Thursday, 26 May 2016


News has just filtered back, with the return of the B-Team from Iceland, that they downed tools due to very hazy conditions and spent the majority of the trip visiting tourist spots, liquorice factories and swimming pools!!!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Haze - fact or fiction?

In this special guest blog by Dr Igor Igotanitchyone we address the little-known phenomenon of haze. This seems to effect relatively few individuals but causes all sorts of side-effects including nausea, diarrohea and disorientation. 
What we know is that each May a few individuals visiting Iceland suffer from the effects of haze whilst others apparently do not. The effects are illustrated in the pictures below - an example of what normal people see (a typical white-red sequence) and what people unaffected by haze see (pic 2). A further possible contributing factor included in picture 3. 

More sleep, less booze and younger eyes are longer term fixes. Initial tests have suggested that large quantities of ice cream or Skyr may moderate effects in the short term. We'd be interested in your views on this issue. Have you suffered? Can you read rings at > 50m in sunlight? Does age matter?

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Hello, is there anybody out there?

The sight of a 4 x 4 with a 2m wooden shaft and white tupperware box driving round western Iceland has generated some perplexed looks. No, we're not a TV license crew. It's the collar-searching team looking for collared birds from which GPS data can be downloaded. That's been going well with more to do.
A small catch yesterday morning was followed by some reccy further north (Hvalafjordur) and then today even further north to Alftafjordur. A few good ring-reads at Svelsjka, Alftaros and south Myrar, some great WT Eagle views culminating in a spectacular sunset. Departing Brent are now T minus 10-14 days...

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Chasing wild geese - spring staging in western Iceland

Direct flight btwn Belfast and Reykjavik. Well there you are. Not before time. Some blog messages on what the Brent and Brent team are at in Iceland. To follow. Brought to you by Jameson........

Skál í botn

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Sighting from Kent...

One of our marked geese, PUWR, has been sighted on 02 May 2016 in a flock of around 20 pale-bellied brent, by Scott Haughie at Pegwell Bay, near Ramsgate, in Kent. This represents, by far, the most easterly record we have ever had from the south coast of England (in fact it is just around the corner, heading north from Dover), the previous record having come from Hampshire. Scott tells us that pale-bellies are extremely scarce at this location, with the general assumption there being that any brent geese encountered will be dark-bellied. The bird arrived there at around 10 am on an outgoing tide. The Portland Bird Observatory website records an notable influx the same evening.
This bird had been a regular throughout the winter on the salt-marshes at Regneville in Normandy, and had last been recorded from there by Alain Livory & Roselyne Coulomb at 15:30 on 30 April 2016.
There has been conjecture for some time about the boundaries of the wintering ranges between our East Canadian High Arctic flyway population and those of the East Atlantic flyway, and this represents yet another interesting piece in the jigsaw.