This Owl was in our horse field last winter, 2013.
The photocollection here above is from Jóhann Óli.In the Ölfus area there is a lot of different nature and landscape. We have lot of birds of many different spices. Many kinds of birds travel south to Europe during the wintertime and come back again in the spring, but we also have many kinds of birds that stay the whole year around here.
Where the Ölfusá river meets the ocean, there is a area called The ÖlfusForir. This area is open for walking and riding traffic. on the west bank of the river, right against the Forir, there is a similar area, also a bird-paradise. The birds-protection society Fuglavernd has on its website an article about this area and the nature there. Here is a part of that, but you can also look at their link from this site:
Approximately 70 species of birds have been recorded in the Reserve and 25 species breed regularly. Wetland bird species are characteristic and the surrounding area provides a range of bird-rich habitats such as the seashore and the river estuary. The birdlife is particularly dense and diverse in the breeding season.
Waterfowl are represented by Whooper Swan (3-4 pairs), Greylag Goose (dozens), Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, Scaup, Tufted Duck and Red-breasted Merganser. Pintail is probably annual and Gadwall and Shoveler are seen in the breeding season; these three species are all rare in Iceland.
Red-throated Divers breed widely through the Reserve and there are several dozen pairs. It is the Reserve’s flagship bird and it has become much more common following the reclamation of the wetlands. There is a sizeable Common Eider colony on the Kaldaðarnes islands in the river Ölfusá and several pairs breed in the Reserve itself. The Black-headed Gull is an irregular breeder. A few pairs of Arctic Skua, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Great Black-backed Gull breed. Arctic Terns often forage in the Reserve. The Short-eared Owl is probably an annual breeder although nests are not located every year. Short-eared Owls can often be seen hunting over the Reserve at dusk, especially when they have young to feed.
Open country birds are very conspicuous in the Reserve. Dunlin and Red-necked Phalarope are abundant and other breeding species in the marshes include Whimbrel, Black-tailed Godwit, Snipe and Meadow Pipit. Golden Plovers and Oystercatchers breed in the drier areas.
During spring and autumn migration Greylag Geese and White-fronted Geese can be found as well as Wigeon and Tufted Duck and various waders such as Snipe and passerines like Wheatear. During winter, birds, chiefly gulls and sometimes Long-tailed Duck and Common Eider, are concentrated in the estuary of the river Ölfusá. Whooper Swan, Teal, Mallard and Goosander are attracted to open water in winter. As there is no geothermal heat on this side of the river, there are fewer birds than in the Ölfusforir area on the opposite bank.
The cherman of the Fuglavernd socoety Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson has given us some of his great birds-photos to publish here in this web, and we are extremily thankful and happy about that.
Jóhann Óli has published a book about birds with about 700 beautyful pictures. Here is a link to the book: Fuglavísir: https://www.forlagid.is/vara/islenskur-fuglavisir/
Bird watching in Iceland is popular and in Ölfus it is easy. There is a lot of birds by the river.
In mountain Ingólfsfjall, is the biggest society of Raven that exists in Iceland. We have lot of different Duck and Gees. Owl´s are not common in Iceland but in Ölfus there are a few couples of them, so if you are lucky, you might see one.
If our guests are interested, we will try our best to guide them, where to go, and what to expect.
The ÖlfusForir is only 10 min from our farm and we will gladly show you how to get there.
The Photograph below of the Owl flying is made by Jakob Sigurðsson
Other Photos made by Trausti Þór Guðmundsson
Here above, is a collection of photos made by Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson photographer and the cherman of Fuglavernd society.
Photo Jakob Sigurðsson Photo TÞG Photo TÞG