FS-065 Birding Capital of Iceland (5 days)
1st day: Drive from Húsavík through Tjörnes peninsula and Kelduhverfi out to Melrakkaslétta. Searched for birds on the way through this wonderful area and the day should yield more than 60 species of birds. A stop at Tjörnes will show a prospecting Puffin colony. Another stop at Víkingavatn in Kelduhverfi would present the group to extremely rich wetlands with many grebes and ducks. A hike in Icelandic Birch woodland in Ásbyrgi would hopefully result in Icelandic Winter Wrens and Redpolls beside the unique scenery. Several stopovers at Melrakkaslétta from Kópasker to Raufarhöfn will add interesting birds all the way. A tour at Melrakkaslétta is is likely to yield a Gyr Falcon. Melrakkaslétta never ceases to surprise birdwatchers with rarities. Accomodation in Raufarhöfn.
2nd day: A drive from Raufarhöfn to the bird-cliffs at Skoruvíkurbjarg on Langanes. Skoruvíkurbjarg is one of the best places in Iceland to see Guillemots at nesting site. The cliffs at Langanes hosts hundreds of thousands of the auks and guillemots of Iceland, including the uncommon Brunnich’s Guillemot. A fine colony of Northern Gannets is also at Skoruvíkurbjarg. Several stops on the drive to and from Langanes will certainly find interesting birds. Accomodation at Ytra Lón on Langanes.
3rd day: A drive from Ytra Lón to Mývatn, crossing Melrakkaslétta and along Jökulsá River to Mývatn. A few stops in the National Park for scenery, including a stop at the mightiest waterfall of Europe, Dettifoss. Hopefully we will see some of the nesting Pink-footed Geese of the highlands before arriving at Lake Mývatn. A possible stop at Krafla/Leirhnjúkur too see active geothermal area with some of the freshest lava found in Iceland. This day will be loaded with geological features of Iceland, but will probably not add many new bird-species on the list. Accomodation near Mývatn.
4th day: Birdwatching at Lake Mývatn and vicinity. This center of duck-production of Europe is simply loaded with birds, including many Barrow’s Goldeneyes and Harlequin Ducks. We will make our best to find a Gyr Falcon, especially if they have not been seen earlier in the trip. A drive to Húsavík in the evening through Reykjadalur and Aðaldalur. Accomodation at Húsavík or nearby..
5th day: A “Whale Watching tour” by boat from Húsavík hopefully yields both whales and seabirds in good quantities. There are decent chances of some of the big whales, including the mighty Blue Whale or the Humpback Whale. It is possible to get a boat to Flatey Island to do some birdwatching there. Birdwachting in Flatey usually gives excellent photoopportunities for Puffins, Common Eiders and Arctic Terns. Every now and then some of the rarer birds are found there. At the end of the day we will have some time for birdwatching near Húsavík.
This five day trip will probably yield between 70 and 80 species of birds. Brunnich’s Guillemots, Barrow’s Goldeneyes and Harlequins will be seen. We can likely see Gyr Falcon on the way. Most likely some accidental birds will be found in the trip, to name some quite likely would be American Wigoen, Ring-necked Duck and King Eider.
Availability: As private tour or for groups, on request in May/June
Tour duration: 5 days
Included: transportation, guide service, accommodation (4 nights) and meals, boat tour
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