Iceland Gallery 2

Iceland Galleries 2

More photos from Iceland

A chance to fish while whale watching

My first ever catch – it was rapidly dispatched into cod fillets; shame we couldn’t cook it ourselves. 

Red-necked Phalarope – photo by Colin Bradshaw

Watch these cute birds spin and spain where you can almost touch them. 

Summer-plumaged Slavonian Grebe – photo by Colin Bradshaw

Horned Grebe; beautiful plumage!

Great Northern Diver, Iceland. Photo by Colin Bradshaw

Common Loon. Intricate plumage in the silence of the fjords. 

Eurasian Golden Plover – Iceland. Photo by Colin Bradshaw

Golden, golden. 

White-tailed Eagle, Iceland.

When size makes up for dull plumage. 

Harlequin Duck, Iceland. They are so cute!

 

Birding in Iceland with Birding In Spain.

This kind of group makes travelling so much worth the while! 

 

A3As fruit forests

A3As

A3As stands for The Association of Trees, Bees and Roots
(Translated from the Catalan: Arbres, Abelles and Arrels – see the 3 “A”s?)

Together these three things symbolize nature, tradition, belonging, sustainability, food, shelter, home…

A3As is a non-lucrative organization which has already started planting fruit forests. With help from people such as yourself they want to plant more. 

Click on this link to see a short presentation of who A3As is, and what they have already started doing 

A3As presentation eng

We’ll give you a clue: climate change, food, environment, social change, sustainability, nature, soil, pollinators…

… if ever there was a time surely it must be now. 

Who or what is A3As
A3As planting trees for people and bees
A3As working with municipalities
A3As where we plant

A3As: what trees we plant

A3As: well-planned projects

We have established a Tree Fund, and we are always on the look out for contributors, catalyzers or colleagues. Please contact Steve at Birding In Spain if you have anything to say or ask. 

Iceland gallery 1

We like photos of Iceland. It’s so photogenic!

Some more photos from our autumn 2018 tour. All things permitting, we’re running a June 2022 tour, with some special offers for bringing a friend/companion and for booking early. Contact Steve at info@birdinginspain.com if you would like more information.

Iceland: Whaling, or fishing? There’s the other half putting her happy face to her lack of fishing skills!

Iceland Red-throated Diver in breeding plumage. In autumn we saw them in more drab winter colours. Photo by Colin Bradshaw.

Iceland: just one of the amazing views

Iceland: Skogafoss waterfall – spectacular, but there’s more…

… Like … Gullfoss waterfall. It’s easy to get blasé about spectacular waterfalls in Iceland, so how about something different?

Like sulphurous fumaroles?

Want more…? Birds, beasts, landscapes, people? Because Iceland has plenty of that…

Iceland awakes 2022 tour

Iceland 2018 and 2022 – some comments by happy people

“We all enjoyed the trip and were awed by the scenery… spectacular. Speaking of spectacular we saw James’ video of the humpbacked whale – great sequence.” James

“Some great memories thanks and a lovely bunch of folk to tour with.” Janet

Iceland whale excursion

“Our trip to Iceland with you was hotly anticipated and it didn’t disappoint. The scenery was magnificent as were the birds, seals, whales, etc. The Golden Plover sitting on a little mound while we all took photos was a particular highlight for me as was the Gyr Falcon and Great Northern Diver close to shore, but there were too many great sightings to list them all. We enjoyed the local food and our accommodation in various beautiful locations was perfect. As usual you delivered, Steve. Thank you and Florinda.” Mary

Iceland Humpback Whale – one got so close that it blew salt spray into my face!

“I really didn’t know what to expect from my birding trip to Iceland, but I was delighted to find out how amazing it was. There are numerous species of birds to be seen, and Steve has a keen knowledge of them and where to find them. Best of all, you can do it all while traveling through one of the most beautiful and iconic landscape in the world – Iceland – a trip to experience.” Andy

Iceland Red-necked Phalarope – Photo by Colin Bradshaw

“In September 2018, together with my non birding son, I went on a 10 day tour of Iceland led by Steve West of Birding In Spain. Steve worked tirelessly to find the birds and we had a very successful birding trip. He also managed to incorporate all the important ‘tourist sites’ and general wildlife into our trip. A very successful tour on a magical island that catered for everyone. We even got the Northern Lights. This was my third birding trip with Steve, he remains my first choice for guided trips.” Ian

The Common Swift

The Common Swift,
A unique gift,
For us to contemplate.


