Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Hornoya island

We reached the fishing port of Vardo on the north east of the Varanger peninsula. The hotel was a magnet for Japanese tourists but beyond a 100metre radius the town seemed almost deserted with typically little activity around the brightly coloured wooden houses. The hotel overlooked the harbour so it was a short walk to the ferry and an even shorter crossing by jet boat to Hornoya bird reserve. The cliffs were covered with nesting Kittiwakes, Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills and Shags. Among the Guillemots were groups of Brunnich's Guillemots one of the must see birds of the area. Photographers from around the world gorged themselves with the birds just a few metres away from the footpath.
Brunnich's Guillemot
Brunnich's Guillemot
Shag, Razorbill
Shag, Guillemots
On our final day in Norway we travelled  NW to  Hamningberg, the last village on the road from Vardo. Wild country with steep craggy cliffs on the shores of the Arctic Ocean. It would be difficult to imagine a more inhospitable place in the depths of winter. We scanned the cliffs in the hope of seeing a Gyr falcon but only came up with more White tailed Eagles and our first Rough legged Buzzards of the trip. In fact there was quite a movement of Buzzards with over 20 passing over in a short space of time. Other birds included Pomerine Skua, White billed Diver, King Eider, Glaucous Gull, Merlin, Red throated Diver, Lapland Bunting and 100s of Long tailed Ducks offshore.
Glaucous Gull
King Eider with Common Eider
Lapland Bunting
Rough legged Buzzard
Rough legged Buzzard


  1. The "King Eider" is not a pure one, but a hybrid between Common and King Eider! More interesting, but less tickable...


    Petro Pynnönen, Finland

  2. Thankyou for your comment Petro, certainly an interesting bird I shall have to study it more closely.