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FOCUS ON NATURE BIRDING AND NATURE TOUR IN ICELAND
Atlantic Puffins were among the birds enjoyed
during the FONT tour in Iceland in June 2009
List of Birds during our Iceland Tour - June 2009
Birds during previous FONT Iceland Tours
(over 350 species, including vagrants from mainland Europe, Asia, & North America)
Wildflowers of Iceland (with photos from the June 2009 FONT tour)
A Photographic Sampling of Icelandic Nature & Culture from our June 2009 Tour
Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in Iceland
A following is from a summary by the tour participants, put
together by Armas Hill, leader of the tour:
These birds were voted as "favorites" by the tour participants at the end of the tour.
With the Puffin being the runaway winner, receiving the most votes: 14. (and with one person voting for it 3 times!)
in the bird category were:
Harlequin Ducks (5 votes)
Common Eiders (5 votes) (noting them as both seen & heard)
White-tailed Eagles (4 votes)
Whimbrel (singing in the air) (3 votes)
Common Loon (2 votes)
Horned (or Slavonian) Grebe (in breeding plumage) (2 votes)
Shags (& "Shagettes") (2 votes)
Black-tailed Godwit (2 votes)
Red-necked Phalaropes (2 votes)
Oystercatcher (2 votes)
Arctic Tern (2 votes)
Red-throated Loon (1 vote)
Greylag Goose (1 vote)
Great Skua (1 vote)
Black Guillemot (1 vote)
and White Wagtail (1 vote).
Also, there was a vote for
"whatever bird I was looking at, at the moment" as
and "all of the birds I could see fairly well".
Note: Nobody voted for
the male King Eider, so I give that bird my vote for "the best",
although not as "cute" as the runaway winner.
In categories "other than birds" in the participants' notes near the end of the tour, there were these:
spectacular scenery & the
beauty, vastness, and variety of the land (mentioned by many)
Icelandic horses & sheep
"a thousand" configurations of lava
lush stands of dandelions "not viewed as weeds"
places with a sparseness of things man-made
the Mid-Atlantic Rift
the geology throughout
the cleanliness of all the
the friends made among the locals
the site of the world's first parliament
the drying fish hanging by the sea
the decorative churches
"beautiful pastoral countryside, complete with horses, sheep and lambs, white swans on green pastures, and picturesque farms & churches"
"the boat-trip to see nesting seabirds, including puffins, on island cliffs"
"the seaside town with black sand, harlequin ducks, and other birds"
our "gregarious tour group"
"a beautiful blessing of birds"
"the congenial company of nature enthusiasts"
"the great meal", also described by a few others: "the leek soup, cod with sauce, and rhubarb dessert"
And, ending with that, it seemed, in these comments by the participants, that it was a good and enjoyable tour for all -
and with congrats, too, for those with special days such as an anniversary or birthday, when among friends & fellow-travelers.
In e-mails following our June
2009 birding & nature tour in ICELAND for a group from Texas :
"Armas, thank you for all
of your efforts at making our tour in Iceland so very enjoyable".
Troy & Judi Belver
San Marcos, Texas
"Armas, this trip was so special. In addition to the birds, we were exposed to one of the most beautiful countries that I have ever seen. I loved the comments from the group. Thank you for arranging such a great trip for us.
Jon did an admirable job of leading us on. He was a hoot and you should employ him for your future trips. You two make great tour leaders because you each contribute a different aspect to travel.
Thank you for being a great (and might I add, flexible) tour guide. I agree with the comments made by others in the group that the tour was fun as well as educational."
Carolyn: alias the "Arctic Tern Magnet"
"Armas, thanks for a great trip. Dotty and I had a great time and I heard positive comments from others. Jon did a fine job of finishing up the trip and was a real asset -- his efforts were most appreciated. "
(Jerry was the local organizer of the tour for the Wimberly Texas Bird Club.)
"Thank you Armas for your good wishes. And thank you for all the planning a trip like this takes.
We aren't avid birdwatchers (you might have noticed!) but we enjoy birds as part of the spectacular scenery and certainly Iceland has it's share of that. We always enjoy traveling with this group . They always have such fun together and that is so important in a big group. Thanks again for everything!"
Pat & Dick Franzen
San Marcos, Texas
"I had an absolutely
wonderful time, and not being an avid birder didn't detract from it one bit.
There was so much other scenery to enjoy, I marvel that others concentrated so
much on birds. Now I'm going to push Iceland to all my friends. I keep thinking
of things I never got a picture of, like the yellow flowers growing in the
Thanks again for putting this adventure together for us."
"Thank you again for such a wonderful tour. I learned so much. (Of course, I had plenty to learn since I was so ignorant of Iceland.)"
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