Soothsayer’s Mountain
Magican meets Missionary
 
Spákonufellshöfði, generally called Höfðinn (The Cape), rises west of Skagaströnd village and offers a variety of easy hiking routes. Höfðinn is a popular destination for people wanting to enjoy the beautiful outdoors where the ocean, various bird species and the majestic circle of mountains embrace the senses.
 
History

Spákonufellshöfði is an ancient name. Spákonufell, meaning Soothsayer’s Mountain is a 646 m high mountain rising just above the town. Both names are connected with the Spákonufell farm, which was located at the foothills of the mountain for centuries.
The name’s origins can be traced back to the 10th century when Þórdís the soothsayer (Þórdís spákona), said to be skilled in both magic and magical arts, lived on Fell farm. Vatnsdælasaga (Saga of Vatnsdælir) describes her as a great and intelligent woman. Later both the farm and the Spákonufell mountain were named after her.
Þórdís was, among other things, known for fostering Iceland’s first missionary, Þorvaldur Koðránsson, later named Þorvaldur víðförli (Þorvaldur the travelled). He was described as a healthy and brave man who earned the respect of heathens, which enabled him to work on evangelisation in Iceland from 981 – 986. A monument of Þorvaldur víðförli is situated close to his birth place, Stóra-Giljá, at the junction of Road 1 and Svínvetningabraut (Road 731).

Main species
The Fulmar is a large gull-like seabird, seen at Skagaströnd from January to October, usually in flight offshore or foraging on fish offal, sometimes in large numbers. It is distributed all around Iceland, and has spread inland, sometimes tens of kilometres from the sea.

The Common Eider is seen around the coast all year round and 20-30 pairs breed in Spákonufellshöfði. A rather large colony is found at Finnstaðanes, a short distance north of Skagaströnd.

The Oystercatcher is a large, noisy wader. Two to four pairs breed on gravel and sandy land. A migratory bird, it is seen from late March to the beginning of September.

The Snipe is a migrant on Skagaströnd, arriving in early April and leaving in October.  A few pairs breed on Spákonufellshöfði. The Snipe circles over its territory with a constant "drumming" sound, which is very conspicuous.

The Great Black-backed Gull is seen all year around Skagaströnd, though it is most common during winter. The very similar Lesser Black-backed Gull is a migrant and is common during summer. A few pairs of both species breed in the northern part of Spákonufellshöfði.

The Arctic Tern is a long distance migrant. It migrates to the South Atlantic in winter to the seas around Antarctica before flying north again, leaving Iceland in September and returning at the end of April/beginning of May. It seeks food on the shore and shallow areas of the sea. A few dozen pairs breed on Spákonufellshöfði, around Vækilvík.

The Black Guillemot is a former breeder on Spákonufellshöfði. It can be seen all year round, often in winter in the Skagaströnd harbour.

The Raven is the only member of the crow family breeding in Iceland. One pair breeds in Spákonufellshöfi, but it is seen in the area the whole year.

The title & 1st 3 paragraphs need to be translated into English. It's a good 1-page article on birdlife around Skagaströnd. It could be used for both L og s & IT, if translated. For L og s, the text after the 1st 3 paragraphs would need to be translated into Icelandic.

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