Iceland 2014

June 2014

Redshank © Bill Gette, Mass Audubon
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In June 2014, 14 travelers joined Joppa Flats Sanctuary Director, Bill Gette; Travel Director, Karen ONeill; and Iceland Naturalist guide, Andy Jones, for a fascinating tour of Iceland.

The group shared many wonderful experiences – beautiful scenery, exciting wildlife, amazing geology, and interesting villages and people.

Participants voted for the following bird species as the top ten bird species seen:

  1. Horned Grebe
  2. Black-tailed Godwit
  3. Red-necked Phalarope
  4. Harlequin Duck
  5. Atlantic Puffin
  6. Whimbrel
  7. Rock Ptarmigan
  8. Common Snipe
  9. Barrow’s Goldeneye
  10. Short-eared Owl

Other trip highlights include:

  • Watching the water flowing over Gullfoss (“Gold Falls”) – hearing the thundering water, seeing the rainbow;
  • seeing the many glacial formations  - including the arête along the Öxnadalur Valley;
  • having picnic lunches in beautiful places, including on the volcano’s rim;
  • swimming in the hot spring at Hveravellir;
  • finding the Alpine Bartsia;
  • walking around Flatey Island – being so close to the birds – having our picnic lunch with the Atlantic Puffins and male Snow Bunting;
  • seeing the Arctic Fox running across the barren lava fields;
  • seeing the seabird nesting colonies – wondering how the Black-legged Kittiwakes can stay on the very narrow cliff shelves;
  • walking around the geyser at Geysir and feeling the spray;
  • seeing the dorsal fins of the Killer Whales swimming off Öndverðarnes (Snӕfellsnes Peninsula);
  • hearing and seeing so many Redshanks – almost everywhere;
  • and having Andy as our guide – so patient and knowledgeable.