Iceland Road Guide

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Iceland Road Guide

Your key to Iceland in one handy volume. Iceland's entire road system, including the highlands and all mountain roads, plus its geography, culture and history. Easy to use for travel in either direction.

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8. Höfn to Skaftafell

See also Discover Iceland  >  Galleries  >  Seabirds
and Discover Iceland  >  Nature  >  Fauna  >  Birds
and Discover Iceland  >  Galleries  >  Puffins

In this region, vast sands alternate with cultivated land, mires and bogs. Along the coast, there are many lakes, ponds and sea lagoons and numerous rivers, some of them quite large, run into the sea. The most conspicuous birds in this region are numerous species of marshland bird, such as the whooper swan, ducks, wading birds and, of course, arctic terns and black-headed gulls. In spring, it is common for migratory birds to be spotted first in this region as they arrive in Iceland. Stray birds are also common guests in the migration season. The migratory path of the barnacle goose lies over the southeast of Iceland and in recent years some of these birds have nested there. In Iceland, the main nesting site for the great skua is on Breiðamerkursandur. Other bird species also nest there, including the skua and loom. Looms can be seen on ponds along the road over the sand. At Ingólfshöfði, a boulder mull down by the seashore, there is quite an abundant puffin colony and also many great skuas and other sea birds. In recent years, there has also been evidence of a colony of leach's petrel. The National Park at Skaftafell is an oasis of vegetation surrounded by glaciers and black sands. In the birch wood, the happy sounds of thrush and wren can be heard and up on the Skaftafellsheiði one can see ptarmigans or snow buntings.

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