Norway is a spectacular country filled with majestic mountains, sweeping glaciers and deep coastal fjords. This diverse and rich land is home to beautiful and unique species of birds making it a top European destination for many keen birders. Bird watchers flock from countries far and wide to visit this beautiful country.
Norway has a rich history filled with Viking tales and traditions. This article will detail the best locations in Norway for bird watching.
What are the best bird watching locations in Norway?
Located in the central portion of Western Norway, Bremanger is home to many beautiful and majestic birds. It is one of the largest communes in that particular region of Norway and covers over 800 square kilometers making it an ideal place to wander and watch.
On the Western side of Bremanger is coastal regions and beaches while the Eastern side is largely glaciers. On the coastline of Bremanger, you can find sharp cliffs, relaxing beaches, and, most importantly, beautiful birds.
Being that this region is in such close proximity to the coastline, its weather is considered to be oceanic. Oceanic weather means that it is at a constant state of above zero, making it the ideal home to some wonderful wildlife. Because of this temperature, birds can be spotted here by bird watchers at any time during the year.
One warning about Bremanger, however, is that during the winter, the days are much shorter than they are in the summer. Even though the days are shorter, the birds don’t care. They will still make their appearance and existence be known to anyone watching.
No matter what season you choose to visit Bremanger in, you can spot birds such as winter divers, ducks, and seabirds that like to hang out in the shallow waters. Some of the most popular birds that have been spotted here include Grey Herons, Herring Gulls, Great Black-Backed Gulls, Velvet Scoters, and Common Scoters, but the list doesn’t end there. Many other bird species live in Bremanger, but these are just the most common.
One tip for those who wish to visit Bremanger is to research the birds you hope to see before going so that you know which season is ideal to visit in. While most of them can be seen year-round, it would still be helpful to know when each bird is spotted the most.
Jæren can be found on the coastline of Norway and is a strip of land that spanning 100 km in length. Here, you can find a mix of stony beaches as well as smooth beaches. Because it is considered as a coastal region, it is the home to quite a few arctic waders.
The weather in Jæren can vary depending on the season. In the winter, it can be very wet and rainy due to bad weather and storms. It is not recommended to visit Jæren during these tumultuous seasons. With that being said, however, if you are brave enough to face the rough weather, you may be able to see some amazing birds.
During the summer and spring seasons when the weather is ideal, you can see birds such as divers, greves, cormorants, and grebes. During spring and fall specifically, the birds that are out include Warblers, Flycatchers, Thrushers, Robins, and more.
Some of the more uncommon birds that are spotted in this region include Black Woodpeckers, Tendmalm Owls, Great Eagle Owls, or Grey Headed Woodpeckers.
A small top for anyone traveling to this region to watch birds is to plan your visit during the ideal weather times so that you are guaranteed to see some birds.
Vardø is located at the uppermost point of the Varanger Peninsula in Norway. It is most commonly referred to as the most popular place for bird watchers to travel and experience the wildlife.
In July, this region has an average temperate of below 10 degrees which categorizes it as an arctic region. Vardø is unique in that it is one region of the arctic region that is accessible. When traveling to the Varanger Peninsula, however, be sure to prepare for brisk weather; if you can brace the cold, the bird watching will be worthwhile.
Some of the most common bird sightings in Vardø include the Brünnich’s Guillemots, the Atlantic Puffin, the Razorbill, the Black Guillemot, and the Shag. One bird that is less common but still spotted in Vardø is the Leach Petrel. They are most commonly spotted late into the season.
One tip for those planning to visit Vardø for bird watching is to plan on how you will get there. Since it is not accessible by land, you either have to take a boat or a plane.
4. Runde and Remøya Islands
These two islands are connected by the Runde Bridge. This makes it the ideal spot to bird watch at two locations without much hassle. In fact, these islands are said to be among the best places to see wildlife, especially unique birds.
The ideal season for bird watching on these islands is between the months of February and August each year. Within the span of these months, there are over 500,000 birds on the islands. Within these 500,000 are 230 identified species as well as 80 nesting species.
The most common bird that people travel to these islands is for the Puffin. The Puffin makes its appearance on the island quite often, especially between May and July.
A tip for those who want to bird watch on these islands is to go between the months of February and August because you are guaranteed to see wildlife.
Molde is located within Romsdal in Norway. This area comes highly recommended by bird-watching enthusiasts and those who love to bird watch because of the array of birds. It is the only location in Norway that is home to some specific types of birds, so it is ideal for those who like to watch for less common birds.
The ideal bird watching season runs from October to March. During this period, there is a large variety of birds, some being more unique than others. In fact, this region is the only place in Norway that you can spot a Northern Goshawk.
Some other birds that are more common in this region include the White-Tailed Eagles and the Golden Eagles. Because of this, Molde is the only region in all of Norway that you can see all three of these birds within the span of one day.
A top for those who plan to travel to Molde is to keep your eyes open and keep watching until you have seen all three of the birds mentioned. You won’t get another chance to do so anywhere else.
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We are avid bird-watchers who recently retired, allowing us more time to travel the world. Fortunately, we have managed to visit numerous countries around Europe, Asia, and America. Watching and photographing birds has been a passion for many years and we are making the most of the extra time on our hands!