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See this triplist in printable PDF format with media only on page 1.
The White-tailed Eagle was without any doubt the bird of the trip. Photo by participant Judith Dunn.
We started our Iceland adventure at Keflavik in the Reykjanes Peninsula. From the very first moment that we left the airport, we started birding and enjoying the landscape. Rock Ptarmigan, Red-necked Phalarope, Northern Gannet, Manx Shearwater and European Stormpetrel were amongst the first birds of the trip. On the very last moment, just before saying farewell, we still did some more birding in Keflavik in order not to waste time by arriving too early at the airport. We spotted some Red Knots. And we still enjoyed it!
The White-tailed Eagle was elected as the bird of the trip. The close view of that couple on a tiny island in the Breidafjordur was awesome. The attractive Black-tailed Godwit was a good second best. And the Gyrfalcon was also a thrill to watch, especially when we discovered that we were actually looking at two different Gyrs and not only one, as we assumed in the first place.
The whole Field Guides birding trip in Iceland was delightful from the start to the end. The itinerary, designed with care and proficiency by Eric Hynes, took us to the best places for birding in Iceland like the Latrabjarg seabird cliff, the Myvatn lake, the Breidafjordur and the Gardur cape. Furthermore, we visited some of the best falls and geological features. We covered a rather significant distance in western and northern Iceland in order to see a maximum variety of landscapes, birds and other highlights. The domestic flight and the ferry crossing saved us from driving hundreds of miles extra, and having to back-track. Anyway, traveling through the Icelandic scenery was not a punishment at all. Our bus with plenty of space and a (huge) window seat for everybody, was driven by Olaf, a safe driver and very pleasant person. The hotels were highly comfortable and conveniently situated. Some were absolutely charming. The food was just delicious. Sharon did a great job organizing the logistics of the tour. Everything worked out perfect and smooth. The weather though ... was typical Icelandic, with a bit of everything. Sometimes we felt like we had four seasons in one day.
Last but not least, the company of all the group members was fantastic. Thank you for all your patience and positive vibes!
I love Iceland and I love birding in Iceland! I hope I managed to transmit this feeling to you. And I hope you liked the tour as much as I did.
You were a great group and I am looking forward to seeing you all back again, maybe in Spain or Holland. You are very welcome!
KEYS FOR THIS LIST
One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant
The Black-tailed Godwit was another of the stars of the trip. Photo by guide Godfried Schreur.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
GRAYLAG GOOSE (EUROPEAN) (Anser anser anser) [N]
PINK-FOOTED GOOSE (Anser brachyrhynchus) [N]
BRANT (ATLANTIC) (Branta bernicla hrota)
WHOOPER SWAN (Cygnus cygnus) [N]
COMMON SHELDUCK (Tadorna tadorna) [N]
We saw a huge concentration of hundreds of Glaucous Gulls. Photo by participant Judith Dunn.
GADWALL (Mareca strepera)
EURASIAN WIGEON (Mareca penelope) [N]
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos) [N]
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (EURASIAN) (Anas crecca crecca)
TUFTED DUCK (Aythya fuligula) [N]
The European Golden Plover is a very common bird in Iceland. Photo by participant Bill Kunze.
GREATER SCAUP (Aythya marila)
COMMON EIDER (NORTHERN) (Somateria mollissima borealis) [N]
HARLEQUIN DUCK (Histrionicus histrionicus histrionicus) [N]
COMMON SCOTER (Melanitta nigra) [N]
LONG-TAILED DUCK (Clangula hyemalis) [N]
The favorite prey of the Black Guillemot is the Butterfish. Photo by participant Sheila Pera.
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE (Bucephala islandica) [N]
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (Mergus serrator)
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
ROCK PTARMIGAN (Lagopus muta islandorum)
RED-THROATED LOON (Gavia stellata)
COMMON LOON (Gavia immer)
HORNED GREBE (Podiceps auritus auritus)
We found a nest of Common Ravens with chicks in the old cemetery of Reykjavik. Photo by participant Judith Dunn.
