Central Park

First of the season Tuesday morning Central Park trip with Linnaean NY. No time for me to photograph much because we were running around looking for things like Yellow-billed Cuckoos.

Central Park Art

I haven’t been to Central Park in quite a while. We went there on Saturday, September 4 for a morning walk. It was so nice to see so many of my birding friends there. There wasn’t a large number of birds, but the few I found where nice ones. The best was a humming bird and a Bay-breasted Warbler.

I spent a few hours today adding new backgrounds to these in Photoshop.

Jamaica Bay

We had a brief but rewarding trip out to Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn, New York on the 15th of August. I added a few new odonates to my life list. I learned the word odonates from my fellow Linnaean NY members. September starts the new Zoom meetings and they are free. You may attend one from anywhere or view a recording of one if the timing isn’t right linnaeannewyork.org. The first one on September 14 will be about Bats.


I chose to go to Videy Island Viðey Island | Reykjavík City Museum (reykjavikcitymuseum.is) off Reykjavik on July 22, our last day. There is a 20 minute Ferry at Karfabakki pier at Sundahöfn harbour. We saw the Roosevelt, part of the U.S. 6th Fleet, leaving port.

There was only a few people visiting the island and it felt like we were far away from the city. There are nesting birds there. The island is not very large we did half of it. All would have been well except I decided to follow a dotted line on the map which was marked as a trail which turned out not to be a trail. What looked like a trail became nothing but huge grass hassocks which are very treacherous to step on and in between. It took two hours for us to negotiate our way out with Marc cursing me along the way for leaving the path.

Afangar is an art installation of standing stones in 9 locations. In 1990, Richard Serra completed the environmental work Áfangar (Standing Stones) on Viðey. 18 basalt columns which stand in pairs around the circumference of the western part of the island. The columnar basalt refers to the geological history of the island, and the placing and height of the columns flow with the topography of the island. Relationships with the environment is a recurring theme in Serra’s work.

We made it back to Reykjavik and I bought an Icelandic sweater at the Handknitting Association of Iceland. they had a huge selection and many sizes and I was able to find a zip-up sweater in a classical design without tight sleeves. It was very expensive and I love it. I also bought a lovely scarf to go with it.

Many years ago I was in Iceland for one day, courtesy of Icelandic Airways. What happened was they put me on the wrong flight so offered me a day in Iceland with a free bus tour, all I could drink, a smorgasbord, and a room. I was on my way back to New York from visiting my mother in London with my young son Amedeo. I bought a zip-up Icelandic sweater with broad beige and tan stripes with a matching hat at the airport. I had it for many years until I lost both. That brief visit gave me a taste for Iceland and I wanted to see it again properly. We sure did!

Akurey Island

July 21. To make up for the failed puffin trip earlier in the week I booked a premium Mr. Puffin tour from Reykjavik that took us in a Zodiac to Akurey Island. It was lovely. We got close to the puffins this time and the guide was knowledgeable and very into conservation. I just love puffins.


July 20 continued. We visited the Seltjarnarnes peninsula in Reykjavik, Iceland again in the misty rain. The area around Grotta Lighthouse and Bakkatjorn pond on Seltjarnarnes are natural reserves, surrounded by black sands and a rugged coastline, you can see across the water to the Reykjanes and Snæfellsnes Peninsulas.

There has been a lighthouse at Grótta since 1897, and the one currently standing dates back to 1947. It was connected to the electric grid in 1956 and has remained more or less unchanged since. A farm existed on the site in the 16th Century. Grótta is thought to derive from the old word for a wheat-grinding mill. 

Throughout summer, many species of birds nest in the area. Arctic Terns, tufted ducks, can be found in Bakkatjörn pond. Some areas are cordoned off to protect the birds during nesting. Terns will dive-bomb you if you are too close to their eggs or young, and you are likely to receive a fine. Seals are occasional visitors.

In winter the area has little light pollution, making it a popular spots to view the Northern Lights.

Grótta is connected to the mainland by a thin spit that becomes submerged at high tide. Those walking over to the lighthouse need to be aware of the tides, so they do not become stranded. See the tide chart.