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WINGS Birding Tours – Photo Gallery

Iceland

Given that flights don‘t get in too late we will make an attempt to find Rock Ptarmigan in the vicinity of the airport… …among the more numerous local birds, including Whimbrels of the european race <em>phaeopus</em>. The Snæfellsjökull glacier in west Iceland, an ancient volcano from where Jules Verne‘s „A Journey to the Centre of the Earth“ begins, will be dominating us while we scan a variety of wetlands… …which will provide us with decent views of Red-throated Loons… …only to be distracted by Red-necked Phalaropes which are omni-present around the country. A small but very scenic colony of Black-legged Kittiwakes on columnar basalt will also be visited… …while the local Glaucous Gulls fly along the cliffs. One day will be spent on Flatey island where time gives way to its birds and nature… …where Red-necked Phalaropes never fail to greet us upon our arrival… …while the Black Guillemots bring butterfish to their young. Other incredible tame birds of Flatey include Snow Buntings of the Icelandic race <em>insulae</em>… …the very common Common Redshank… …and not so friendly Arctic Terns. Our stay on the island may be interrupted by a delicious piece of freshly made cake. (jl) The breathtaking cliffs of Látrabjarg will also be on the agenda where we will spend one evening. Atlantic Puffins can be observed within hand‘s reach on the cliff‘s edge… …while the air is filled with the sound and smell of thousands of seabirds. Thick-billed Murres will provide us with good views, sometimes with their young… …as well as Razorbills spending quality time. The northwest fjords, Vestfirðir, are characterised by multiple fjords surrounded by table mountains which were shaped by glaciers during the last Ice Age… …the perfect surroundings for a lunch stop! Careful scanning of flocks of gulls in towns and near harbours may reveal one of a very few summering Iceland Gulls of the nominate race <em>glaucoides</em>… …and rivers or their estuaries will entertain us in the form of a colorful Harlequin Duck. Black-tailed Godwits of the more colorful Icelandic race <em>islandica</em> favor the northern lowlands… …alongside nesting Whooper Swans that are to be seen on most lakes. The north-east is home to several impressive waterfall two of which we will visit, Goðafoss (the waterfalls of the Gods)… …and Dettifoss (the falling waterfall), Europe‘s most powerful waterfall! We will also enjoy a whale-watching trip from Húsavík where we‘ve had a 50% chance of seeing the majestic Blue Whales during previous tours… Lake Mývatn will provide us with views of Barrow‘s Goldeneyes, if we are lucky we may even see the first ducklings… …but the Gyr Falcon will be especially looked for around the lake. (jl) One should not forget the brilliant looking Common Loon that usually poses for us… …while the northern coast is home to the Great Skua. The geology of Iceland is almost as fascinating as its birds, such as these mud pools… …or this gushing geyser. Birds, ever-changing landscapes, geology at its best and last but not least good food that will keep us busy throughout the trip!