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ICELAND

Saturday 25th June - Sunday 3rd July 2005

Dave Farrow

This was the second Birdquest ‘Birds and Whales’ tour to Iceland, a great tour with wonderful birds, cetaceans and landscapes, featuring no less than five boat trips in search of the various thrills on offer. Although this sub-arctic island has a reduced species list, the quality of the avian delights is high, and we enjoyed such good birds as the gorgeous Harlequin Duck, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Red Phalaropes (breeding here alongside the plentiful Red-necked Phalaropes), five species of auk including Brünnich’s Guillemot, Great Northern Divers in breeding dress, and White-tailed Eagles and Gyr Falcons both attending their eyries. The mammals were good too, and although this wasn’t a year for Blue Whales, we had stunning encounters with a dozen Killer Whales, ten Minke Whales and the final flourish of a confiding Humpback Whale.