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A new bird trail in North Iceland

06-04-2009 02:59 PM CET | Tourism, Cars, Traffic

Press release from: Heritage Destination Consulting

/ PR Agency: HDC Ltd
Birdwatching in Iceland

Birdwatching in Iceland

An old legend of the siblings gyrfalcon and ptarmigan, myriads of Brunnich's guillemots and puffins in black seacliffs, the melancholic cry of the great northern diver, wriggling groups of busy waders in their summerdresses, the magnificent dives of gannets and one of the greatest and most varied breeding grounds of ducks in the world. Those are examples of experiences bird watchers can expect on a new bird trail now being develeloped in North Iceland.

More species of ducks breed at Lake Myvatn in North Iceland than anywhere else in the world and the lake has long been a popular travel destination among bird watchers. Fewer know however that there are a great number of other places in North Iceland to watch the artic bird fauna of Iceland. A new arctic bird trail, focusing on the coast of North Iceland, is now being developed by the regional development agency in the area, in collaboration with tourism service providers. The project is part of a national effort among service providers and governmental agencies to introduce international tourists to possibilities of bird watching in Iceland and to attract more bird watchers to Iceland.

Raudinupur (Red Cliff) is an ancient volcano protruding 73 m out of the surrounding plain of Melrakkasletta peninsula. It has served as an important landmark for sea-farers through the centuries. The cliff and the surrounding area is rich with bird life and those who ascend it are offered great panoramic views. Raudinupur is among destinations on the new bird trail. The artic tern aggressively greets every guest heading to Raudinupur. The ptarmigan quietly sneaks between the tussocks with its many chicks and tries not to draw the attention of the gyrfalcon which frequently watched the bird life from the edge of the crater. An old Icelandic legend has it that the gyrfalcon and ptarmigan are siblings, but a spell was cast on the falcon not to recognize the ptarmigan as his sister, until he eats her heart, and then he cries.

At Raudinupur, bird watchers will also see all the black birds of Iceland: Brünnich's guillemot, guillemot, razorbilled auk, black guillemot, puffin and on occasion one will spot the highly artic species of little auk, though it does not breed in Iceland. Other common birds in the cliff are fulmar and kittiwake. Two pillars rise from the sea, close to the cliff. Those are breeding grounds of gannet, queen of the sea.

In development of the North Iceland bird trail, emphasis has been put on improving access to bird watching places and to publish information material, on signs and in booklets. Tourists in the area can choose from diverse accommodation and other services. As an example, the town of Husavik is a center of whale watching tours, in which there is a good chance to spot a blue whale.

Due to the current favourable exchange rate of the Icelandic currency, travelling to Iceland has never been more economical. Iceland is closer than many think and flight time from London is as short as 3 hours. There are direct daily flights to Iceland from Europe, UK, US and Canada with Icelandair and Iceland Express. Frequent scheduled flights and buses run daily between the capital of Reykjavik and Northern Iceland.

Gavia Travel ( is a ground tour operator in Iceland specializing in Nature and Wildlife. All tours are designed and guided by a team of experts.

For further information, please contact:
Hrafn Svavarsson, Managing Director
Tel: +354 511 3939

Gavia Travel
Alfaheidi 44
IS-200 Kopavogur

Hrafn Svavarsson, Managing Director
Tel: +354 511 3939

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