Transfer from Reykjavík Airport to Hotel
Arrival at Hotel Rauðaskriða.
Goðafoss Waterfall – Lake Vestmannsvatn – River Laxá – Flatey Island
In the morning we start visiting Goðafoss Waterfall and then to Lake Vestmannsvatn and River Laxá. During this we can expect to see several duck species, Great Northern Diver, Red-throated Diver, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Phalarope amongst other species.
In the afternoon we take a boat trip to Flatey Island in Skjálfandi Bay close to Húsavik. On the way to Flatey Island, one can experience the beautiful surroundings of Skjálfandi Bay. Flatey Island was inhabited from 11th century but has been deserted since 1967 and is a natural haven for diverse birdlife. This trip lasts 4-5 hours, including an excursion on to Flatey. On the way whales are also frequently seen, such as Humpback Whale, Minke Whale and even the Blue Whale has visited the bay in recent years. Flatey is home to more than 30 different species of birds during the breeding season, including Arctic Tern, Puffins and Red-necked Phalarope.
Kelduhverfi area – Ásbyrgi Canyon – Langanes peninsula birdcliffs
Drive north on to the Tjörnes peninsula, where Rock Ptarmigan is frequently seen by the road. The wetlands around Víkingavatn hold a great diversity of breeding birds, including good numbers of Horned Grebe. The glacial sand flats east of here are in the domain of the Great Skua and we should be able to enjoy close encounters with this impressive predator. This area abounds with breeding waders, with Whimbrel, Black-tailed Godwit and European Golden Plover all abundant. We then visit the stunning horse-shoe canyon of Ásbyrgi before spending the afternoon birding Iceland’s far north-eastern peninsula, Melrakkaslétta. This wild and remote area has an Arctic feel to it and is a superb birding location in summer, with great numbers of Red-throated Diver, Snow Bunting and Purple Sandpiper and a very healthy population of Gyr Falcon. The beaches may still host some lingering Arctic shorebirds and rarities are regularly seen in this area. The cliffs at Skoruvíkurbjarg hold excellent numbers of auks, including abundant Brünnich’s Guillemot, while rock stacks just off shore are home to a very approachable colony of Northern Gannets, providing excellent photographic opportunities for this species.
Lake Mývatn area – a paradise for birdwatching
Lake Mývatn (Midge Lake) is one of Europe’s great birding destinations. The midges, actually harmless chironomids, are the mainstay of life at the bird rich lake, home to thousands of breeding wildfowl. Barrow’s Goldeneye, at its only European breeding site, is common here. It shares the lake with other ducks such as Common Scoter, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, Long-tailed Duck, Greater Scaup and Tufted Duck, while American vagrants such as Ring-necked Duck and American Wigeon are recorded regularly at this superb site. Harlequin Ducks are common on the river Laxá, which flows out of the lake, while Horned Grebes are confiding and highly photogenic on the lake itself. Great Northern Divers and Red-throated Divers provide the background noise, while arguably the main attraction at the lake, the Gyr Falcon, can occur anywhere in the area. The world’s largest and most powerful falcon takes advantage of the great numbers of Rock Ptarmigan, wildfowl and waders and several pairs breed in the area. Its smaller cousin, the Merlin, also breeds in the area, and if we are lucky we might see Short-eared Owl hunting in the 24-hour daylight. With fascinating geology and geothermal sites around the lake, a day at Mývatn is an unforgettable experience. We will also visit Europe’s largest waterfall, the thundering Dettifoss if time allows.
Departure, transfer from Hotel to Reykjavík Airport
Domestic flight Reykjavik- Akureyri/Husavik-Reykjavik
Accommodation in a dbl room with private facilities in a three star, eco-certified hotel
Breakfast for days 2-5
Lunchpacks for days 2-4
Dinner for days 1-4
A bottle of water for each day
Boat tour (whale- and birdwatching) on Skjalfandi Bay and to Flatey Island
For prices and further information contact Wildlife Iceland