In the capital and its
vicinity, there are several good places for observing birds.
The centre of the town has a lake, where may ducks can be seen,
and this is also the only capital city in the world, which has a
colony of arctic terns in its centre.
The visitor will not need to stay long in the own before he/she
hears the melodious song of the redwing.
In fact, this song will follow him/her in most places
throughout the country.
passerine, the redpoll, has in recent years become a common nesting
bird in the capital. White
wagtails are also found in the town.
In the last 30-40 years starlings have increased enormously in
Reykjavik and the surrounding area.
During the breeding season, the harbour of Reykjavik is not
especially good for birds, but later, the number of gulls
increases and then, in October
and November, when the Iceland gulls arrive from Greenland,
it is possible to see as many as eight species there as well
as flocks of eider ducks.
A little west of the town is a point called Seltjarnarnes,
which is a very good spot for shore birds in spring and autumn.
The most common shore birds are ringed plover, dunlin, purple
sandpiper and, among passage migrants, knot, turnstone and sanderling.
Birds of the last three species can be seen throughout the
Not very far from
Reykjavik, on the Reykjanes peninsula, are two bird cliffs, Hafnaberg
and Krysuvikurbjarg, on which all the typical cliff birds are
represented, namely shag, herring- and glaucous gulls, kittiwake,
razorbill, puffin, guillemot and Brünnich’s guillemot.
Black guillemots are found under boulders at the bottom of most
of the sea cliffs and also in crevices.
On Reykjanes, grey phalaropes nested near the village
Sandgerdi, while purple sandpipers and snow buntings also breed on the
barren plain behind it. Not
far away, at the lighthouse on Gardskagi, is Iceland’s only bird
observatory. There are
many puffins, black guillemots and other sea birds on the isles on the
bay north of the capital.
Along the highway, west
from Reykjavik, fulmars have settled in the steep cliffs of the
mountains; indeed, these birds are found on almost every cliff around
the coast and also far away from it, further inland.