Birding in IcePostcard from Iceland

To: Russell <>
Subject: Birding in IcePostcard from Iceland
From: Penny Drake-Brockman <>
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 11:30:34 +1100

Dear birders

Here's a snippet from my son's account of a recent visit (2nd week June) to Iceland - sounds a great place for birding.

Postcard from Iceland

Geologically fascinating and all very young (<1ma). Gastronomically it was pretty good too, only astronomically expensive. Astronomically, however, it was a total non-starter as it didn't get dark at all. Middle of the night was a vaguely dim twilight after the sun had slid over the horizon shortly before midnight. Great long sunsets just as we were going to bed.

Ornithologically, the island is teeming with life. A new tick - Harlequin duck (Icelandic resident), plus seeing masses of Redwings in their breeding plumage singing away their melodies from every bush top (no trees).
We had masses of snipe flying round the hotel we stayed at in some marshes on the Southwest coast. They climb up to a height of 50 feet or so and then fall like a Stuka dive bomber spreading out their tail feathers in a disk creating a weird drumming, increasing in pitch as they descend. They then climb again peeping as though winding themselves back up, to do it again, and again ...... all night.

The Redshanks woke us up during the night with their piercing car-alarm calls (PEEP,PEEP,PEEP). Whooper swans, Oystercatchers and Arctic terns (everywhere), Eider, Mallards, Tufted ducks, Fulmars, Great Skuas, Arctic skuas, Black throated divers, Greylag geese, Less Black-backed gulls, Black Headed gulls, Ravens.
Penny Drake-Brockman, Examination Recitals Co-ordinator, Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Tel: 02 9351 1254.
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