The Birds

Trip Start Nov 10, 2007
Trip End Nov 15, 2009

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Flag of Iceland  , Westfjords,
Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I am convinced that Alfred Hitchcock was on Flatey. I saw people here wearing hardhats to protect themselves from aggressive arctic terns!  I am not kidding!  Okay, they're protecting their nestss, you can understand that of course.  And given that the island about 500 meters in diameter and the terns nest on the ground,where the unsuspecting sheep graze and, yes, they, too, are attacked by the angry terns,  it's not surprising that I was pecked at least three times (HARD!) on the head.  They could take a lesson from the puffins who nest on the cliffs - much more protected! 

That aside, Flatey was one of my favorite places in Iceland.  There are actually a few islands named Flatey in this country.  Apparently Icelanders tend to name places by describing them, hence Flatey: Flat Island.  Reykyavik: Smoky Bay (from the thermal steam), Husavik: Bay with Houses, Lundey: Puffin Island.  You get the idea.  To get to this Flatey, we took the ferry from Stykkishˇlmur.  Once again I was struck by culture shock after being in Peru and watching hundreds of men loading boats by hand...  Slightly different here!  The ferry crosses the Brei­afj÷­ur (Wide Fjord) with a top at Flatey.  The car stayed on the ferry and we would pick it up on the other shore of the fjord after our visit on Flatey.  The "town" is a 5 minute walk from the ferry pier and along the way we saw this fish drying rack and lots of redshanks and arctic terns. 

We settled in at the Hotel Flatey which was one of the more charming places we stayed in.  We had a nice view of the water and could watch the oystercatchers and eiders from our window. 

  We spent our time on Flatey wandering the trails and dodging arctic terns!  There are thousands!!!!  There are also lots of puffins, (!!!!!!) kittiwakes, red necked and grey phalaropes, and millions of eiders with ducklings.  Too cute!!!!  It's a great birding spot and a relaxing place to spend a couple of days. 

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Where I stayed
Hotel Flatey
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