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A Report from

Varanger, 2-18th July 2010 (with 3 day trips to Pasvik and 1 to Kevo (Finland) ,

Dave and Sammy Langlois

Travel Arrangements:

SAS Flights (super punctual) from Madrid to Copenhagen to Oslo and Kirkenes. Hire car from Kirkenes.

Day 1. 2 July. 5 to 8ºC. Drizzle, nagging NE wind declining during the day

Kirkenes to Nyrud, Pasvik

First two rough leg buzzards hovering by the road soon after leaving Kirkenes, with red throated divers in the roadside lochs just outside the town. Fieldfares in the roadside trees. Willow warblers abundant and in full song. Hoodies everywhere.

Wood sandpipers atop the telegraph poles on the sideroad leading into the tower hide of Skroytnes and 3 whooper swans flew over. At the hide itself, a group of 15 smew with three males in perfect nick. Also a group of 25 goldeneye with many males. An adult sea eagle flew lazily over. Many wood sandpipers displaying and singing, with 2 reed bunting, 5 yellow wagtail, small flocks of wigeon, shoveller and teal. 1 distant adult black throated diver. 5+ adult little gulls and many arctic terns

At Skogfoss, back on the road towards Nyrud, a very close pair of black throated divers with two young chicks. Breeding common gulls calling in same place (later turned out to be abundant everywhere). Further down the road a merlin flew up from the roadside.

At Nyrud hide a brambling called persistently and showed itself once. One female goldeneye with 9 young. An unidentified owl flew out of the trees and disappeared.

In the woodland track 8 k to the north of Nyrud, 3 whimbrel, more wood sandpipers and a close Siberian tit. On the other side of the road, in an unsuccessful attempt to see little bunting, we heard a whinchat and redpolls flew over.

Day 2. July 3. Overcast and chilly. Clearing later. No rain.

Kirkenes to Vadso

Fieldfare singing in town green as soon as we left the hotel. Song very attractive mix of blue rock thrush, mistle thrush with a dash of orphean warbler. Quite a few more singing in birch woods throughout the journey.

Neiden churchyard

1 arctic warbler singing well (trill like a Bonelli’s or wood warbler), together with many willow warblers and 1 chiffchaff. Brambling also singing. 1 redwing.

About 5 rough legged buzzards on the journey to Vadso, including one on a cliff face calling just above its nest.

2 adult sea eagles perched on rocks at the edge of the water between Varangerbotn and Nesseby.

Nesseby church

1 red necked phalarope, 6+ bar tailed godwits, some in sum. plum. 2 ringed plover, 20 dunlin.

Vadso: Vadsoya Island

100+ red necked phalarope on pond. 4 mealy redpoll, 5 red throated pipit, including some carrying food for young, 2 long tailed skua, 6+ redshank, 10 bar tailed godwit, 50+ eider including 2 in full breeding plumage. 1 redwing carrying food for young. 1 wheatear, 5 reeve. 2 greenfinch. Many female eiders with young along the coast throughout the whole journey from Kirkenes and also around Vadso. Seem to have had a good breeding season.

Vadso harbour

25 red breasted merganser, 100 goosander, 4 dark phase and 2 light-phase arctic skua, 2 female common scoters on the water plus another unsexable one flying in the distance. 2 red throated divers.

Day 3. July 4. Overcast at first, no wind. Very warm later, up to 18.5ºC

Vadso to Tana to Batsfjord

About 10 rough legged buzzards on whole trip, 3 sea eagles. I pied flycatcher passing through Tana. Gyr falcons not present at traditional site, neither on outward or return journey. After Tanu: 5 red throated diver. 1 female bluethroat carrying food with an unseen male calling. 30 long tailed skua, including one group of 17 but mostly in small groups of 2 or 3. Four arctic skua. At Gedjne T junction: 3 male plus 1 female lapland bunting, the flock of 17 long tailed skua, 1 snipe, 1 red necked phalarope on nest, 1 fieldfare. 10 long tailed duck in total, the first two on Kongsfjorefellet, two more at Gedjne itself, a few odd singles and 5 with a flock of about 15 goldeneye on the loch at the entrance to Batsfjord, where the sign says “Welkommen til Batsfjord”. 1 imm. black throated diver on same loch. Just round the corner, at the entrance to Batsfjord harbour, 1 Steller’s eider with a group of common eiders, male in eclipse, still with peach coloured breast and the main markings of its breeding plumage. 1 calling brambling in the same place and 2 tysties on the sea. 2 chiffchaffs singing in Batsfjord town. 2 singing redwings during the Tanu-Batsfjord stretch, attractive song of slow repeated fluty notes rising and falling melodically, sometimes with a scratchy warble at the end. On return leg at Nesseby: 1 short eared owl and a group of 6 whoopers flew out to sea.

