Home    Birding Iceland    Bird Photos    Rare Bird News    Links


A Varied Thrush in Iceland

Probably what will be the most extraordinary bird of this year in Iceland, is this male Varied Thrush Zoothera naevius, discovered by SoffÝa Ingvarsdˇttir at her farm Unaˇs, Hjaltasta­a■inghß (E Iceland) on 3 May 2004. The bird was found in SoffÝa's garden around noon, and was later relocated by the sheep farm where it is still present at the time of writing (5 May). Several hundreds of Redwings Turdus iliacus coburni were also in the area, which recently appeared around the farm with the recent snowfall. However, the Varied Thrush did not seem to follow the Redwings particularly.

This bird caused five ReykjavÝk birders to jump immediately into the next plane leaving towards this area, and one birder from H˙savÝk to get his car back on winter tires before the road trip. All these managed to see the bird in the evening, until 9 p.m. on 3 May. In addition, three birders from nearby Egilssta­ir caught up with the bird around mid-day, and below are photos of the bird taken by one of them.

This represent the 1st record for Iceland, which is the second national first in just about a week (following the Red-breasted Goose on 25-27 April!). This is also the 2nd record for the Western Palearctic, the first being of an abberant coloured male at Nanquidno (Cornwall), Britain on 14-23 Nov 1982.

- YK 05/05/2004

- click on the photos to enlarge -

Varied Thrush Zoothera naevia
Unaˇs, Hjaltasta­a■inghß (E)
3 May 2004

A male. The photo that made birders heart stop!

© SoffÝa Ingvarsdˇttir

Varied Thrush Zoothera naevia
Unaˇs, Hjaltasta­a■inghß (E)
3 May 2004

© SkarphÚ­inn G. ١risson

Varied Thrush Zoothera naevia
Unaˇs, Hjaltasta­a■inghß (E)
3 May 2004

© SkarphÚ­inn G. ١risson

Varied Thrush Zoothera naevia
Unaˇs, Hjaltasta­a■inghß (E)
3 May 2004

© SkarphÚ­inn G. ١risson

Varied Thrush Zoothera naevia
Unaˇs, Hjaltasta­a■inghß (E)
3 May 2004

© SkarphÚ­inn G. ١risson

Varied Thrush Zoothera naevia
Unaˇs, Hjaltasta­a■inghß (E)
7 May 2004

© Bj÷rn Arnarson

Area where the bird was seen most of the time,
by the sheep farm at Unaˇs. It was first seen
in the garden.

© Bj÷rn Arnarson

A flock of birders, among the sheep. - 3 May 2004
From left to right: Gunnlaugur PÚtursson, Gunnar ١r
HallgrÝmsson, Sigmundur ┴sgeirsson (front), Gunnlaugur
Ůrßinsson and Gaukur Hjartarson. All but Gaukur from
ReykjavÝk. The fifth ReykjavÝk birder taking the photo..

© Yann Kolbeinsson