Iceland has some three hundred recorded bird species. It’s extraordinary – some areas teem with birds – thousands of them. Whenever we stopped the car, the rush of bird calls were indicative of the high activity, the haste in getting through the breeding season. As we travelled the ring road we noticed the varying stages of nesting, and chick rearing. The seabird colonies were the most impressive, guillemots, fulls, fulmars, puffins, arctic terns.
Here are some of the stars of the show:
Greylag geese have large clutches of chicks.
The eider ducks are an iconic species.
The golden plover is a common heathland bird, a migrant whose mournful piping is eagerly awaited as the harbinger of summer.
Long legged red shank are identified by their long beaks.
The plump ptarmigans are a popular culinary bird traditionally eaten over Christmas instead of turkey.
The graceful whimbrel in flight.
Broods of eider duck are a common sight.
A whooper swan.
The honking swans pay great fanfare to greetings and hierachy displays.
The barnacle geese have the cutest of chicks.
Barnacle chicks test the water.
The Arctic terns are known for their aerial bombing, strafing interlopers in their breeding territories.
Millions of puffins come to breed in Iceland. A most endearing creature.