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Welcome to the website of the Icelandic Club 200


A bit of history...

In the late 1980's, Icelandic birders argued about the possibility of seeing 200 species in Iceland. Shortly after, the late Hálfdán Björnsson managed to reach the 200 level. Since then a total of at least 36 birders have managed to join the Club 200 and discussions of the establishment of Club 300 have risen. The Icelandic Club 200 follows taxonomy of the IOC World Bird List.

Icelandic "blockers"

The Icelandic list includes several species that very few birders have seen in Iceland and which only one member of the Club 200 has managed to see.
- Most of the blockers (9 of 14 in total) are held by the late Hálfdán Björnsson; Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides, Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla, Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris, Pechora Pipit Anthus gustavi, Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina, Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea, Pine Bunting Emberiza leucocephalos, Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola and Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala.
- Two blockers are held by Björn G. Arnarson; White's Thrush Zoothera dauma and Yellow-headed Blackbird Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus.

- Brynjúlfur Brynjólfsson, Erling Ólafsson and Örn Óskarsson all have got one blocker; Pacific Swift Apus pacificus, Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris and Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula respectively.



Björn G. Arnarson - 337 species

Website: Félag fuglaáhugamanna Hornafirði

Latest additions: Eurasian Dotterel, Cape May Warbler, American Redstart

Gunnar Þór Hallgrímsson - 330 species

I was born in Reykjavík 1979 and started regular birding with a support and encouragement from my father (club 200 member Hallgrimur Gunnarsson) when I was nine. My first rarity was Barn Swallow in 1988 and the thrill and enjoyment of seeing rarities has remained ever since. I'm a member of the Icelandic Rarities Committee and my favourite rarities are small passerines – especially genera Acrocephalus, Iduna and Hippolais.

I work with birds on a daily basis at University of Iceland where I hold position of Associate Professor in Zoology. My job has brought me into various exciting fields of ornithology.

Species number 200 on my Icelandic list was Pomarine Skua. This milestone in my life happened when a flock of 5-600 birds were seen on 5th May 1999 – 10 days before my 20th birthday.

Website: …in progress

Latest additions: European Stonechat, Northern Harrier, Eurasian Dotterel


Brynjúlfur Brynjólfsson - 329 species

I was born in Reykjavík in 1964 but grew up in Húsavík. I've been interested in birds for as long as I can remember and from about 1980 the interest began to grow and nowadays I go looking for birds 365 days a year. In 1991 I moved to Höfn í Hornafirði and have lived there ever since. South-east Iceland is a fascinating area for anyone interested in birds, not least vagrant birds. I passed the much-wanted 200 mark a few years after moving to Höfn and have now set my sights on reaching 300 within the next ten years.

In 1999 I was one of the people responsible for getting off the ground and have been the webmaster of this site ever since. In 2003 preparations for a bird observatory got underway and the dream became reality on 14 March 2005 and I've been a member of the observatory team ever since.

I'm interested in all kinds of birds (except seeing penguins in Iceland). One of my main ambitions for years was to see an Avocet in Iceland and when I reported four birds together in Höfn in the spring of 2004 most people thought I'd lost the plot, as there had only been a single previous record from 1954. I also enjoy bird photography and since 1985 (the year in which I saw my 100th species, Barnacle Goose) I have photographed 233 species, in addition to several subspecies, of the 302 I have seen in total in Iceland. Birds I have found and photographed include Pied-billed Grebe, Laughing Gull, Semipalmated Plover, Avocet, Olive-backed Pipit, Thrush Nightingale and Blyth's Reed Warbler.

Website: Félag fuglaáhugamanna Hornafirði

Latest additions: Cape May Warbler, American Redstart, Black-winged Pratincole

Yann Kolbeinsson - 327 species

I was born in 1979, in Southern France. Since then I have lived in Iceland although I return to the Mediterranean area nearly annually for a short break. Started birding around the age of twelve with my first rarity being a Bohemian Waxwing in 1991. Outside Iceland and France, I've visited some of the best birding areas in North America and trips in the Western Palearctic include Spain, Turkey, Georgia, Po Delta in Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the UK. Elsewhere I've also been to Ecuador, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Cape Verde and Thailand.

