Birdwatching in Garður

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. Seabirds  Currents meet in the sea off Garðsskagi and there is always an abundance of seabirds, in flight along the coast, on their way into or out of Faxaflói bay or searching for food offshore. This is one of the best places to see several species of seabirds, for example Manx Shearwater are seen throughout the summer and Storm Petrels (Hydrobates pelagicus) and Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus gravis) are seen in late summer.
. Passage migrants, migration periods. Garðsskagi sees the large passage of migrant birds and the peninsula is often the first place migrants arrive in Iceland. However, passage is dependent on the wind direction. Waders frequent the shoreline and search for food amongst the piles of seaweed. Some migrants stop over on their way between wintering grounds in Europe and Africa and breeding grounds in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic. Large numbers of geese pass through the area but usually stop briefly or fly straight over. Amongst the rarer but regular passage migrants are Merlin (Falco columbarius), Pomarine Skua (Stercorarius pomarinus) and Lapland Bunting (Calcarius lapponicus).
. Breeders. A wide range of birds breed at Garður and on the Suðurnes peninsula. Arctic Tern and Common Eider are the most common breeders and many other species breed inland in the variety of habitats found there. There are several birdcliffs in the area, including Hólmsberg, Hafnaberg, Eldey and Krísuvíkurberg.
. Winter visitors The sea surrounding the Suðurnes peninsula is the warmest in Iceland, and the shallow areas and the shoreline attract large numbers of birds during the winter. Common Eider is the most abundant species but Cormorant, Shag, various gulls, Mallard, Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis), various waders and Snow Buntings are common winter visitors.
. Vagrants Many rare vagrant birds have been seen around Garðsskagi. Birds blown off their migration routes through North America and Europe sometimes reach land here. Every year several more species are added to the Icelandic bird list, and several have been found at Garðsskagi. Among others are Black-winged Pratincole (Glareola nordmanni), White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis) and Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas).

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