It is nice to have no phone signal for a few days or 10. Back to the old ways. No phones, collecting water by hand, making a fire, drinking from the glacial streams like men of old! beards dripping with cold fresh pure water (the best water we have ever tasted we must add). Ian and Neil have been in Hornvik in the West Fjords trying to film the Arctic fox, with Ester Rut from the Arctic Fox Center. We had been so, so lucky to be able to stay on the Hornvik Fjord in an old family home formerly a farm. In the 1940s all the farming family’s moved away for good. Now, a few renovated houses are left and maintained by the descendants of those original Vikings and farmers. With us was hagalin (THE BOSS) as he became known who is one of the house owners whose Viking ancestors first settled in those Fjords and Ester from the Arctic Fox Centre who is studying foxes across Iceland and with particular focus on the foxes at Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.
Filming wildlife is rarely easy. Foxes are fast, very well camouflaged even in snow when in blue or brown coat plus they can be very, very wary of humans for good reason, which we will cover in a separate blog post later in the year. So many variables are involved in filming, too much wind kills the filming day, driving rains/sleet/snow/high winds stops play. No females in season stops play, sneaky foxes, deep snow, did we mention wind? Icelandic wind is no joke, it can cut like a knife, if you plan a trip out here in winter do your research and get a really good set of clothes, you will thank us for it. The weather can be very, very cold and unpredictable. Over all it was a great trip, the fox played us a really good game and in the end we called it a draw…….
Ian remembering how to write with pen and paper
Very excited to go back to that very wild, wonderful and remote landscape in the late Spring to catch up with those wonderful characters and maybe hear the pitter patter of little fox feet?
Our first sightings of Trolls!!! Yep. Ian got lucky and was introduced to a gigantic troll. No joke a very real Icelandic troll.
The cliffs on the coast of the west fjords are stunning. Most breeding species such as Fulmar, kittiwake, razorbill, guillemot, puffin, are starting to return. Spring is starting to show.
Here is a link to the Arctic Fox centre, full of info on Arctic fox in Iceland. If you make it to Isafjordur then you can visit the centre. Pop in for tea/coffee and a look at the really interesting research and historical information. Its very good…….
West Fjords are stunning
Back online now. Andy has arrived. We are off down South! More soon