Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Land of Ice, Fire ........ Cloud and Rain - North-East 2

Not all our time was spent at Lake Myvatn and the ponds.  The other water based spot we visited a number of times was the Laxa river.  Flowing out of Myvatn this is a powerful river - plenty of white water

and crystal clear as you can see from this snap into a waterfall. 

In one spot I could watch the Harlequin duck diving down, appearing to just effortlessly hang underwater. It is reported to be the home of large trout - I never saw one rise clearly but did at one point watch a large tail lazily emerge and flick under again.

Birds-wise the main targets were Harlequin duck, white water lovers (in more ways than one!)

and Barrow's Goldeneye.

I knew the shots I wanted of the Harlequins but never quite achieved the combination of a male in sun in white water.  The colours in the right light are great but I just didn't catch it. 
 This tufted duck shot down the rapids - is it just me or does it looked a bit shocked?

The goldeneye merited more time than I gave them, a lesson for next time. I did catch a male displaying, but it was unexpected, poorly framed and a bit far off.  Perhaps best labelled a record shot - the well known code  for a bit crap!
Phalarope were here too and I had a clear demonstration of their classically reported 'confiding' nature when I held my pocket camera just a few feet from a pair resting on a small island next to the bank.  The odd long-tailed duck drifted along, this one posing quite nicely mid-preen
and a female with a red carpet glance over the shoulder in the rain.

Up a slower flowing tributary more goldeneye and a female goosander.  A golden plover chose to bathe there too.
Further afield we visited one of Iceland's many waterfalls - Godafoss.  A wet, wet day I gave up after wiping my graduated filter for the umpteenth time and never came near doing it justice.

A brief visit to Husavik did offer a chance to snap another great northern diver, but again a relatively fleeting opportunity with grey sky reflected as grey water.
Again more pics can be seen in the web albums via the link on the right.

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