Mývatn – Aðaldalur

Leaving Mývatn over the highlands at Mývatnsheiði on road 1 you soon reach a relatively large lake, Másvatn, close to the road which almost always hosts a pair of Great Northern Divers. A short stop at a small roadside lake near the farm Narfastaðir might also produce some good birds. Another interesting stop might be to view the small pond and wetlands just north of the farm Hólar near Laugar. To get there you need to make a short (500 m) detour on road 846 towards Laugar as the pond is hardly visible from road 1. When back on road 845 look for birds around lake Vestmannsvatn (5) in particular. Great Northern Divers are usually found on the lake along with several Slavonian Grebes and a variety of ducks. Continue on road 845, take a right turn on to road 854 towards Laxárvirkjun. Look for Goosander on the river Laxá around the bridge at Laxárvirkjun.

Then follow road 854 north along the river Laxá until you reach a sign for the farm Hraun (6), take a left turn there towards the farm. On a small pond by the farm you can often get close views of most of the region’s duck species, including Barrow’s Goldeneye and Harlequin Duck. This location might therefore be of particular interest for bird photographers. A marked trail guides you to the side of the pond where it is best to observe the birds. When you continue northwards from Hraun, scan the river Daufhylur along the road for more chances of Barrow’s Goldeneye and other ducks. Make a right turn back on road 845 towards Húsavík and continue until a sign points you north to the farms at Sandur and Sílalækur (7). Scan the wetlands at Sandur and Sílalækur from the road only. There you should be able to find many wetland species, including Common Scoter and possibly the odd Northern Shoveler. Red-necked Phalaropes are common in this area. The flat land north of lake Miklavatn holds a large Arctic Tern colony, which is unfortunately hardly visible from the road between the farms. The local farmers at Sandur offer an interesting drive through their wetlands for birdwatching. Go back to road 85 and on to Húsavík.