Subarctic Birdlife – Iceland – 2017

Overview

It’s a country that’s been in the headlines more than ever in recent years with collapsing banks and erupting volcanoes, but it’s also an amazing place for both landscape and bird photography. The birds will be our prime focus with Lake Myvatn and its specialities such as Harlequin Duck and Slavonian Grebe, iceberg filled lagoons teeming with breeding Arctic Terns, Eider Duck and Common Seals; plus extraordinarily approachable breeding waders such as Golden Plover and Red-necked Phalarope and hopefully Red-Throated and Great Northern Diver all high on our target list. On the way we’ll find waterfalls, glaciers and mud pools, just part of the amazing living island that makes up this extraordinary country and all fantastically photogenic as well.

Itinerary Open +Close -

Day 1: Our flights should bring us into Keflavik airport during the course of the afternoon. Once we have checked out we will head straight to the small town of Selfoss where we will be staying for the 3 nights. If the weather conditions are good we will look at going out that evening to a location for some late photography looking for red throated diver, red necked phalarope and whooper swan.

Days 2-3: For the duration of this trip we are governed by the weather conditions throughout so although the overall shape of the itinerary is determined by our accommodation reservations and the travelling between them will obviously shape things as well, the itinerary could change at any time and we need to be flexible to make the most of our photographic opportunities. Our main focus in this area though is the nearby location where we will look to work with red-throated divers and red-necked phalaropes.

Day 4: After a final mornings photography we will head east along the coast road to our base for the next 3 nights at a small settlement on the south of the island. There will be some landscape opportunities en route and after checking in and having an early dinner weather willing we will head out on our first evening to the nearby lagoon, which will be our main focus during our time here.

Days 5-6: We will again be looking for an early start as our focus for our time here is the stunning glacial lagoon and black sand beaches of Jokulslaron, and it will be at its best at the respective ends of the day.  As well as the stunning setting itself, the lagoon is home to arctic terns who will be pairing up at this time of year, eider ducks, common seal, snow bunting and possibly harlequin ducks too.  If the weather does allow early and late finishes then we will be sure to rest in the middle part of the day.

Day 7: After a final morning at Jokulsarlon we will undertake the long drive northwest to Lake Myvatan where we will be based for the next 4 nights.

Days 8-10: Lake Myvatn is the mecca for birds in Iceland and we’ve timed the trip for the early part of the breeding season, which should see the most colourful plumage and the least amount of midges! Working from a combination of portable hides we’ll be setting up on a small pool area, bag hides at the water’s edge and low level approaches we’ll be targeting slavonian grebe, great northern diver, harlequin duck, barrows goldeneye, long-tailed duck, red-necked phalarope and many other similar species during our 5 mornings and 5 evenings of photography here.  There are some stunning landscape opportunities at nearby boiling mud pools and lava fields that we’ll also look to take advantage of during our stay.

Day 11: After a final morning around Lake Myvatan we will undertake the long drive back to Keflavik for our final night in Iceland.

Day 12: An early short hop to the airport for our return flights.

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What our customers say

“I saw the images of Iceland on Danny’s blog from last year and thought that it would be a great place to visit from a wildlife photography point of view.”

“With time to reflect it was an amazing experience. Tough with long days and little sleep but well worth it.”

“Quite a different country to previous trips and interested to see how it compared with the real arctic.”

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What our customers say

“I saw the images of Iceland on Danny’s blog from last year and thought that it would be a great place to visit from a wildlife photography point of view.”

“With time to reflect it was an amazing experience. Tough with long days and little sleep but well worth it.”

“Quite a different country to previous trips and interested to see how it compared with the real arctic.”

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