Friday, December 4, 2015

Adventures with seabirds (Westfjords, Iceland)

On the drive back from Súðavík to Ísafjörður, I was on the lookout for more birds. Iceland hosts many different species of birds, particularly in the spring and summer, so I wanted to be sure to see as many different varieties as I could. Q spotted this lovely bird while we were driving and pulled over so I could get a photo.

Alas, the moment I got within 100 meters of the creature, it flew away. And that was how it went -- I could see birds at a distance, but had trouble getting close enough to get a good look (or a good photo). *sigh* Oh, for binoculars and a telephoto lens!

Still searching for birds, we caught sight of a large flock of Arctic terns. Q pulled over so I could get some photos. I was immediately identified as a threat by some of the terns, who circled above and screamed a challenge. Unnerved, I moved away. They followed, hovering just over my head and uttering threat-calls. Heart pounding, I fled into the safety of the car. I guess I should just be grateful they didn't dive-bomb me, as terns are wont to do.

Q wasn't willing to leave without getting me a chance to get close-up photos of the birds. "We'll feed them," he said, "just like the seagulls at the beach in New Jersey who went crazy for Stella D'Oro cookies!" So he grabbed a granola bar and got out of the car. There he stood, braced against the chilly wind coming off the sea, throwing chunks of granola into the air and crying out "Come get it! Nice fish for you!"

That is true love.

Sadly, though, the birds weren't really all that interested in granola. (I'm pretty sure they knew it wasn't fish.)  But I did get a few shots of Arctic terns, in amongst all the blurry photos.

Next up: Ísafjarðardjúp

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