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Birding Norway trips:

Birding Lofoten and Vesterålen Islands

February-March: Northern Andøy and Andenes harbour
A nice area for wintering birds. Probably also one of the best spots for watching gulls in Northern Norway during the winter period! The harbour of Andenes offers high numbers of Glaucous and Iceland gulls (including records of Kumliens gull), and do have a good potential for other arctic gulls. White-billed divers are common on the coast, and Andenes is the southernmost regular wintering area for Steller’s eiders in Norway. We will find them all. We recommend two to three days. Lofoten trip01.

March-April: Late winter in Lofoten; fishery and arctic birds
Lofoten is a great place to watch wintering arctic birds like King Eider, White-billed divers and Purple Sandpipers. From March one of Europe’s most spectacular fisheries takes place here, as the Arctic cod migrate south from the Barents Sea to spawn in the Lofoten area. The fishery attracts a lot of birds that can be watched and photographed on close range; many gulls (including Glaucous and Iceland gulls), White-tailed Sea Eagles and Common and King Eiders, to mention a few. Birding Norway offers trips out on the fishing grounds with big Zodiacs, and for groups boat trips can be arranged to the very productive areas of the Gimsøystraumen, where a lot of seabirds feed. Three days, including one day for sea watching. Lofoten trip02.

June-August: The Røst Islands; Norway's largest seabird colonies
The Røst Islands is a protected area, but its seabirds can be experienced close up on daily boat trips to the bird rocks. One of the main Islands – Vedøy – is also open to the public for day trips. Here it is possible to get close encounters with puffins and other seabirds, and the island offers good photo opportunities. These bird cliffs holds Norway’s largest colony of Puffins, and also good numbers of Kittiwakes, Razorbills, Guillemots, Black Guillemots, Shags, Fulmars and White-tailed Eagles. A lifelong experience. Really! Storm Petrels and Leach Petrels breeds in large numbers in these islands, but they start their breeding season as late as August, because they need dark nights. However, both species can be seen at sea on our boat trips from early July onwards (even some in late June). Røstlandet - the inhabited main Island of Røst – is absolutely flat, with some very interesting wetland and shoreline localities. Character species are Whimbrel, Red-necked Phalarope, Arctic Skua, Turnstone and Arctic Tern. The island offers a good selection of ducks, and from late July the arctic shorebirds stop on their autumn migration. From August onwards Røstlandet has also proven itself to be one of the better spots for rare migrants in Norway, and Birding Norway will guide you right to the local hotspots. A three days trip. One should at least spend three days at Røst; one day for the boat-trip around the islands, one day at Vedøy and one day for Røstlandet. Lofoten trip no03.

June-August: Seabirds and Sperm Whales off Andøy.
For a combination of seabird- and whale-watching, the safari with MS Leonora from Stø in Vesterålen is the perfect alternative! Since this safari starts a bit south of the Sperm Whale waters, it is a 7-8 hours semi pelagic journey off Andøy, with very good chances to see a variety of seabirds on the way. The safari starts with a cruise around the seabird- and seal-colonies at Anda Lighthouse. From there it is about two hours in open sea up to the feeding grounds of the Sperm Whales straight west of Andenes. On the trip hundreds of fulmars follows the boat. Puffins, gannets and all four species of skuas can be seen on the trip, and with westerly winds there are good chances to see shearwaters and storm petrels. We combine a day out at sea searching for seabirds and whales with one or two-days land-based birdwatching in Vesterålen and Andøya, where there are a range of good birding localities! Lofoten trip no04.

Killer Whales photographed by our guide Jon Stenersen | www.tringa.no

Late fall: Killer Whale safari in the Vestfjord!
From late October till the middle of January the Killer Whales comes in to the Vestfjord basin, following the Herring’s migration. On this trip, Birding Norway cooperates with Orca Tysfjord who arranges the Killer Whale Safaris, using from bigger boats or Zodiacs. It is even possible to rent dry-suites and swim with the whales. At least two-three days are recommended, since weather conditions are highly variable (variable and bad weather is usually the only reason one do not see the whales…). Usually the conditions are better in the later part of the season, as the whales then are gathered in the more sheltered, inner fjords. On the other hand the daylight becomes very short from the middle of November, and in midwinter it is just some four-five hours of “blue-light”. Although not a full days, it’s a real experience! We combine Killer Whale Safaris with birdwatching in Lofoten, where the arctic winter visitors are starting to show up, or in the woodlands of Tysfjord where we will find species like Black Grouse, Capercaillie, Three-toed Woodpecker and Parrot Crossbill. Forests and woodlands also offer excellent opportunities of close encounters with Moose! A minimum of three days. Lofoten trip no05.

Regarding accommodation, we have a close cooperation with hotels and rorbu’s. Ask for trip prices, all included. Group sizes from 4-8, but we also arrange for single persons and couples.

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