It flies up high,
It’s home the sky,
That wondrous blue estate.

 

Common swift, Apus apus, in flight

Attracting birds to your backyard

Hi! Want to know more about …

Attracting birds to your backyard

Birding In Spain has contributed to the interesting article about how to attract birds to your backyard (read garden). From providing food for feeders, planting native plants and bushes, providing clean water and in general a safe haven where birds can feel secure and socialize.

Click on the link above to read the full article.

It’s written for an American audience, but the tips can be extrapolated to almost anywhere.

Hotspot birding 2020: The end

The rest of the year, July – December

Hotspot birding autumn

hotspot birding autumn

This period was mostly spent taking “potshots” at missing species that might be around. Summer waders don’t find much habitat in the region, with Mont-ral being the only realistic site to check. Then to look out for passage Dotterels on the drylands and keep an ear out for any scarce birds turning up at the Estany d’Ivars. I was fixated on finding a Yellowhammer in the north of the Hotspot and was delighted when I did! Missed out on passage Osprey though, and Black-necked Grebes are almost a thing of the past, it seems.

The autumn wader passage on the ricefields was quite disappointing and gave me nothing new.

Temminck’s Stint*
Kentish Plover*
Tawny Pipit*
Curlew*
Glossy Ibis*
Ruddy Shelduck*
Dotterel*
Yellowhammer*
Little Gull*
Ring Ouzel*
Common Whitethroat
Mediterranean Gull*
Citril Finch*
Barn Owl*
Grey Plover*
Red Breasted Merganser*
Black Winged Kite*

Total = 222 species

• Species that I was hoping to see but didn’t: Osprey, Long Eared Owl, Tawny Owl, European Nightjar, Black Necked Grebe, Yellow Browed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler

• Species that were reported but that I didn’t see: Common Gull, Flamingo, Spoonbill, Jack Snipe, Rosy Starling, Great Bittern, Pallid Harrier, Sociable Lapwing … (I’m sure there are a few more)

Hotspot 2020 summary cont: May – June – July

April – May – June

Hotspot birding summer

Hotspot birding 2020 – summer

Wood Sandpiper
Collared Pratincole* (around 1 or 2 sightings a year is normal)
Ringed Plover
Yellow Wagtail
Western Bonelli’s Warbler
Subalpine Warbler
Woodchat Shrike
Nightingale
Bee Eater
Willow Warbler
Black Eared Wheatear*
Tree Pipit
Red Rumped Swallow*
Reed Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Great Reed Warbler
Black Tern
Little Bittern*
Cuckoo
Wryneck
Turtle Dove
Bar Tailed Godwit* (rare inland; this time a flock of 22!)
Greenshank
Common Redstart
Scops Owl*
Roller
Hobby
Melodious Warbler
Pied Flycatcher
Golden Oriole
Wood Warbler*
Garden Warbler
Ortolan Bunting* (one on migration)
Short Toed Lark
Montagu’s Harrier*
Quail
Purple Heron
Spotted Flycatcher
Northern Wheatear
Whinchat
Whiskered Tern
Black Vulture* (from the balcony!)
Honey Buzzard
Red Necked Nightjar*
Lesser Grey Shrike* (only one site left in the Iberian Peninsula)
Red Footed Falcon*

Black Bellied Sandgrouse* (has almost disappeared from the zone)
Orphean Warbler*
Squacco Heron*
Jay*
Spanish Sparrow* (a new breeding bird – will it stay?)
Common Tern*
Eleonora’s Falcon*
Little Stint

54 species added in this period.
Total so far = 205

Hotspot birding 2020: What a year!

