Has the plover come?

golden-ploverA golden plover was seen at Bakkastorn in Seltjarnarnes near Reykjavik on Monday. This follows a sighting on 28th February by a man called Hallgrimur Gunnarsson at Alftanes. Why all the fuss, you ask?

Iceland has something of an obsession with the plover. Songs, poems, paintings and stories abound about the quirky little bird whose arrival hails the arrival of spring. “Never mind that there’s still snow on the ground…the plover has arrived! It’s spring!”

Brynjulfur Brynjolfsson, a member of staff at the Southern Bird Observatory in Hornafjordur said in an interview with sunnlending.is that the plover is very early to arrive this year, if these initial reports turn out to be correct.

“It is not possible to discount the possibility that these birds have been here all winter. We know from experience that the plover can survive the Icelandic winter,” Brynjolfsson said.

Over the last ten years, the first golden plovers have been seen between 20th and 31st March.