Birds of Iceland II

The birding adventure continues! I have now seen more rock ptarmigans in 2 weeks than all sightings in the Swiss Alps combined!

The rock ptarmigans was mostly still in its winter plumage; the snow bunting we met enthusiastically singing for all tourists at Jökulsárlón (the most famous glacier lagoon) was already in its spring/summer plumage, and apparently the bird has different names in Icelandic depending on its plumage.

Top left, then clockwise: Snow Bunting, Northern Wheatear, European Golden Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Rock Ptarmigan, Bohemian Waxwing.

There are also many different ducks – the Common Eider is indeed very common, and apparently the down it uses for its nesting is excellent for duvets (after cleaning, that is). Of course, not all water-dwelling birds are ducks – from tiny phalaropes to large loons, there’s everything here.

Top left, then clockwise: Great Northern Diver, Harlequin Duck, Red-necked Phalarope, Common Eider, Slavonian Grebe, Eurasian Wigeon.

The red-necked phalarope (in German Odinshühnchen, anyone knows why?) are very small and always in motion. In eBird, they are described as “Fairly small shorebird known for spinning frantically on water to stir up small invertebrates.” – indeed:

Again, all birds were identified with the help of Merlin.

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