Every year we have Summer Solstice i.e. the longest day of the year. Grimsey island lies by the Arctic Circle off Iceland. There the sun does not set but hovers above the horizon and then starts rising again. With me was my wife Thora Hronn the sunshine of my life for 44 years. So I had a double Summer Solstice. What greater happiness can you ask for?
The summer solstice occurs during the hemisphere’s summer. This in June in the Northern Hemisphere and December in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending on the shift of the calendar, it occurs some time between June 20 and June 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and between December 20 and December 23 each year in the Southern Hemisphere. The same dates in the opposite hemisphere are referred to as the winter solstice.
Bird photography in Grimsey
The Grimsey island is a bird photographer’s dream. The birdlife in Grimsey is unique with numerous different species and unusually dense populations. The birdlife is flourishing due to several reasons. Rich fishing grounds are close by. No rats or mice are on the island. Hunting of the birds and collection of their eggs has been reduced to a minimum since earlier times.
During summer is Grímsey a home to nearly all of the main wader, moorland and seabirds that visit Iceland.
Grímsey is one of the best places in Iceland for watching cliff nesting birds like; Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica), Razorbill (Alca torda), Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle) and Murre, both Common Murre or Common Guillemot (Uria aalge) & Thick-billed Murre or Brünnich’s Guillemot (Uria lomvia). Grímsey has one of Iceland’s largest Tern nesting sites and one of the largest Puffin colonies in Iceland. Commonly seen in Grímsey are also birds like e.g. the White Wagtail (Motacilla alba), the Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) and the Northern Wheatear or Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe).
The best season for watching birds is from April till August. Migrating birds start to leave the island for warmer places at the end of August. Sea birds head out for the sea. Most of the sea birds stay out on the open sea during the winter. They start returning in the end of February to secure a nesting spot in the densely populated cliffs. Best time to view the Puffins is from the end of April till the beginning of August.