Like every year, the begging of spring is heavily marked by the return of the main bird species to Iceland. The golden plover (lóa) is widely celebrated across the country and it is searched along the south coast by avid birdwatchers. This year, it was found by the 20th of March (link).
Another iconic species is the Atlantic Puffin, one of our favorites. While we have heard reports of sightings everywhere in the country, we were patiently waiting in Vestmannaeyjar to spot our owns! It has finally happened. During the last days, a lot of eyes have been searching for them as every body wants to be the FIRST to photograph the FIRST puffin of the season (a bit of bird-watching competition doesn´t hurt anyone).
Today, we went after our quest next to the cliffs by the west side of the island, a well-known spot were fulmars, razorbills and oystercatchers are quite common. After a quick search from the puffling release point (a location where puffling patrollers release pufflings found in town during the fledging season, learn more about this interesting project at www.lundi.is ), our excellent spotter Ewa Malinowska pointed at an odd flying object – “it looks like a puffin“. Always ready with her camera, she took a fast picture and voilá, habemus puffins (and a long seek after photo to prove it!).
At this time of the year, they are going to start to return the their colonies slowly. It won´t be until mid-May when we will see big numbers populating the hills of the biggest colony of Atlantic Puffins in the world, in our home town in Vestmannaeyjar. But we are certainly happy to see they are back. If you want to learn more about puffins, check our section about this iconic and extremely popular bird.
If you want to get all the updates about birds in Vestmannaeyjar, we recommend you to follow up the facebook group “Fuglar í Vestmannaeyjum / Birds of Vestmannaeyjar“, where you will get excellent photos from local photographers and aficionados and the latest sightings.