Icelandic Waders

July 19, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I've already done a post on Red-necked Phalaropes and Golden Plovers, but they weren't the half of it! Drive through any suitable habitat in Iceland and it is stuffed full of Waders - Whimbrel, Redshank, Snipe and Godwit. This is a post devoted to them, as their omnipresence was a background highlight of the trip, even if the were shaded by the more famous birds like Harlequins.

First up Whimbrel - I've never managed to get close in this country, and without driving majorly north I doubt I ever will. Far easier to travel to where the birds are, served up on a plate. A couple of these were on a tripod, but I found that my tripod skills let me down in Iceland, and the results were not as good as when I switched to my monopod. I guess it's a question of what you use most frequently, and that's easily the monopod. Somehow I guess I and it have just gelled, whereas I don't have that kind of relationship with the tripod. So, don't always follow the advice, instead do what you are most comfortable with. For me, I don't even have to think when using the monpod, it's an extension of the camera. With the tripod I probably introduce shake all over the place without realising it. When I ditched it mid-trip things started going a lot better.

Common Snipe were also very frequently encountered, many of them still drumming. They proved relatively difficult to get close to, even using the car as a blind, but again these are the best photos of the species that I have ever managed. Oh to live somewhere where this species is a breeder, up in the moors of northern England. If every time I went out I was able to photograph Snipe I'm not sure you would see much else from me. As I say, only a couple shots ended up making the cut, but I could very easily do another trip up there simply to concentrate on Waders.

And who can forget the Redshank! Probably the most common bird we saw, their constant scolding a reminder that we were on their turf, not the other way around. The best birds were probably on Flatey, but essentially great photo ops were everywhere - if only Mick could find the perfect post! We drove past loads as the posts were simply sub-standard. Let me tell you now, there is no such thing as a sub-standard post - the eye is drawn to the bird, not the perch, and whilst a lovely lichen-covered post is always pleasing, a plain old wooden stake is not going to stop me!

The final bird I want to highlight is the Black-tailed Godwit. In this country we often get excited when early-returning birds have a bit of colour on them. In Iceland they are all immaculate, such a beautiful species. They enjoy the odd post too, but mostly they were to be found in lush water-meadows. Here's a few images I managed to get along the way, very often from the car.

And finally, a lone Ringed Plover in the early-morning light (very early, probably about 4am!) on our first day. If you're into Wader photography, Iceland has to be right up there, and I for one will be going back as soon as I can!

 

 


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January February March April May June July (3) August (3) September (5) October (3) November (4) December (4)
January (11) February (1) March (1) April (5) May June (1) July (3) August September October (1) November December
January February (2) March April (1) May (4) June (2) July August September October November December
January February March April (1) May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June (2) July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June (1) July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December