Since 1977 bird enthusiast Björn Gísli Arnarson has photographed and registered 307 species of birds in Iceland. Approximately 70 of these species nest in Iceland but the others are stray birds, most of which arrived in southwest and southeast Iceland.
An isabelline shrike, one of the rare birds spotted by Björn Gísli. Source: Wikipedia.
Björn Gísli told Morgunblaðið that there are different reasons for why birds that aren’t native to the country are spotted here but in most cases they seem to have lost their way which is why arrivals are usually single birds rather than groups.
“There was a period of strong southeasterly winds last autumn and strong winds from time to time throughout the year. The spring and autumn is the main migratory season for birds and they are sometimes blown off course,” Björn Gísli explained.
“One of the species is the sora which is usually found in the Americas. It was spotted here in Suðursveit [southeast Iceland] past spring,” Björn Gísli said. Other sightings include an isabelline shrike.
“That was the species which surprised me the most because its main habitat is in Turkey, Africa and China. It had travelled a long distance,” he added.
Click here to read more about stray birds spotted in Iceland.