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A Black-throated Thrush in Iceland

A splendid Black-throated Thrush Turdus ruficollis atrogularis was discovered by Björn Arnarson and Yann Kolbeinsson in fish-drying racks at Leira/Reykjanes peninsula (SW-Iceland), on 13th November 2005. This has been a long-awaited addition to the Icelandic list, but birders didn't expect this one to pop up in western Iceland while strong winds coming from eastern Canada were blowing over Iceland !

Observations on its first day were usually brief and frustrating because of the poor light (heavily clouded sky...), rain and wind, a common mixture up here in Iceland. On the next days, 14-15th November, the bird prooved much more co-operative and could be well observed down to 5 m as long as everyone stayed inside their cars. Twenty-one birders managed to see the bird during 13-22nd November, which probably falls into the "top 10 twitches" of Iceland ! Below is a fine selection of photographs taken while the bird was feeding on the ground.

This is Iceland's first-ever record of Dark-throated Thrush (Turdus ruficollis ssp). It is thought that this bird is a first-winter male. - YK/22.11.2005

- click on the photos to enlarge -

Black-throated Thrush Turdus ruficollis atrogularis
Leira, Garšur (SW)
14 November 2005

© Yann Kolbeinsson

Black-throated Thrush Turdus ruficollis atrogularis
Leira, Garšur (SW)
14 November 2005

© Danķel Bergmann

Black-throated Thrush Turdus ruficollis atrogularis
Leira, Garšur (SW)
14 November 2005

© Danķel Bergmann

Black-throated Thrush Turdus ruficollis atrogularis
Leira, Garšur (SW)
14 November 2005

© Danķel Bergmann

The fish-drying racks at Leira/Reykjanes peninsula (SW-Iceland)
19 November 2005

© Yann Kolbeinsson