Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/32264
To determine the species composition and fluctuation in bird numbers through the most part of one breeding season, birdlife was observed weekly in three Important Bird Areas* in the southern part of West Iceland during late spring and early summer of 2016. These areas, within the town of Akranes, and the municipalities Hvalfjarðarsveit and Borgarbyggð were subdivided into 15 individual sites.
The ecosystems in these sites were often a combination of freshwater, brackish, or marine environments. Bird species composition in different areas depended mainly on the habitat type of the area, and the characteristics of specific sites. Most abundant species were ducks, geese and swans (Anatidae) **, followed by waders, gulls and relatives. Passerine birds and raptors were present in low numbers. Most of the recorded species breed and nest in Iceland, but some passage migrants, vagrants and wintering guests were also seen. A total of 21,687 birds were seen and 49 species were recorded, of them 43 breeds regularly in Iceland. The numbers of birds were slightly lower in early June than in late May and late June.
All areas were well accessible. Roads are either paved or gravel, and offer in most areas relatively good infrastructure for motorized birding. Walking is also possible in some areas where traffic is low, but getting to a starting point by car is still necessary. Most areas have the potential for increase in bird watching visitors, but some would require adaptations or conservation measures.
The results bring valuable insight into the species composition and distribution in several very important bird habitats in Iceland. Because some of the sites have previously been little studied, the obtained data has value for further studies and gives grounds for recreational birdwatching.
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