Birding trails - Hraunsvík - Kleifarvatn

About place


Hraunsvík is a bird cliff east of Grindavík. Kittiwakes and Fulmars breed on the cliff, but seabirds, ducks, and marine mammals often catch prey very close to land.


Krýsuvíkurberg is by far the biggest bird cliff on the peninsula. It is about 20 minutes’ drive east of Grindavík. The drive from the main road down to the cliff is a rough 4x4 road, but it’s worth the walk in summer time. It takes 20-30 minutes to walk the entire cliff slowly. There are approximately 21,000 Black-Legged Kittiwakes, 20,000 Common Guillemots, 2,600  Brünnich's Guillemots and 8,700 Razorbills, few Northern Fulmars, European Shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), puffins, Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle),  Herring Gulls, and on top of the cliff are breeding Snow Buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis), and Purple Sandpipers (Calidris maritima).

Krýsuvík and Kleifarvatn

Krýsuvík is a geothermal area on the way to Reykjavík. In that area you can find a few lakes, Grænavatn, Arnarvatn, and Kleifarvatn. There you can find breeding water birds such as Great Northern Diver, Whooper Swans, Greylag Goose (Anser anser), Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca), Mallard and a few pairs of Goosander (Mergus merganser). In the fields and the mountains you can find the same meadow breeding birds that breed inland on the peninsula varying according to the vegetation: Golden Plovers, Meadow Pipits, Common Redshanks, Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago), Whimbrels, Northern Wheatear, and occasional Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa), Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Arctic Skua, Great Skua, and Red-necked Phalarope.