Tag Archives: bird watching

A Thrush in Ásbyrgi

This fledgling thrush last summer was, like all thrushes, social and curious. I had one at Skriðuklaustur that  perched on the window daily:  a small house god, eating insects that came to the glass and knock knock knock knocking on the pane. It’s best to consider thrushes, like trees, as magical creatures from the world of the Huldúfolk, visiting his with messages. Their bodies are doorways. In this case, the bird was caught between fear, and defensive freezing, and curiosity.

Intriguingly, its mother was nearby, keeping an eye out. Like its relative, the American Robin, these little guys get to spend some time alone with the world. I had a robin nest in my apricot tree here in Canada for about five years. Every year, when her hatchlings got too big for the nest and fell out, she would leave them for an entire day and night, and only if they survived that would she return to feed them.

I hiked once out to the Easter Cave in Neskaupstaðir, with a thrush leading the way along the path. Thrushes make good guides. The Earth is strong in them. When you meet one, pay attention. They come with a message.

What Is Puffin Philosophy Anyway?

Yesterday I showed an image of a couple of puffin philosophers in Borgarfjörður Eystri. Now a glimpse of some of their concerns. Because puffins erode their hillsides (and have to move on), the  community has laid down netting to prevent them from digging just a wee bit too much. The result is a near perfect mathematical placement, likely related to the reach of a human’s arms.

A puffin could complain, but the alternative is to be gobbled up by invasive minks, also brought by humans. The project is financed by people donating to this benevolent intervention. Not that that will stop the puffins from deliberating over it for years, of course.

Icelandic Birds: a Complex Ecosystem

Sure, a ptarmigan on the Selá, Christmas dinner, easy to identify.

And an elf bird in its nest in the hraun, not Christmas dinner, easy enough.

But a cairn in the Villingadalur, that looks like an elvish bird, tricky.

Yet, it’s by it that you find your way through elf country to Christmas dinner.