Birds’ Paradise

In the mouth of the fjord Fáskrúðfjörður lies the island Skrúður. The island is one big rock made of basalt and acid volcanic rock that rises 160 meters out of the sea. The island belongs to the Vattarnes land and was protected in 1995; it is 530 meters wide and 590 meters long. Over the centuries, there has been a lot of egg harvesting in Skrúður, as 18 species of birds nest on the island. The number of birds is in the hundreds of thousands. There are, for example, 300,000 puffins in Skrúður alone. It is the most common nesting bird together with the gannet, which did not start nesting on the island until 1943. Fulmar and black-legged kittiwake are also common nesting birds on Skrúður. On the island is a remarkable cave, Skrúðhellir. It is estimated at around 4000 m², 125 meters long, and 80 meters wide at its widest point. Many puffins nest in the cave. Decades ago, fishermen sailed from Skrúður and between rowing tours, they stayed in the cave.


The gannet settlement on the east side of Skrúður


Skrúður Island in all its glory

Looking at Skrúðhellir

At the highest point of Skrúður, looking towards the country.

Gannets in flight

Súlubyggðin í Skrúð

Fáskrúðsfjörður 23/07/2022 : A7C, A7R III, A7R IV : FE 1.4/24mm GM, FE 1.2/50mm GM, FE 1.8/135 GM

Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson