Edward's Birding Diary
|15 November 2005|
It's not over until the fat lady sings
Sunday was a really miserable day in Reykjavík. The sun allegedly rose at 09:52 yesterday but the oppressively heavy cloud cover made it feel really gloomy all day. What's more it was lashing down with rain and as I got up (in the dark) I thought to myself that wild horses wouldn't drag me into the field today. I planned to spend the day getting really stuck into Raoul Schrott's brilliant novel Tristan da Cunha. Early afternoon I visited DB to return a couple of books and had great views of seven Bohemian Waxwings Bombycilla garrulus feeding on apples in his garden and aggressively holding off any intrusions from Redwings Turdus iliacus, Starlings Sturnus vulgaris and a solitary Blackbird Turdus merula. DB and I leafed through the latest stunning volume of HBW, and DB flicked it open at Black-throated Thrush and commented wistfully how he wouldn't mind seeing one of those. Within two hours we actually had. BA phoned me at 1445 and told me very excitedly, "Get yourself down to Garður, I've just found a new species for Iceland, Black-throated Thrush Turdus ruficollis atrogularis"!!!! After checking that he wasn't pulling my leg (it has been known) a few of us set off to Garður, 30 miles way, in a race to beat the encroaching dusk. The bird had been seen in some fish-drying racks, full of stinking cods heads, and after a lengthy search in increasingly dull and miserable conditions, during which time we saw only one bird, a snow-white Ptarmigan Lagopus muta foraging amongst a pile of fish bones (doesn't tell you that in Collins), I flushed up a thrush from the grass. It sat briefly on a log and I had good views of it for about 5 seconds, easily long enough to see that here was a much wanted lifer,
my fourth new thrush in Iceland this autumn! After that it proved very elusive and adept at hiding in the grass and rancid fish carcasses. Fortunately, those that had only poor views of it on Sunday all managed to see it superbly well in bright sunny weather on Monday. It only goes to show that the autumn isn't over until BA or YK finds a new species for the country, good job lads. Next time I open HBW 10, I'm going to tell DB that I wouldn't mind seeing a Siberian Thrush. Let's see if that works.