In the past I have worked on the habitat selection and ecology of phalaropes nesting in Iceland but currently I am working at the Northeast Iceland Nature Research Centre in Húsavík where the focus is on monitoring bird populations in northeast Iceland as well as studying the non-breeding movements of multiple species; Horned Grebe, Northern Fulmar, Manx Shearwater, Red-necked Phalarope, Black-legged Kittiwake, Common & Brünnich's Guillemots and Razorbills.

I'm currently a member of the Icelandic Rarities Committee.

Websites: Birding Iceland (and on facebook), My images

Latest additions: Northern Harrier, Eurasian Dotterel, Cape May Warbler

World list (IOC): 2907 species (last addition: White-cheeked Pintail)

Sigmundur Ásgeirsson - 323 species

Latest additions: European Stonechat, Eurasian Dotterel, Northern Harrier

World list: 1936 species (last addition: Least Bittern)

Hallgrímur V. Gunnarsson - 312 species

Latest additions: European Stonechat, Northern Harrier, Eurasian Dotterel

Gunnlaugur Pétursson - 309 species

Latest additions: Red-flanked Bluetail, Eurasian Dotterel, Cape May Warbler
Gunnlaugur Þráinsson - 298 species

Latest additions: Red-flanked Bluetail, Cape May Warbler, American Redstart

World list: 1291 species (last addition: Florida Scrub-Jay)

Hálfdán Björnsson - 294 species

14 March 1927 – 10 February 2017

Hálfdán Björnsson of Kvísker in south-east Iceland passed away a month shy of his 90th birthday. Hálfdán was a self-taught naturalist and was held in the highest regard by ornithologists and birdwatchers in Iceland. During his time Hálfdán found no fewer than 50 new species or subspecies for Iceland, all but 12 of them on his farm Kvísker! In the early days Kvísker was like an oasis, being the only vegetated area in a heavily glaciated part of south-east Iceland and the farm was a magnet for vagrant birds. The first species he added to the Icelandic list was Song Thrush some time between 1934 and 1938, when he was around 10 years old, and the final new addition to the list was American Cliff Swallow in 1992. Nine of the species Hálfdán found have yet to be recorded again in Iceland.

It was amazing to see the joie de vivre and energy radiated by Hálfdán every time you visited his farm. He raced up the slopes like a mountain goat and it was sometimes difficult to keep pace even when he was in his 80s. It was an honour and privilege to have known this great scholar and naturalist who at the age of 88, in 2015, still got to add to his Icelandic life list the three species listed below.

Last additions: Mediterranean Gull, Sabine's Gull, Ross's Goose

Ingvar Atli Sigurðsson - 293 species

Latest additions: European Stonechat, Eurasian Dotterel, Northern Harrier

Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson - 291 species

I became interested in birds as a child and the interest survived puberty. For more than three decades or so I have worked entirely on birds, both as a photographer and an ornithologist. I don’t look at myself as a birder and I hate chasing small warblers or other LBJ’s in other people’s gardens. As a golden rule, I only travel 1 km to twitch 1g of bird. It means that if a 30g rarity is seen somewhere, it must be closer than 30 km from my home for me to bother to go for it. However, it is an honour to be in this group of passionate birders.

In recent years, a lot of my birding has taken place in foreign countries, and I have been travelling to many corners of the earth. I have been working on conservation for years and I was a chairman of BirdLife Iceland (Fuglavernd), which is the Icelandic member of BirdLife International, for 20 years. My bird photos have been published in magazines, books, papers, exhibitions and websites all over the world. My main work is the bestselling Icelandic Bird Guide (see

Websites: and

Latest additions: Black Redstart, Eurasian Dotterel, Cape May Warbler

World list: 1634 species (last addition: Eurasian Dotterel)

Edward Barry Rickson - 287 species

I was born in 1972 in Manchester, England but have been settled in Iceland since 1997. Although generally interested in birds and wildlife as a child it wasn't until I came to live in Iceland that I began to spend more and more time looking in people's gardens and walking across seaweed-strewn beaches searching for birds. I'd describe myself as a very keen birder, but not a serious birder, as I actually enjoy it. My birding ambition is to overtake Yann on his world list and see the Black Grasswren of Western Australia, preferably at the same time. My Iceland list has been increasing at glacial speed since my twin daughters were born in May 2007. I've birded throughout Iceland, my favourite area being Snæfellsnes and Mývatn in late May, Látrabjarg and Flatey in June. My favourite bird here is Red Phalarope. I've been on birding holidays to Greenland, Spain, Kenya and the United States and seen plenty of birds on non-birding/family trips to Australia, Singapore, the United States, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, the Netherlands, Tenerife and England.

