The extensive alluvial or
outwash plains (sander) of the eastern south coast, such as the
Breidamork and Skeidarar Plains, have the largest colonies of great
skuas in the northern hemisphere, and it is estimated, that there are
as many as 1500 pairs nesting on the former.
Indeed, great skuas and also arctic skuas and great
black-backed gulls can be found on all the larger sandy plains along
the south coast. The
headland Ingolfshofdi has yet another bird cliff, and there ordinary guillemots
far outnumber Brünnich’s guillemots.
The best place for vagrant species is certainly the Oraefi
District, which lies between the Breidamork and Skeidarar Plains.
West of the vast outwash
plains, in the Medalland District, are still some uncultivated, boggy
areas where the extinct water rail used to breed.
Close the village Vik, several large colonies of puffins are
found on grassy slopes. In
this district, the first lesser black-backed gulls were found nesting
in 1929. From there they
headland Dyrholaey, the southernmost tip of the country, boast of bird
cliffs and colonies of great black-backed-, lesser black-backed and
herring gulls, some gannets on the rock stacks in the sea to its
south, arctic terns and eiders. In
the cliffs one can expect to find puffins, Brünnich’s- and common
guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and kittiwakes.
The Westman Islands offer
much of interest. Besides
the myriads of cliff birds, this is the only place where manx
shearwaters, Leach’s petrels and storm petrels breed in Iceland.
On four of those 20 islands, gannets nest in fairly large
The extensive lowlands of
the south of Iceland have some interesting birds, although large areas
are cultivated. There
black-tailed godwits are common and at migration time, white-fronted-
and pink-footed geese abound mainly in the Landeyjar County.
Graylag geese are very common nesting birds all over the
lowlands. At the mouth of Rivers Thjorsa and Olfusa, on the south
coast, there are good places for gulls and shore birds.