Tag Archives: bird watching

Ptarmigan is Watching You

On the Lower Stapavik Trail, the ptarmigan like to hang out right on the trail edge, right on the edge of the river, among the logs, where the sun gets warm and life is good.

And  then they burst up in front of you, from like 20 cm away, and are gone. The trick to disappearing is to remain absolutely still. It didn’t quite work for the one above, which tried to sneak between the cover of two rocks and wound up freezing on the shore grass beside the trail. The one below got it right, though. Safe among the lava lumps.

It’s the joyful hoped-for unexpectedness of the encounters that is so alluring. Like most things in Iceland, “you just never know.”

The Puffins of Rauðarnes

The puffins of Rauðarnes are a fun bunch. The walk is stupendous. It’s 7 km, return, but you could easily spend days sauntering along.

You can brave the rough, steep road to Borgisfjörður Eystr and see the puffins up close and personal, and they are really, really great, but this is better, because they aren’t so crowded, which gives a different dynamic, and more goofiness. These are, like, country puffins.

Plus, the gulls are sneaky. See her below?

And unlike the puffins in Borgisfjörður Eystril, they aren’t controlled by hidden netting to preserve their habitat and green it, so these are puffins in the raw, so to speak, which means erosion, yes, but also (see below) a penthouse!

Very cool!

Turn off the road to Vellir Farm just north of Svalbard, just north of Þorshöfn. You will soon be there, puffing on your 3.5 km walk to the puffins, delighted by the sculpted sea stacks and caves on the way. Get there soon, though. The puffins have an ocean to get back to. Oh, by the way, if you’re lucky, you can get pretty close. How about 3 metres?

Such beautiful birds!

Geo-Engineers in Iceland

Iceland is famous for its green technology, especially its geo-thermal heating and power generation, not to mention its tunnelling technology for road construction. Hats off! What’s more, some of its tunnelling technology is also adaptable to tunnelling in water. We can all learn a lot from its geo-engineers. Here’s a couple having a well-earned break.

Tunnelling Puffins Coming Up for Air in Borgárfjörður Eystri.

 

Where the Sea Speaks

Here in Reydarfjörður, the Atlantic has strewn the tidal zone with treasure. Let’s call that speech.It is the same gesture, and all North European ancestors knew it, for to strew is to speak, and what one speaks is scattered, like bird tracks on the shore, on the edge of the place where ocean speaks, the strand.

Presence can be speech.

If You Talk to Ravens

They will do tricks for you. If you talk to them. That’s because you’ll startle them and they’ll do acrobats mid-air to try to understand your bad accent.tricky

Don’t worry. They’ll repeat what they think you said so you can get it right. You’re up to this. Don’t worry. They’ll always have the first word…and the last. But you’re good with humility, right? Sure you are!

 

Hanging Out With the Winter Swans

This is a waterfall. It is not a swan.p1370712

Ah, but this is a waterfall, too, the same one, in fact, a little later in time, and flowing up against 8500 year old lava, and it is not a swan, either.

p1370707

Many days and years of this waterfall are not swans either, but they do lure swans down from the sky, and become filled with their spirit.

p1370756It would be fair to say they were their spirit all along.

p1370751Some things take time, that’s all.