Wildlife Iceland

Birdwatching – Tour Package 3



Day 1

Arrival and Common Eider

Arrival at accommodation. In the evening we will go on a guided tour on foot through the Common Eider colony at the farm Björg and see the birdlife by the sea-cliffs. This tour takes about 3 hours and one can get really close to the Eiders and experience how they benefit from the protection supplied by the farmer. This area is also home to many species of seabirds, ducks and waders and close to 40 different species can be expected.

Day 2

Mývatn – a paradise for birdwatchers

This day tour offers birdwatching with a guide in the Lake Mývatn area. It starts from Sigurgeir’s Bird Museum.
Lake Mývatn is a paradise for birdwatchers. This area, which could be described as “Europe’s duck factory,” is simply packed with birds, including many Barrow’s Goldeneyes and Harlequin Ducks. A typical list of birds will include up to 50 species, and will quite likely include Gyr Falcon. Arriving at the Mývatn area from Reykjadalur, we will take a look at Lake Másvatn, where there is a good chance of seeing Great Northern Divers.

We then approach the river Laxá which flows out of Mývatn. This uppermost part of the river is the prime habitat for Harlequin Duck and Barrow’s Goldeneye in Iceland. We then start the circuit around Mývatn and make a stop at Álftavogur to scan the flocks of ducks for scarcer visitors. Near Skútustaðir there are small lakes in extensive wetlands, which hold many species of ducks, including Long-tailed Duck and the occasional Common Pochard. We will continue around the lake and make a few stops to view birds and the picturesque and impressive scenery.

The woodlands at Höfði are a great place for a walk, with views of some unusual lava formations in the lake. There are plenty of Common Redpoll, Redwing and Eurasian Wren here, as well as various ducks on the lake. Between here and Reykjahlíð village, we will look for dabbling ducks including Gadwall and the scarce Northern Shoveler. At Neslandavík there are often large flocks of Tufted Duck, Greater Scaup and Eurasian Wigeon. It is also a good site for Common Scoter and may also yield scarce vagrants such as American Wigeon, Common Pochard and Ring-necked Duck.

Sigurgeir’s Bird Museum is conveniently located on this bay, at one of the best birdwatching sites at Mývatn. The last key site is called Álar, nearly as rich in birds as Neslandavík and likely to contain scarce species.
This tour takes around 8 hours, packed lunch included.

Day 3

Húsavík and the Whale Museum

The morning is free to spend at your leisure in Húsavík where there are several attractions including the Whale Museum and the regional cultural centre which houses several interesting exhibitions (entrance fee not included). The church in Húsavík is also well worth visiting. The harbor area is a prime spot for gulls, especially in spring. Iceland Gulls can be found there all year round among the more common gulls. Rare gulls show up from time to time and nowhere in Iceland has more records of Ross’s Gull and Ivory Gull than Húsavík harbour. At the small lakes of Kaldbakstjarnir just south of Húsavík there are close to 30 species of breeding birds, including very tame Horned Grebes and Great Northern Divers.

In the afternoon we will go on a boat trip with the whalewatching company Gentle Giants to Flatey Island in Skjálfandi Bay close to Húsavík. On the way to Flatey, we will look for whales and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Skjálfandi Bay. Flatey Island was inhabited from the 11th century but has been deserted since 1967 and is a natural haven for birdlife. Flatey is home to more than 30 different species of birds during the breeding season, including very approachable Puffins.

Day 4

Bird Hides and Sightseeing

You can spend the day birdwatching in the bird hides of Sigurgeir’s Bird Museum close to Lake Mývatn. During your stay in the area, you have an open pass to the museum, where around 180 bird species are exhibited. The museum has three bird hides by the lake and half a day’s use of the hides is included. Sigurgeir’s Bird Museum also has a restaurant offering traditional refreshments such as hot spring baked rye bread with smoked trout and flat bread with smoked lamb. A light meal is included. At 14:00 birders meet at the museum to share the day’s sightings.

It is also a perfect opportunity to visit many of the natural attractions in the area, such as Dimmuborgir (a spectacular lava field), go hiking on Mt. Hverfjall which is a gigantic tephra crater approximately one kilometre in diameter and 140 metres deep, and was formed around 2,500 years ago. This hike takes about 2-3 hours. Other interesting places are the Krafla volcanic area and the Mývatn Nature Baths. Another memorable excursion is a visit to Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss, and the spectacular canyon Ásbyrgi.

Day 5

Tjörnes – Kelduhverfi Day tour

Guided trip by bus around the Tjörnes peninsula to visit the rich lakes and wetland areas in Kelduhverfi. There are a number of places to stop, the first being Bakkakrókur, near Húsavík, which is often teeming with waders like Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Red Knot and Ruddy Turnstone, particularly in spring (May through early June). Continuing around the Tjörnes peninsula, we might make further stops whenever a birding opportunity arises.

Tjörnes is known for its particularly dense population of Rock Ptarmigan, but unfortunately they can be hard to find after mid-June due to their secretive behaviour. We will look for Great Cormorant on skerries and point out a large Puffin colony offshore. Arriving in Kelduhverfi, we make a stop at the lagoon Lón, which often holds a range of interesting birds, mostly waders, gulls and ducks. King Eider is sometimes found with the Common Eider.

The next key site is the unique lake Víkingavatn (lake of Vikings). It is one of the richest wetlands in Iceland, packed with grebes and ducks. Red-necked Phalarope is also numerous here. The next stop is a rich wetland, Skjálftavatn, a large lake formed by a series of earthquakes in 1976. The last important site on this tour is Ásbyrgi, a deep gorge formed by massive flooding of the glacier river Jökulsá á Fjöllum after the last Ice Age. A hike in the birch woodland in Ásbyrgi should produce Eurasian Wren, Redwing and Common Redpoll and the scenery in the canyon is magnificent. This tour takes about 8 hours, packed lunch included.

Day 6

Gentle Giants RIB tour

We will drive to Húsavík and enjoy a one hour RIB (rigid inflatable boat) trip to Lundey Island (Puffin Island) to see a large Puffin colony. This island is only 4.5 nautical miles from Húsavík harbour and the Gentle Giant’s fast RIB will take you there in only a few minutes. More than 30,000 pairs of Puffins nest on the island, taking advantage of the rich feeding grounds in the surrounding seas.


    • Rauðaskriða
    • Private Bathroom
    • 1 pers: €1249
    • 2 pers: €2499
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    • Rauðaskriða
    • Shared Bathroom
    • 1 pers: €1090
    • 2 pers: €2180
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    • Bjorg
    • Shared Bathroom
    • 1 pers: €1049
    • 2 pers: €2099
    • Book