Website: Icelandic Birding Diary

Latest additions: European Stonechat, Eurasian Dotterel, Northern Harrier

World list:
1643 species (last addition: Eurasian Dotterel)

Alex Máni Guðríðarson - 282 species

Latest additions: European Stonechat, Tree Pipit, Eurasian Dotterel

Stefán Áki Ragnarsson - 277 species

Latest additions: Northern Harrier, Eurasian Dotterel, Cape May Warbler

Daníel Bergmann - 276 species

I'm a nature photographer that became interested in birds through photography. The excitement of seeing and photographing new species led me into the world of rare birds and my first rarity in Iceland was a Red Kite in 1999. Species number 200 was a Common Kestrel, which was enjoyable since my main interest is in birds of prey. My photography can be seen at

Latest additions: Laughing Gull, Eurasian Dotterel, Northern Harrier

Gaukur Hjartarson - 273 species

I was born in Húsavík in 1965, where I have lived more or less since. I am a civil engineer working for the municipality of Húsavík. I did get most of my education in Iceland, but spent just more than a year with my masters degree in Seattle, Washington, USA. I started birding young and soon became interested in rare birds. First rarities remembered were a Turtle Dove in 1970 and some Bohemian Waxwings in 1974. I am an active birdwatcher doing most of my birding in vicinity of Húsavík and at Melrakkaslétta - the NE-corner of Iceland. I have never been much of a twitcher until last year when I went to see most of the highlights.

My Icelandic species list is "only" at 273 at the moment, far less than other active birdwatchers that I have been birding with. I have also done a little bit of birding in my holidays abroad (USA, Spain and France). I also like to take pictures of the birds I see, and just recently bought me good equipment for that part of my hobby.

Latest additions: Eurasian Hoopoe, Cape May Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo

World list (Clements): 1406 species (last addition: Lanceolated Warbler)

Guðmundur Hjörtur Falk - 273 species

I was born in Ísafjörður in NW Iceland on 18 September 1965 and moved to Keflavík when I was just six months old and grew up there. Travelling has been big part of my life from the beginning and nature has been important to me since I was a small boy. My favorite birding spot was my playground when I was around 10 years old, and all the shorelines around my hometown were also big part of my childhood and shaped my lifelong interest in nature. I walked all the moorland areas to see which birds nested there and to look at the eggs, as I was captivated by the pattern and color of the eggs of all the different species. The first vagrant I took a photo of was Bonaparte’s Gull in July 2014 and since then I have mostly concentrated on bird photography although I have been a birder all my life.

Latest additions: Blue-winged Teal, Northern Harrier, Killdeer

Eyjólfur Vilbergsson - 263 species

Latest additions: Red-flanked Bluetail, Eurasian Dotterel, Northern Harrier

Erling Ólafsson - 262 species

Born 1949. Started birding in 1962 when the Icelandic translation of „The Birds of Britain and Europe“ became available. At first I was birding under the guidance of Dr. Finnur Guðmundsson, the dignified ornithologist at the Icelandic Museum of Natural History. First a relatively lone ranger in the field, later on a part of an active and enthusiastic birdwatching gang. In 1995 I mostly quitted birding to concentrate on my special field as researcher in entomology. I planned, probably, to start birding again when retiring from post in autumn 2019, as playing golf was not an issue. I am back to birding before schedule, having recovered the pleasurous feeling of watching new species! I was one of the founders of the bird magazine BLIKI (1983), member of the editorial board till 1995, member of the Icelandic Rarities Committee for years, author and co-author of annual rarities reports and special papers on different groups of vagrant birds in Iceland during the last century.

