Friday, 27 May 2016

Iceland May 2016 Part 6 The goodies still kept coming !

With as many shots as we thought we needed for the time being we left the River Laxa behind with the option to return at a later date. Without a doubt this is a photographers dream spot. Plenty of activity if you have the time and patience to hang around and wait. If you just want to tick off the three duck species it's an almost guaranteed spot to do so.
Laxa river, Myvatn.  Iceland
The bridge is at the junction of route No1 and the 848. We continued down the No 1 stopping off at the car park by the pseudocraters where you can take a walk to view over the lake from a high vantage point. The lower path at water level was closed, apparently due to thawing conditions which was frustrating as we could see some Slavonian Grebes but not close enough to photograph. We carried on around the lake, investigating spots here and there without finding much within reasonable distance. Eventually we had completed the full circuit and the only notable finds were the birding museum which we didn't pay to visit as a room full of stuffed birds has no appeal whatsoever and in that location there was little open water, the lake being frozen over still. The only other significant sight was a pair of Scaup amongst a small flock of Tufted Ducks.
Scaup    Iceland
The heat haze where the warm air hit the cold water meant that once again the images were soft so we moved on again. We headed back north towards our lodge as on our way there the previous evening we had spotted a roadside lake with Grebes on, they had been my first ever too.
Sure enough, we re-located them and in fact there were two or three pairs.
I settled down with one pair whilst Mike headed off to another. 
With patience they got closer to me.
Slavonian Grebe      Iceland
The light was bit harsh though.
Slavonian Grebe      Iceland
The water a bit too blue.
Slavonian Grebe      Iceland
I was envious that Mike appeared to have a pair sailing on a patch of golden reflections from the surrounding reed bed!
That mission completed we returned to the lodge for an afternoon cuppa but to greet us on the road in were a pair of Ptarmigan.
Ptarmigan    Iceland
The only time I got a decent record shot of a female bird too.
Ptarmigan    Iceland
Mike didn't even bother getting out of the car, he said he'd got some shots that morning. They must be good for him not to bother ! 
Refreshed we decided to have another hour or so before heading to Husavik for dinner. I returned to the Grebes with Mike's spot earmarked whilst he went walkabout locally again.
It was only a 5 minute drive away so I was soon in position and the wait began. 
Well not quite, there was one fishing about thirty metres away but out on rougher water too.
Slavonian Grebe     Iceland
With my time passing quickly I decided it wasn't to be and my attention was distracted to a hunting Artic Tern. I suddenly realised the Grebe was just feet away although in the wrong spot.
Slavonian Grebe     Iceland
The light was wrong but at least the water was smooth! The moment it heard my camera shutter click  it pushed off but at least it was going towards the right place. Once again frustration though as it just wouldn't fully commit to the patch of golden water.
Slavonian Grebe      Iceland
Still, it was the best yet so happy with that I returned to Mike and off we went for dinner, returning to the same quayside restaurant as the previous evening. We were very good choosing cheaper options on the menu and settling for just a main course and that accompanied by water. Very frugal! The price for the two of us was around the £25 mark for a couple of burgers with chips which wasn't too bad even if the burger was a bit tasteless.
The great thing about Iceland is that even after dinner there is still time for a photograph or two.
We went in search of new pastures and were rewarded with both a new bird on a post shot
Snipe    Iceland
and back at the lodge I took a shot of one of the many Whimbrels around the garden area.
Whimbrel    Iceland
For a first day at Myvatn we had done really well as we had ticked off so many of our target species. The worry we might not find them was soon dismissed however,there were still several more to go to say nothing of improving on what we had.
Tomorrow we decided, we would head up around the north coast and see what we could find!

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