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The Puffins of Grímsey island

Written August 28 2020

Now the silence is spreading across the country. The migratory birds gradually disappear. The Redwings sustain a little life in the towns and their choirs begin to raise their voices now because the Rowan berries are beginning to mature.

For me the second half of May and June are the highlights of the year, at least when the birdman Eyþór speaks. The musician Eyþór has more favourite seasons.

I'm already looking forward to my spring trips next spring.

Last year and the year before, my wife and I went to Grímsey for the summer solstice. Both times I was playing on concerts but took my camera with me. I've been to Grímsey couple of times, but always to play. I was going to go there this summer only for photographing, but unfortunately I didn't have time.

Grímsey is a fantastic place for photographing Puffins.

During my last two trips, I went for short walks to get some pictures. Although time was far too short both times, I caught many of my favourite Puffin pictures there.

It is not really that complicated to get to Grímsey. It is possible to fly there from Akureyri or you can take the ferry from Dalvík. I've tried both. Last year's sailing wasn't so nice. The "boy" was suffering from seasickness. Even though someone had shouted that we were sailing past a dolphin, I just lay there. It would not have happened under normal circumstances.

The people of Grímsey welcomes guests. There you can get nice accommodation. Last year, my wife Elvý and I stayed with Halla Ingólfsdóttir - "Arctic trip". It was absolutely great. The year before that we were in the guesthouse Básar. Charming house with beautiful views. In both places there is a short distance to great photo spots.

The Puffin fascinates many, as it is an extremely beautiful and fun bird. At one time I had the feeling that bird photographers did not take much pictures of it. Maybe because it is so popular (sometimes you get tired of photographing the same thing as others) or maybe it was because the bird got a rather negative "tourist stamp" - Puffinshops in downtown Reykjavík ....

I have been so lucky to have several times taken part in bird research and bird ringing in Flatey in Breiðafjörður, West Iceland. One species we observe is the Puffin. So I've been diving into puffin holes to catch birds and check nesting results. This is accompanied by bites, claw marks (one of the claws is razor sharp) and puffin ticks, but it's still a lot of fun.

I go different ways in image composition when I photograph birds. I'm not going into an explanation of that, but I can say that I probably isolate puffins and Razorbills from the environment more often than with other species. I use colors, vegetation, sea and flowers to create softness and mystery, but also to draw attention to the main subject itself. There is something special about the head of these two species.

It is quite clear that I will go to Grímsey next summer. To visit this beautiful bird, which is relatively easy to access (not too easy, as in some tourist destinations) but always challenging to photograph (a lot of contrast with both off-white and pitch black)

Finally, I suggest you take a look at the websites of good friends, the very nice couple Gyða Henningsdóttir and Einar Guðmann. They know Grímsey so well and take amazing bird pictures.

Here are their Puffin shots, probably mostly taken in Grímsey:

All the images in the post as well as other images on my site are available in various sizes and types. Please contact me through the site :)

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