Thursday, July 02, 2009

Iceland 2009 - The Birds And The Beasts

I spent the better part of the last three days to condense the number of pictures I took in Iceland down to a more manageable level. Of course, I can't show all of those I loved most here, so only a small selection.

The picture of the seagulls was taken close to a small lighthouse on the Western most tip of the Snaefellness peninsular. It was a bit of a bumpy right to get there, but when we finally reached the lighthouse (in a lovely shade of bright orange) we already saw seagulls and other birds in the air. Stepping up to the cliff edge we already could see the first nests. My friend (who has a touch of vertigo) was very happy when I finally crawled back from where I was laying on my stomach to get this picture.

These bird were found pretty much at the same location, they just nested closer to the water.

When we were in Reykjavik, we took a boat out to one of the smaller islands in the harbour to go and watch for puffins. We didn't get quite as close as I would liked to have, but eventually we got good at spotting the birds in the water and take pictures just when they were taking off. I love those little fellows, they are really cute.

In Höfn, a smallish town on the Soutch coast (well, maybe smallish for most of the world - with more than 1.600 people living there it is after all the largest settlement on the South coast), we took a little drive around when we noticed sea swallows sitting practically everywhere; including the street. When we got out of the car, I got flashes of The Birds by Hitchcock. Luckily, none of the birds got really close, but still, it is a bit spooky.
Those swallows are fast! I took maybe 70 shots, but only a few were good (bird in picture, bird in focus, bird in a good position)

So much for the birds.
In Husavik, on the North coast, we went on a whale watching tour. I've seen a couple of different whales over the years but this was the first time I got a big blue whale. They are really, really big. They are also not very good to take pictures of. You can spot them easily enough, but unlike the orca or, say, the sperm whale, they aren't usually into showing off, and when they dive, you don't even get to see the fluke.
Still, very impressive.

If Iceland is famous for one thing (except for a crappy economy) it's the famous Iceland pullover, made from Iceland wool, taken from the Iceland sheep. You can seen sheep in all places, sometimes walking along the street you want to drive one. This one obviously has not been sheared and is in the process of loosing its winter coat.
(and, yes, I bought some wool in Iceland - I just can't show it was we sent it by mail and it's not here yet)

One thing my friend was particularly eager about is the Iceland horse (not that I blame her, I love those little horses too). Though we didn't take a ride, we at least stopped once in a while to take some pictures. I believe those two are from the last day we were in Iceland.

1 comment:

Petra said...

So many beautiful animals. Those are great pictures. Looks like you had a wonderful trip.