Húsavík area

When approaching Húsavík, stop at the rest area just east of the bridge over the river Laxá. The wide stretch of river beneath the bridge, called Mýrarvatn (8), generally hosts a nesting pair of Great Northern Divers, several Common Scoters and many Common Eiders. A dirt road towards the sea along the east side of Laxá river gives good views of one of the largest Common Eider colonies in Iceland and of the other birds found in the area. Stop at the parking lot close to the waterfall and walk further along this dirt road until you reach the sea cliffs of Ærvíkurbjarg (9) which are always worth checking. King Eiders can sometimes be found there on the sea in flocks of Common Eiders. Northern Fulmars nest in these cliffs and can be seen at close range on the nest and in flight.

Back on road 85, continue towards Húsavík and take a left turn towards the small lake at Kaldbakur (10), just south of Húsavík. The lake hosts a nesting pair of unusually tame Great Northern Divers together with a good variety of wetland birds. Look closely at the flocks of Black-headed Gulls and Arctic Terns that sometimes include rarities like Little Gull or even Ross’s Gull. Accommodation is offered close to the lake, and it is an ideal spot for birdwatchers. It is also usually worth scanning the gulls in the harbour of Húsavík (11), particularly south of the harbour. Single Iceland Gulls are usually seen there during summer most years among the more common gulls. Sanderling and Red Knot are common on the sandy beach south of the harbour in late May and early June. Several rarities have turned up in the harbour area over the years, including adult Ross’s Gull quite frequently at the end of May and in early June. Húsavík is the centre of whalewatching tourism in Iceland and hence several boat trips are available daily. Birdwatchers should particularly look for trips to Flatey island (12), which has good numbers of birds and an accessible Puffin colony. Puffin trips are also offered close to Lundey, (“Puffin island”), to see the large Puffin colony.