Monday, August 10, 2015

Land of Ice, Fire ........ Cloud and Rain - North-East 1

It's a fair few weeks now since my trip to Iceland.  Leaving the UK it looked promising with the west coast of Scotland largely in sun. However the forecast for Iceland hadn't looked so promising and as we came into Kefkavik it was all too evident their Met Office had it right.

A quick(ish) change of airport and by the skin of our teeth off to Akureyri in a smaller plane that bucking broncoed through the wind on its way down to land,

and finally the drive to Lake Myvatn and the white walled red roofed villlage of Reykjalid.

We had a few days in the north-east and other than the rather frustrating cloud cover the area lived up to my expectations; the one spell of evening light we did have showed just what the bird photography potential really is if you can strike it lucky.

Lake Myvatn itself is big, and photographically most of the time it's the many small ponds around it that offer the best potential.
There was a good mix of the subarctic birds we had come to see - the Slavonian grebe that started this post I have snapped before in the Highlands, and it was intriguing to me to see they were feeding on sticklebacks here. 

But see the difference on the one nice evening we did get - really brought out the plumage - they just glowed ..

The long tailed duck looked pretty good too

and the scoter's bill and eye picked up the evening glow from the rushes.

Red necked phalarope was one of the birds I was looking forward to seeing, and they were around - but so small!

Less colourful was the first scaup I have ever had in front of the lens, but the backlighting meant we didn't get the best from that particular site.

I did snap a few birds on the main lake - merganser
 and one of my big hopes for the trip, great northern diver - again the light was really tricky and I had to pullback my over compensated exposure quite hard in processing these shots.  The divers have this knack of appearing not have seen you but just drifting away, and soon being out of range.

To see more pics and larger views follow the Photo Gallery link on the right to the web albums.  More Iceland to come.

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