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A Green Heron in Iceland

May 2004 got off to a sensational start in Iceland with Varied Thrush on 3rd and Semipalmated Plover on 7th and it ended superbly with the discovery of a Green Heron Butorides virescens at the farm of Ger­i, Su­ursveit (SE-Iceland) on the evening of 28th May. It was found by the resident farmer Steindˇr Torfason who alerted a local birder, Brynj˙lfur Brynjˇlfsson. It might already have been present in the area for a couple of weeks, but it wasn't until the end of May that the farmer thought about calling Brynj˙lfur. The bird has been present at this cluster of farms (Ger­i, Hali and Brei­abˇlssta­ur) since the end of May, prooving very popular for both Icelandic birders and foreign birders visiting Iceland. The last observation to date was made on 24 June, by a Norwegian birder.

The nice looking breeding plumage of this bird lets us think that it is adult.

There is one previous record in Iceland, a bird shot by duck hunters on 29 October 2001 at GrenlŠkur, Landbrot (S-Iceland). Other records in the Western Palearctic come from the Azores (7 ind - apparently none officially accepted yet?), Britain (4), Channel Islands (1) and France (1).

- YK 26/06/2004

- click on the photos to enlarge -

Green Heron Butorides virescens
Ger­i, Su­ursveit (SE)
20 June 2004

© Jˇhann Ëli Hilmarsson

Green Heron Butorides virescens
Ger­i, Su­ursveit (SE)
20 June 2004

© Jˇhann Ëli Hilmarsson

Green Heron Butorides virescens
Ger­i, Su­ursveit (SE)
3 June 2004

© Yann Kolbeinsson

Green Heron Butorides virescens
Ger­i, Su­ursveit (SE)
28 May 2004

© Brynj˙lfur Brynjˇlfsson

Green Heron Butorides virescens
Ger­i, Su­ursveit (SE)
28 May 2004

© Brynj˙lfur Brynjˇlfsson