I feel like I have exhausted the english vocabulary trying to express the magnitude of the current Iceland Gull invasion. Splendid, crazy, “once in a life time”, amazing – ok, I’ve read “Lord of the Rings” in english, so I know there’s much more to the english vocabulary than this – but today the number of Iceland Gulls exceeded 200 birds just in Klaksvík!!! Prior to this invasion my local maximum was 7 at once… it is hard to encompass the splendor and magnitude of this invasion (seriously dude?)…
This morning I got a brilliant idea. There is this weird problem that the Iceland Gulls are too close to photograph with my Oly. E-3 and Zuiko 300 mm F2.8. Most pics contain half a wing or something. So I got the idea to dust of the 50-200 mm F2.8-3.5 and try to use it. And I couldn’t have chosen a better day.
It has been rather windy (>20 m/s) during the night, so the harbour was loaded with birds – 200+ Iceland Gulls just in Klaksvík. It is probably the largest gathering of Iceland Gulls in WP outside Iceland – correct me if I am wrong.
By the way I’ve heard from Yann Kolbeinsson that he has heard from a birder in south-west Iceland (Ómar) that there doesn‘t appear to be any unusual numbers of Iceland Gulls around the Reykjanes peninsula at the moment.
There is an interesting thing about this particular arrival during the weekend. There are only very few “brown-winged” birds left. By far the largest portion looks like classic glaucoides – and the proportion of 1. winter birds has been on the rise and is now about 20 % of the birds. There do not seem to be many Kumlien’s Gulls around and I only found 4 in Klaksvík today – but several birds were to distant to be checked properly.
I also checked Hvannasund. There were 31 Iceland Gulls and two Kumlien’s Gulls – so it looks like the proportion of Kumlien’s Gulls has decreased. But now we’re gonna get some westerlies – so I bet they’ll be back in force!