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Welcome to the website of the Icelandic Club 200


A bit of history...

Fifteen years ago Icelandic birders argued about the possibility of seeing 200 species in Iceland. Shortly after, Hálfdán Björnsson managed to reach the 200 level. Since then a total of 25 birders have managed to join the Club 200 and discussions of the establishment of Club 300 have risen. Here below is a list of 25 of 26 Club 200 members in Iceland.

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 (15 of 21 in total) are held by Hálfdán Björnsson; Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides, Black-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus erythrophthalmus, Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla, Cliff Swallow Hirundo pyrrhonota, Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris, Pechora Pipit Anthus gustavi, Siberian Rubythroat Luscinia calliope, Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina, Lanceolated Warbler Locustella lanceolata, Parrot Crossbill Loxia pytyopsittacus, Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea, Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis, Pine Bunting Emberiza leucocephalos, Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola and Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala.
- Four blockers are held by Björn G. Arnarson; Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus, White's Thrush Zoothera dauma, Melodious Warbler Hippolais polyglotta and Yellow-headed Blackbird Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus.
- Örn Óskarsson, has got two blockers; Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major and Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula.

- Gunnlaugur Þráinsson and Brynjúlfur Brynjólfsson both have got one blocker; Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris and Pacific Swift Apus pacificus respectively.



Björn G. Arnarson - 324 species

Website: Félag fuglaáhugamanna Hornafirði

Latest additions: Black-winged Stilt, Red-necked Stint, Spotted Crake

Yann Kolbeinsson - 309 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: Subalpine Warbler, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Black-crowned Night Heron

World list (IOC): 2439 species (last addition: Bolle's Pigeon)

Gunnar Þór Hallgrímsson - 309 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 bases 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: Subalpine Warbler, Franklin's Gull, Common Grasshopper Warbler


Brynjúlfur Brynjólfsson - 305 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: Pacific Swift, Franklin's Gull, Black-winged Stilt

Sigmundur Ásgeirsson - 303 species

Latest additions: Subalpine Warbler, Red-footed Falcon, Common Grasshopper Warbler

World list: 1520 species (last addition: Glaucous-winged Gull)

Hálfdán Björnsson - 295 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

Gunnlaugur Pétursson - 294 species

Latest additions: Black-winged Stilt, Great Egret, Red-necked Stint
Gunnlaugur Þráinsson - 288 species

Latest additions: Western Marsh Harrier, Wilson's Snipe, Rustic Bunting

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

Hallgrímur V. Gunnarsson - 286 species

Latest additions: Subalpine Warbler, Franklin's Gull, Pied Avocet

Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson - 275 species

I became interested in birds as a child and the interest survived puberty. For the last two 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 honor to be in this group of passionate birders.

In recent years, most of my birding has taken place in foreign countries, and I find Africa especially interesting. I have been working on conservation for years and I am currently chairman of BirdLife Iceland (Fuglavernd), which is the Icelandic member of BirdLife International. My bird photos have been published in magazines, books, papers, exhibitions and websites all over the world, e.g. this site. My main work is the bestselling Icelandic Bird Guide (see

Website: Fuglavefurinn

Latest additions: Subalpine Warbler, Blyth's Reed Warbler, Hawfinch

World list: 1258 species (last addition: Red-necked Stint)

Edward Barry Rickson - 266 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: Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Little Grebe

World list:
1579 species (last addition: Eleonora's Falcon)

Stefán Áki Ragnarsson - 261 species

Latest additions: White-winged Tern, Black-winged Stilt, Black-crowned Night Heron

Daníel Bergmann - 258 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: Pied Avocet, Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-winged Stilt

Ingvar Atli Sigurðsson - 254 species

Latest additions: Pied Avocet, Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-winged Stilt

Gaukur Hjartarson - 253 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 253 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: Common Sandpiper, Pallid Harrier, Black-crowned Night Heron

World list (Clements): 1403 species (last addition: Stock Dove)

Ómar Runólfsson - 234 species

Latest additions: Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Little Grebe

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)

Alex Máni Guðríðarson - 228 species

Latest additions: White-winged Tern, Subalpine Warbler, Common Whitethroat

Einar Ólafur Þorleifsson - 222 species

Latest additions: Red-breasted Flycatcher, American Coot, Lincoln's Sparrow

Örn Óskarsson - 217 species

Latest additions: White-winged Tern, Pied Avocet, Bufflehead

Ólafur Einarsson - 216 species

Latest additions: Little Grebe, Lesser Whitethroat, European Goldfinch

Hlynur Óskarsson - 214 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: Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Little Grebe

World list (IOC): 1684 species (last addition: Black Francolin)

Kristinn Haukur Skarphéðinsson - 210 species

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

Sveinn Jónsson - 209 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: White-winged Tern, Common Whitethroat, Red-footed Falcon

Erpur Snær Hansen - 208 species

Latest additions: Black-winged Stilt, Little Grebe, Bufflehead

Eyjólfur Vilbergsson - 202 species

Latest additions: Blyth's Reed Warbler, Common Swift, Black-crowned Night Heron

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