artic circle! But: An excuse to go again :-)
I´ve never seen those geese - and yes, at river Oker there are ducks and geese - right in the heart of Braunschweig.
To a happy time, hugs

Carola Bartz said...

Beautiful photos, Erika - you saw lovely birds in Iceland. Funny on the Puffins. We saw so many of them in Ireland, so maybe you should go there? A 400 zoom sounds wonderful - my zoom is 18 to 250 (and that answers your question in your comment on my post), certainly not fancy, but it works pretty well for me. But 400 would be a lot nicer... Have a great weekend!

The Padre said...

yes Yes YES - And Fabulous Let It Be Post As Well - Enjoy The Weekend


Angie's Recipes said...

The bird cliff looks really impressive. I don't think I have ever seen a puffin cute!

Haddock said...

Those eiders look good as spots in the water.

kathyinozarks said...

This sounds like a really fun trip-cool you discovered puffins going through your photos-great captures-hugs

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

This post is for the birds. Lots and LOTS of birds. Most impressive. You are really sharing the most amazing photos of the birds of Iceland. Yes, I also saw the puffins.

craftytrog said...

Great photos of the birds! We recently had a cormorant on the small lake at our local golf course, which caused excitement for us :D

Jeanie said...

Those geese are especially beautiful.

Fundy Blue said...

I feel so guilty reading your post, Erika. When I lived in an outport in Newfoundland decades ago, I ate puffins and murres. I'm so sorry that you didn't get to see the puffin colony and go above the Arctic Circle. That would have been so exciting. Terry and I didn't make it to Snaefellsjokull during our trip to Iceland, but we did get to Pingvellir. I went back to my photos just now, and I have a picture of a Mama Greylag Goose and her goslings at Pingvellir. The big thrill for me at Pingvellir was standing in the Mid-Atlantic Rift Zone and touching the edge of the North American tectonic plate. Terry had to drag me out of the park. He didn't even bother to touch the North American plate ~ definitely not his thing ~ lol! I'm going backwards and reading your Iceland posts. I loved Iceland!