Although the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere occurred yesterday at 15:33 GMT, Icelanders employ another method to indicate the changing of the seasons: the arrival of the European golden plover (pluvialis apricaria), or simply ‘heiðlóan’ in Icelandic.
The Southeast Iceland Bird Observatory posted that several such birds were spotted in the region yesterday. These birds, much like the red-breasted robin in North America, traditionally heralds the coming of spring in Iceland.
Vísir points out that the bird has arrived earlier than last year, when it was spotted in Stokkseyri on March 28th.
So beloved is this bird that the heiðlóa was awarded Bird of the Year 2021, in large part for being a unifying force and a bearer of good news. Only time will tell how soon spring-like weather will follow.
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