Local Icelandic toplister Yann Kolbeinsson took us on a trip to Melrakkasletta situated on the peninsular to the northeast of Husavik. The area has a high density of breeding waders and ducks. The area is also one of the best areas to find rarities in this part of the country. Firstly we stopped in Husavik where we saw a female King Eider (one of two regular females). On our way to Asbyrgi we stopped to see a pair of Gyr Falcons from a distance before going for a little walk at Asbyrgi where the local subspecies of Eurasian Wren is easily encountered. The little pond at the end of the trail had a pair of Barrows Goldeneyes.
On Melrakkasletta the birdlife was amazing. The beaches and salt marshes still held waders on their way to Greenland (Knots, Dunlins, Plovers and Turnstones) mixed in with the local Purple Sandpipers, Whimbrels, Redshanks and Phalaropes. Most lakes had either Great Northern –or Red-throated Diver on them as well as loads of ducks (LTD is common here). Great – and Arctic Skua are both common but a passing Long-tailed Skua was a rare sight (1-2 breeding pairs in Iceland). A Ring-necked Duck have spent the summer in a small lake on the north-western tip of the peninsular for many years and was seen (the long-staying Steller’s Eider has not been seen since early January). We did not visit the bird cliffs as we only had limited time (Thick-billed Murre easy here).
|10/6 Melrakkasletta. Back for another summer.|
|10/6 Melrakkasletta. Several males came to a small pool during my 20 minutes there.|
|10/6 Melrakkasletta. A rare sight in Iceland.|
|10/6 Melrakkasletta. Probably on its way to Greenland.|
|10/6 Melrakkasletta. A common sight here. Subspecies Insulae. Note the brownish areas on the head and rump|
|10/6 Common breeding bird on Melrakkasletta. Dont think I've ever seen them in breeding plumage before.|