Harlequin Ducks

Being a bird watcher since childhood, Iceland has been alluring to me for a long time, perhaps mostly because of the Harlequin duck (Histrionicus histrionicus). The male harlequin duck in summer plumage looks like nothing else, with it’s complex pattern of dark slate blue, white and chestnut.

When going to Iceland in November for a few days with a clear focus on landscape photography, on a photo trip where I had little influence of when and where to actually spend the time, I naturally didn’t bother too much about the birds. However, I did bring along the long lens. And when walking along the shore of Jökulsárlón, there were suddenly these two Harlequin ducks swimming within range.

They were females, so they did not have that spectacular plumage, but I was still happy to come across them for a photo opportunity.