The Golden Plover has arrived. This marks the start of my favourite time of year, SPRING! I’m way too optimistic and excited about this, as a proper Icelander always is. Today we had a non-windy day (those’ve been a rarity this winter), so that combined with the news of the plover being here is just making me ecstatic.
Why the fuss about the plover, you may ask. Well the Golden Plover is the Icelander’s favourite bird because we associate it with the arrival of spring. It’s one of many species of birds that live in Iceland in the summer but migrate to somewhere less miserable in the winter. There are some birds that come back earlier than the plover, but for some reason we like the plover more. Maybe it’s their sweet singing or simply how pretty they are. We just love them.
As a result of the love we have for this bird, many songs have been written about how beautifully it sings and how it’s here to stop us being so lazy and tell us to go on with life and start working. Here are two very different ones that share the same name: Lóan er komin (The Golden Plover is here).
Another milestone of spring’s arrival is the first day of summer, which is always on a Thursday in late April. It makes us happy and we have a parade and everything, but usually the weather is still terrible and the festivities have to be moved inside. No matter how often this happens, we are always just as excited for this day. After a whole winter of darkness and cold, we are just so desperate for spring. So we never learn!
Anyway, spring and summer always come eventually, though they are often late and therefore confused with autumn. So welcome back, plover! We’ve certainly missed you!