Website: Flickr page

Latest additions: Red-flanked Bluetail, Northern Harrier, Laughing Gull

Ómar Runólfsson - 260 species

Latest additions: Red-flanked Bluetail, Northern Harrier, American Redstart

Sigurjón Einarsson - 260 species

I was born in Reykjavík the summer of 1969. I spent every summer on a farm so nature is a big part of my life. I work for The Soil Conservation Service of Iceland and travel a lot around Iceland which is great for a birder. I started photographing birds in 2008 and soon after that I became interested in searching for vagrants.

Latest additions: European Stonechat, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Harrier

Sveinn Jónsson - 249 species

I was born in Reykjavík in 1967 and have been interested in birds and conservation ever since I was a child. The first bird I can remember was when I was 7 years old and I saw a Bohemian Waxwing in my neighbourhood and I had to find out myself what it was by using a bird book from the school library. After that there was no turning back and I started to watch birds. I soon learnt the names of all Icelandic birds and of the vagrants I saw in Reykjavík, mostly Fieldfares, Bohemian Waxwings, Blackbirds, Blackcaps and Rooks which used to show up regularly in winter wherever food was put out.

The interest was always there and when I was a teenager I went on trips with Árni Waag and joined the Icelandic Society for the Protection of Birds as it was known then. My best childhood friend Sindri Skúlason and his father Skúli Gunnarsson encouraged this interest. As soon as digital photography arrived on the scene, my interest in birds and everything connected to it just exploded and fortunately there's no end in sight. Birding and photography are a fantastic mix and there are so many exciting aspects to it.

Website: Flickr page

Latest additions: Red-flanked Bluetail, Eurasian Dotterel, Cape May Warbler

Örn Óskarsson - 248 species

Latest additions: Cape May Warbler, Semipalmated Plover, American Redstart

Sölvi Rúnar Vignisson - 245 species

I was born in the most beautiful part of the country, Akureyri in 1989. I have always had an interest in birds but I did not start birding until my first year in my masters 2013. I do study waders and littoral habitat along with seabirds and am currently working for the Suðurnes Science and Learning Center. My favorite species is without a doubt the Arctic Skua, my favorite birding moment was my 100th species, European Storm Petrel that I managed to get in a puffin net in Skrúður. I've just started going abroad on bird watching trips where the Western Cape is my most memorable trip!

Latest additions: Northern Harrier, Cape May Warbler, Semipalmated Plover

Hlynur Óskarsson - 245 species

I first remember gaining interests in birds while spending summers on a farm in Western Iceland. I often walked around the farmstead with my father and he would point out the various species in the vicinity. This interest was later further sparked by my biology teacher, Árni Waag; a keen bird watcher and a lover of nature in general. Bird watching has ever since been an interest of mine, and in my adulthood I have had the privilege of being able to travel widely abroad and in these travels I have taken every opportunity to watch birds and their fascinating habits.

Latest additions: Red-flanked Bluetail, Cape May Warbler, Semipalmated Plover

World list (IOC): 2089 species (last addition: Kea)

Sindri Skúlason - 238 species

My father Skúli Gunnarsson introduced me to bird watching when I was just a kid and that was the greatest gift I have ever received. By doing so he opened up a whole new world full of wonder and amazement that fascinated me right from the start. Later on he got me started in bird photography as well and it didn’t take long to realize that I was hooked. What started out as a hobby soon turned into a passion and these days I try to spend as much time as I can out in the wild photographing birds. It’s always exciting to see a new species and I must admit that I seem to be willing to drive longer distances each year for the chance of seeing a new vagrant. Not helping this trend are two good friends and fellow birders Sveinn Jónsson and Sigurjón Einarsson who are always ready to jump in a car and drive whatever distance necessary to see new species (well almost).

Latest additions: Red-flanked Bluetail, Cape May Warbler, American Redstart

Kjartan G. Magnússon - 228 species

Kjartan sadly passed away on the 13th of January 2006 at the age of 53 after a long illness. His work took him around the world and he was a pioneer world birder in the eyes of his Icelandic birding friends and held his record world birdlist until the very end. He will be fondly remembered as a passionate and enthusiastic birder and a friend to many.