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)
NORTHERN FULMAR (Fulmarus glacialis) [N]
MANX SHEARWATER (Puffinus puffinus)
EUROPEAN STORM-PETREL (BRITISH) (Hydrobates pelagicus pelagicus)
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
NORTHERN GANNET (Morus bassanus)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
GREAT CORMORANT (NORTH ATLANTIC) (Phalacrocorax carbo carbo)
EUROPEAN SHAG (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) [N]
Overfishing, hunting and pollution are putting pressure on the Atlantic Puffin population, but climate change may prove to be the biggest challenge. Photo by participant Bill Kunze.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED EAGLE (Haliaeetus albicilla) [N]
EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER (WESTERN) (Haematopus ostralegus ostralegus) [N]
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
EUROPEAN GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis apricaria altifrons) [N]
COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula hiaticula) [N]
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (EUROPEAN) (Numenius phaeopus phaeopus) [N]
The Brant is a rare bird during the breeding season in Iceland. Photo by guide Godfried Schreur.
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (ISLANDICA) (Limosa limosa islandica) [N]
RED KNOT (Calidris canutus islandica)
DUNLIN (SCHINZII) (Calidris alpina schinzii)
PURPLE SANDPIPER (Calidris maritima)
COMMON SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago gallinago)
The Icelandic Wren is still considered as a subspecies of the Eurasian Wren. Photo by participant Bill Kunze.
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus)
COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus robusta)
Stercorariidae (Skuas and Jaegers)
GREAT SKUA (Stercorarius skua)
PARASITIC JAEGER (Stercorarius parasiticus)
Alcidae (Auks, Murres, and Puffins)
COMMON MURRE (Uria aalge) [N]
This shy Whooper Swan flew low over our heads. Photo by participant Judith Dunn.
THICK-BILLED MURRE (Uria lomvia) [N]
RAZORBILL (Alca torda) [N]
BLACK GUILLEMOT (GRYLLE GROUP) (Cepphus grylle islandicus) [N]
ATLANTIC PUFFIN (Fratercula arctica naumanni) [N]
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE (TRIDACTYLA) (Rissa tridactyla tridactyla) [N]
The European Shag has lovely emerald green eyes; we got close enough to see them well. Photo by guide Godfried Schreur.
BLACK-HEADED GULL (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) [N]
MEW GULL (EUROPEAN) (Larus canus canus)
HERRING GULL (EUROPEAN) (Larus argentatus argenteus)
ICELAND GULL (GLAUCOIDES) (Larus glaucoides glaucoides)
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (GRAELLSII) (Larus fuscus graellsii)
Latrabjarg harbors the biggest colony of Razorbills in the world. Photo by participant Perri Strawn.
GLAUCOUS GULL (Larus hyperboreus leuceretes)
GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL (Larus marinus) [N]
ARCTIC TERN (Sterna paradisaea) [N]
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
MERLIN (EURASIAN) (Falco columbarius subaesalon)
The chick of the Whimbrel has a straight beak, as we saw at Arnarstappi. Photo by participant Bill Kunze.
GYRFALCON (Falco rusticolus)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax varius) [N]
EURASIAN WREN (ICELAND) (Troglodytes troglodytes islandicus)
GOLDCREST (Regulus regulus)
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
NORTHERN WHEATEAR (GREENLAND) (Oenanthe oenanthe leucorhoa) [N]
It is dangerous to enter Arctic Tern colonies, as you might be attacked by this elegant champion of long distance migration. Photo by participant Sheila Pera.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EURASIAN BLACKBIRD (Turdus merula merula)
REDWING (ICELANDIC) (Turdus iliacus coburni) [N]
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris)
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
WHITE WAGTAIL (WHITE-FACED) (Motacilla alba alba) [N]
MEADOW PIPIT (Anthus pratensis whistleri)
Participant Judith Dunn captured this lovely image of a Northern Fulmar in flight.
Calcariidae (Longspurs and Snow Buntings)
SNOW BUNTING (Plectrophenax nivalis insulae)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
COMMON REDPOLL (ROSTRATA) (Acanthis flammea islandica)
WHITE-BEAKED DOLPHIN (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)
ARCTIC FOX (Alopex lagopus)
HARBOR SEAL (Phoca vitulina)
This image shows why they call this bird a Tufted Duck. Photo by participant Judith Dunn.
GRAY SEAL (Halichoerus grypus)
Totals for the tour: 69 bird taxa and 4 mammal taxa