With a range of different landscapes and many different terrains within easy reach, Húsavík is an excellent base from which to explore Iceland’s ornithology. Following is a summary of each locale, but you can also explore the region as a whole on eBird’s Hotspot Explorer or following the different birding trails. To increase the likeliness of spotting rare species take an experienced guide with you or book a scheduled tour.
By the Lakes
The lakes of Botnsvatn and Kaldbakstjarnir are serene places to take a picnic or a short walk and enjoy the midday sun. Typical birds at the lakes include Great Northern Divers, Horned Grebes, Mergansers, Whooper Swans and Tufted Ducks.
View sightings at Lake Kaldbakstjarnir
View sightings at Lake Botnsvatn
Above the Cliffs at GeoSea
Great for clearing the cobwebs, head north and take a brisk walk across the cliff tops towards the lighthouse. Typical coastal birds here are Fulmars, Kittiwake, Great-Black-Backed Gulls, Golden Plovers and Arctic Tern.
View coastal sightings
Out at sea, if you visit Lundey Island with one of the town’s popular boat trips, you can see our local Puffin colony. On whale watching trips, you are likely to see plenty of Fulmars and a variety of Guillemots. If you are lucky, Skuas or Gannets may also fly close.
View Shaky Bay sightings
By the Harbour
Húsavík´s cosy harbour area in front of the old pub, is a pleasant place to watch birds whilst you´re having a drink. Dotted amongst the vintage wooden schooners you can see Long Tailed Ducks, Mergansers, and Eider.
View harbour sightings
Feeding in a frenzy on the offal from the factories, you can find the lumpy-beaked Fulmar, the angelic Kittiwake and the impressive Great-Black-Backed Gull. Wading on the shores themselves are Redshanks, Turnstones, and Ring-Necked Plovers.
In the park you might be lucky enough to see a Harlequin Duck battling the current upstream, or the odd Wigeon hiding amongst the Mallards. Redwings and Redpoll are usually abundant and rare vagrants such as Waxwings can be seen at certain times of year.
View Húsavík Park sightings
The countryside to the east is a good place to see Ptarmigan, with Meadow Pipits and Wrens in the shrubs. As you walk across the heath, the weird sound of the Snipe drumming its tail feathers is unmistakable. Keep your eyes peeled for the graceful Bar-Tailed Godwit.
Further afield, Lake Mývatn is the sole breeding area in Europe for the Barrow’s Goldeneye. The variety of duck species here is well-renowned and there is a Bird Museum to make the most of it, offering telescopes and hides to get a closer look.
View Lake Mývatn sightings