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Birding Norway trips:

Bergen and surroundings

Bergen is Norway's second largest city, with around 250.000 inhabitants. Situated in the bottom of the Bergen Fjords and at the entrance to the Osterfjord, we have the outer coastline half an hours drive away in the west, and the mountains in the east. City birding can be quite entertaining in winter, and countryside areas to the south provide a nice selection of habitat types home to a large number of bird species. Lake systems, agricultural areas, small wetland reserves and different types of deciduous and coniferous woods can all be reached in less than half an hour. The lakes have wintering Little Grebes, Smew, Goosander, Whooper Swans, Dippers and other waterbirds, in spring both Red-throated and Black-throated Divers can be found with a little luck. The woods are home to a large selection of thrushes, tits, finches and other passerines, and woodpeckers such as Grey-headed-, White-backed- and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker are regular breeders.

The coastline, devided in an outer and an inner part, are particularly good in migration periods. Herdla is an island on the inner coastline, about 45 min. drive from Bergen. This area of agricultural fields in combination with shallow water and small beaches, is the most popular birding area near Bergen with 218 species recorded so far. Wintering birds such as Cormorant, Velvet Scoter, Long-tailed Duck and Common Eiders are numerous, in between these one can often find Red-necked Grebes, divers, King Eider, auks etc. White-tailed Eagle, Peregrine and Eagle Owl are regular birds at this spot. Particularly in August-October, large numbers of migrants (occasionally more than a thousand shorebirds of 15 or more species) stop to refuel in this nature reserve. This site is also very good for rarities, and surprises always turn up at this time. The autumn of 1999 brought surprise birds such as Red-footed Falcon, Pacific Golden Plover, Short-toed Lark and Citrine Wagtail.

On the outer coastline a few of the prime sites are Skogsöy (seawatching point) and Tjeldstömarka (small wetland reserve). If you visit in July-August, a nocturnal ringing expedition to trap European Storm Petrels (or even Leach's Petrel with a bit of luck) can be arranged on calm nights. Ringing petrels is definately a spectacular experience!

Skogsöy is the best place on our rocky coastline to witness seabirds, and quite often spectacular migration. Or what about these "best day" numbers: Red-throated Diver (630), White-billed Diver (22), Northern Fulmar (2300), European Storm Petrel (55 ringed), Sooty Shearwater (79), Northern Gannet (700), Great Cormorant (3000), Light-bellied Brent Goose (2000), Common Scoter (700), Mew Gull (5000), Black-legged Kittiwake (1800), Arctic Skua (570), Pomarine Skua (80), Atlantic Puffin (1000) and Little Auk (2000).

So why don't you bring one of us as along as your guide? It will no doubt increase your trip list considerably, and you don't have to worry about how to get there!

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