Hotspot list 2020

Hotspot birding

25km hotspot birding around Lleida

In order of appearance:

January – February – March

Red Kite
Collared Dove
Woodpigeon
Chifchaff
House Sparrow
White Stork
Magpie
Rock Dove (domestica)
Crested Lark
Chaffinch
Marsh Harrier
Buzzard
Brambling*
Wood Lark
Robin
Great Tit
Hoopoe
Blackbird
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker *
Grey Wagtail
Kestrel
Goldfinch
Great White Heron
Carrion Crow
Corn Bunting
Linnet
Merlin*
Cirl Bunting
Mallard
Little Owl
Black Redstart
Great Cormorant
Common Starling
Stonechat
Cattle Egret
Yellow Legged Gull
Lesser Black Backed Gull
Black Kite
Spotless Starling
Jackdaw
Serin
Dartford Warbler
Greenfinch
White Wagtail
Song Thrush
Grey Heron
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Common Pochard
Gadwall
Teal
Shelduck
Shoveler
Black Headed Gull
Water Rail
Purple Swamphen*
Coot
Moorhen
Snipe
Kingfisher
Penduline Tit
Bluethroat*
Reed Bunting
Dunnock
Iberian Green Woodpecker
Mistle Thrush
Cetti’s Warbler
Lapwing
Blue Tit
Greylag Goose*
Water Pipit
Skylark
Black Stork*
Iberian Grey Shrike
Meadow Pipit
Red Legged Partridge
Long Tailed Tit
Thekla Lark
Redwing* (large numbers this year)
Hawfinch*
Stock Dove
Red Billed Chough
Sardinian Warbler
Tufted Duck
Tree Sparrow
Goshawk
Ruff
Spotted Redshank
Green Sandpiper
Siskin
Goldcrest*
Short Toed Treecreeper
Mute Swan
Little Egret
Blackcap
Bearded Tit* (breeds at one or two sites in Catalonia)
Wren
Coal Tit*
Calandra Lark
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Rock Bunting*
Rock Sparrow
Dipper*
Crag Martin
Griffon Vulture
Peregrine Falcon
Wallcreeper** (our favourite!)
Firecrest
Fieldfare*
Black Wheatear*
Sparrowhawk
Hen Harrier*
Night Heron
Blue Rock Thrush
Herring Gull* (rare, but somewhat overlooked. Not a big gull fan myself)
Little Bustard*
Stone Curlew
Wigeon
Golden Eagle*
Raven
Crested Tit*
Bonelli’s Eagle*
Pin-tailed Sandgrouse* (only one site in Catalonia)
Dunlin
Golden Plover
Pintail
Eagle Owl*
Common Crane
Common Sandpiper
Red Crested Pochard
Ferruginous Duck*
Moustached Warbler* (breeds at 2? locations in Catalonia)
Zitting Cisticola
Redshank
House Martin
Little Ringed Plover
Sand Martin
Swallow
Black Tailed Godwit
Black Winged Stilt
Dupont’s Lark (the only site in Catalonia)
Lesser Short Toed Lark
Short Toed Eagle
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Garganey
Egyptian Vulture
Lesser Kestrel
Alpine Swift
Booted Eagle
Common Swift

Total for period = 151 species

* Most noteworthy species; either not expected every year, site specific or generally rare
Notes: Visits to Estany d’Ivars, Utxesa, Alfés, Mont-ral, Aiguamolls de Rufea, Lleida dump, Clot de l’Unilla, Santa Anna, Serra Llarga, Lockdown and Torre-ribera

Hotspot reflections: pigshit and glyphosate everywhere

This:

  • Cattle farms where rice fields used to be, surrounded by maize and bulldozers flattening land, as well as combine harvesters and tractors.
  • Pig, poultry or sheep farms in otherwise quiet places, where cattle trucks rush past the stroller seeking contact with nature
  • And all that animal shit? It must go somewhere. Biogas plants? There are a handful in the region, and livestock units number in the thousands (at least). So again, where does the shit go?
  • On the fields … Into the water … Up your nostrils
    Those are just some of the direct effects; then there’s intensification of arable land to supply animal feed, widespread pesticide (glyphosate) use, loss of fallow, field margins, and overall landscape diversity
  • Inevitably, we lose even more contact with nature, unless you see a glyphosate-soaked field of barley as nature.
    I don’t, and there are many more like me. Just now and then our voices are heard above the din.
  • But we’re all too meek. Perhaps this is the world we inherit because of our conformity. Now I understand a little bit more: leave the world full of shit and let the meek take care of it.
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