About 50 km from
Reykjavik and only a short distance from the main road, Lake
Medalfellsvatn has whooper swans and great northern divers and, at the
outlet, harlequin ducks. On
the Whale Bay many shore birds, eiders and gulls can be seen.
Multitudes of gulls, mainly greater black-backed-, lesser
black-backed, glaucous-, and black-headed gulls and also fulmars nest
in the area.
The fertile lowlands of
the Borgarfiord District have most of the common nesting birds of the
country. In recent years
the black-tailed godwit has invaded the area and has become a common
nesting bird. On the
islets off the coast north of the Borgarfiord Bay, many species of sea
birds, such as shags and cormorants nest.
From the mouth of the bay to the Snaefell Peninsula the
seashore is mostly sandy, and at low tide, extensive mud and sand
flats emerge. These flats are inhabited by countless flocks of knots,
turnstones, sanderlings, dunlins and ringed plovers. In the migration season, when passage migrants are mixed with
summer visitors, the sand flats seem to be alive with birds.
The oystercatcher is a
typical nesting bird on the seashore in this part of the country.
Grey phalaropes nest on the island Hjorsey, not far from the
coast. Here also brent
geese on passage can be seen in considerable numbers, mainly where
eel-grass occurs; on the adjacent lowlands white-fronted geese are
common migrants in spring and autumn.
Barnacle geese are also seen on passage in this area.
Short-eared owls are found here in
suitable places, but they
are not common. Near the south coast of the Snaefell Peninsula, just east of
Budir, there are several small lakes with rich bird life.
From the roadside one can see great northern divers,
red-throated divers, many different ducks, slavonian grebes, several
colonies of black-backed gulls, arctic terns, red-necked phalaropes
and many more.
Stapi and Hellnar are
good places for kittiwakes and in any case are worth visiting for the
spectacular scenery and lava formations.
On the tip of the peninsula are two cliffs with kittiwakes,
fulmars, guillemots and Brünnich’s guillemots.
Near the villages Hellissandur and Rif, just below the glacier
Snaefellsjokull, is one of the largest terneries in Iceland.
On the northern side of
the Snaefell Peninsula, in the Grundarfiord region, there
are colonies of glaucous gulls on the cliffs, while on the
island Melrakkaey on the bay, the glaucous gulls actually
nest on the ground.
The Breidafiord Bay has
many small islands with abundant bird life, particularly large
populations of shags and cormorants, and grey phalaropes nested on
some of them. The best
way to get to those islands is by boat from one of the fishing towns.
White-tailed eagles are frequently spotted in this area.
North of the Hvammsfiord Bay, in the cliffs of Klofningur, are
large colonies of glaucous gulls.
Click the map for
further information or below
& Tvidaegra Moorlands