Last additions: Black-throated Thrush, American Coot, Buff-bellied Pipit

World list: 1118 species (last addition: Black-throated Thrush)

Einar Ólafur Þorleifsson - 226 species

Latest additions: Glossy Ibis, Common Kingfisher, Two-barred Crossbill

Már Höskuldsson - 226 species

Latest additions: European Pied Flycatcher, Swainson's Thrush, Cape May Warbler

Ólafur Einarsson - 224 species

Latest additions: American Yellow Warbler, Glossy Ibis, Cackling Goose

Bjarni Sæmundsson - 224 species

Latest additions: Northern Harrier, Cape May Warbler, Semipalmated Plover

Sigurður Ægisson - 221 species

I'm an ethnozoologist and a theologian born in Siglufjörður, northern Iceland, on 21 September 1958 and living there now. I moved from there in 1974, when I went to school in Akureyri and later Reykjavík, but returned in 2001.

I've always been interested in birds. One of my first memories as a toddler is believing that the Whimbrel and the Golden Plover were a couple, the former the male and the latter the female. The truth was later revealed to me. My first vagrant was a Jackdaw (Corvus monedula), seen in my hometown when I was thirteen or fourteen; it was in winter. It was never reported, though, nor documented, as I didn't know the procedure at that time. The next one was a Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus), I saw it in a garden in Hafnarfjörður two meters away from me in winter 1979-1980, but it didn't get through, as my description was too thorough. I can't remember the third one. In the spring of 1980 I began ringing birds for the Icelandic institute of natural history and I'm still active.

In 1990 or so I started writing essays about Icelandic birds for newspapers, magazines and radio and they were transformed into a book in 1996, called Ísfygla; it was in Icelandic only. Six others have followed, on various subjects, among them another one on Icelandic birds (Icelandic trade with gyrfalcons: from medieval times to the modern era; in English only; published in 2015). As for articles in foreign magazines, I've written in co-operation with Ingvar Svanberg of Uppsala University: Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer) in circumpolar folk ornithology, published in 2005, and the Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle) in northern European folk ornithology, published on 2006. We are are now working on an article about the Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis).

On 19 April 2018 I systematically began looking for vagrants, having seen many through the years, but just as a bystander, and have been at it since, seeing no. 200, a Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus) in Sandgerði, Reykjanes peninsula, on 27 January 2020. The two species before that were a Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus), near Húsavík, northern Iceland, on 28 October 2019, and a Smew (Mergellus albellus) in Kópavogur harbour on 3 January 2020.

Latest additions: Laughing Gull, Eurasian Dotterel, American Redstart

Erpur Snær Hansen - 219 species

Latest additions: Eurasian Dotterel, American Redstart, Glossy Ibis

Kristinn Haukur Skarphéðinsson - 210 species

Latest additions: Red-necked Stint, American Coot, Hooded Merganser

Mikael Sigurðsson - 210 species

Latest additions: Tree Pipit, American Redstart, Glossy Ibis

Þorfinnur Sigurgeirsson - 206 species

I was born in Keflavík on April 6th, 1963. I’ve been involved with image making ever since I can remember. I was constantly drawing and coloring pictures as a child. Later, I started painting and taking photographs. I graduated as a graphic designer in 1987 and then moved to Montreal in Canada where I studied Fine Arts at Concordia University (1987–90). Over the years, I’ve taken many thousands of all kinds of photographs, made endless drawings and paintings, and held exhibitions in both Iceland and Canada.

My interest in birds came mostly through drawing and photography. I saw my first vagrant in Iceland in 2016, it was a Green-winged Teal. But after seeing the Black-winged Stilt in April 2017, my interest in bird photography has slowly become a big passion. It is always fun to see new species and try to photograph the birds, so chasing vagrants is taking more and more of my time these days.

Latest additions: Jack Snipe, Blue-winged Teal, Water Rail

Aðalsteinn Örn Snæþórsson - 204 species

Latest additions: Rosy Starling, Glossy Ibis, White-rumped Sandpiper

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