The Island of Æðey

Pair of red-necked Phalaropes. These are Red-necked Phalaropes, Go to another site. tiny Chaffinch sized ducks, as seen on the islet of Æðey The small island of Æðey (the English word is Eider, as in Eider Duck) lies in Ísafjörður (the Fjord of Ice) in the far north west of Iceland. Æðey is delightful not just because the fjord, in which it sits, is full of the haunting calls of Eiders, but also because the whole of the island forms an Eider farm. Go to another site. The family of farmers who live there make a living, at the edge of the world, because of the down which the Eider plucks from her breast to line her nest. So appreciative are the birds of the protection the farmer offers them that they nest in their hundreds on this small space, and the weight of eider they 'donate' keeps their unique community going. The protective environment ensures that other species also make this their home. A red-necked Phalrope and its reflection. The Red-necked Phalarope is appealing, not only for its diminutive size, but also because it is one of the few species of bird where the male does all the brooding and
upbringing of the chicks.
Two red-necked Phalaropes having just surfaced. After laying their eggs the females decamp together, socialise, and migrate, never seeing their young Eider nest with three eggs. An Eider Duck's nest with the down removed by the farmer - payment for the protection she enjoys Eider Duck on nest. Possibly when you first glanced at this picture you did not see the female Eider sitting on her nest, the way the birds blend into apparently different coloured surroundings is almost magical Black Guillemots on pool. Black Guillemots socialise very like a watery equivalent of house sparrows - arguing and chattering - and are here seen in animated interaction on one of the island's pools Scores of Black-Guillemots. Several scores of Black Guillemots Go to another site. on a pool with the centre of the island as backdrop The island of Aedey. The island of Æðey seen from a boat in the fjord Black-Guillimots and mountains beyond. More than a 100 Black-Guillemots on this pool Black-Guillemots beside the island's jetty. More Black-Guillemots by the jetty on Æðey... Mountains beside the fjord near Aedey. ...beyond which are the mountains of the main shore A Puffin. One ridiculous and irresistible Puffin. Go to another site. Puffin parents also never see their young, hatching in dark burrows the young are left by the adults when they are believed to be able to fend for themselves, and must make their own way out and into the world Three Puffins. More Puffins, with their reflections Two Black-Guillemots, one mouth open. More Black-Guillemots, red gapes on display... Two Black-Guillemots, one mouth open. ...chatter and quarrelling together... The red gape of a Black-Guillemot. ...thier open mouths making them unmistakable Solitary Black-Guillemot, mouth closed. One delightful, untypical, Black-Guillemot - mouth closed Black-Guillemot chasing another. As with most sociable species... Black-Guillemot chasing another. ...disagreements are common Tractor with mountains behind. Æðey's tractor Island pond. A relatively sheltered stretch of fresh water Isefjordur with birds on the calm surface. Looking from Æðey across the millpond surface of Ísafjörður to the mountains of the mainland. Further out mist covers the water, nearby Puffins and Gillemots dot its calm surface The next page has more about Ísafjörður a north pointing (and the most northerly) fjord of the Westfjords, where the hills rise to around 3,000 feet (900 metres), with pictures of the fishing boats, as well as the local landscape. Fishing boats in Isafjordur harbour. line
Saturday 9th June 2018 Murphy on duty

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