Today we’re on Grimsey Island. You’ll notice that the blue dot on this map is as far north as we’ll go.
It’s a very small island with a summertime human population of less than 100 and a bird population of probably more than 1,000,000!
We were taken to the Island by tender.
In addition to having fascinating wildlife, this island is significant for tourists because the Arctic Circle passes through the middle of it. So, the first item on the agenda was to document the crossing!
Then, we headed toward the nesting sites of Arctic Terns and Puffins. On the way, I got a shot of the Icelandic sheep. This breed is tough (as all Icelandic animals must be) and it produces a really warm, dense, and practically waterproof wool.
Cute animals, but I passed on buying yarn because it is very rough on the hands, and way too warm to wear in Cambria.
So, on to the birds. Please note, however, that I am using only a cell phone camera. Today’s post will give you an idea of the nesting sites, but the REAL bird photos will be posted after I upload the shots from Jay’s big camera.
If you see white birds in these photos, they are Arctic Terns. And the white, messy spots on the cliffs are their nests.
The terns and the puffins often share cliffs. The terns take the lower perches, and the puffins dig burrows at the top of the cliffs. They mate for life and return to the same burrow year after year.
And, here are my best “puffin” shots from the cell phone: The two women are Tauck representatives completely in puffin mode, and the last one is a fuzzy souvenir San Simeon Travel gave to each of their tour participants.
“Real” puffin photos will come in the next post. ‘Til then…