Day 4. 5 July. Drizzling at first then  mixture of mist and warm sunshine

Hillside above Vadso cottage

4 to 5 brambling calling, seen well. High density of fieldfare. Great tit singing.

Vadso to Vardo and back

5 sea eagles on journey there and back, 1 short eared owl, 1 temminck’s stint and nest with 4 eggs found on sandy plain near beach (Grunnesbukta). 3 arctic skua. 1 adult black throated diver on roadside loch; a sedge warbler singing in the same spot. 2 long tailed duck plus 9 young on another roadside loch. About 9 red necked phalaropes swimming on another.


Impressive colony of puffins, guillemots, Brunnich’s, razorbills, kittiwakes and shags. The Brunnich’s tended to congregate in small clumps among the common guillies. Magnificent din from the thousands of kittiwakes. 3 arctic skua mobbing the puffins


I merlin. 4 red throated diver. 1 male and 1 female lapland bunting, the male in really magnificent plumage. 4 whimbrel. 1 turnstone in song flight. 5 arctic skua. 1 long tailed skua. 1 wheatear. 2 young divers on one loch but we didn’t see the parents to identify them as rt or bt.  1 pair of long tailed duck with 6 young and another female on another loch with 7 young.

Evening walk. Vadso. Uphill to Navarsvatnet and TV Tower. 21-30 to 24.00 hours

Many redwings singing. 1 red spotted bluethroat, 2 male lapland buntings, 1 female goldeneye, 1 hare, 1 russet mammal being mobbed by the arctic tern colony on Navarsvatnet: arctic fox?

Day 5. July 6. Bright all day, little wind, temperature up to 24 degrees

Krampenes to Storskog and surrounding fells.

1 bluethroat, 2 shore lark, 1 pair temminck’s stint breeding in a reindeer corral. 1 wheatear. 2 rough legged buzzard

Up on the fells: 4 turnstone in full song, 2 breeding pairs. 1 very territorial pair of bar tailed godwit, the male bright red and the female cream coloured. 5 whimbrel. 1 sea eagle mobbed by arctic skua. C. 20 arctic skua, including one young one on nest. 10+ male lapland bunting plus 1 female and 3 young.

Remote lochs: 3 black throated diver. 8 red necked phalarope. 1 pr. of whooper swans with two young and another very distant pair that might also have had young.

One bluethroat singing from roadside bush on return journey; redwing singing in same place.

Evening (21.30 to 01.30) Komagnes to Komagelva and surrounding fells

On the road: 3 sea eagle. 1 long eared owl. 6 red necked phalarope. 1 long tailed duck with 8 chicks.

Walk: 1 merlin. 5 to 6 pairs of golden plover with 1 young. 4 turnstone. 3 whimbrel. 6 red necked phalarope. 3 lapland bunting. 1 long tailed skua. Red throated divers calling, black throated divers singing, whoopers calling nearly all at the same time. Full song also of golden plovers.

Day 6. July 7. Vadso. Navarsvatnet. Partly cloudy, little wind, warm.

1 male red spotted bluethroat, 2 fieldfare, 3 redwings, 2 reed bunting singing. On lake: 1 red throated diver, 1 red necked phalarope. While I was watching the phalarope a whooper came flying in honking, flew low over my head, turned and splished down in the middle of the loch.


6 wheatear, 10+ arctic skua, 2 turnstone singing, 2 raven, 20 dunlin, 1 sooty shearwater during a seawatch off the end of the island and one very close wint. plum. white billed diver in the harbour, very close to the causeway as we drove out of the island. 

Nesseby 16.30 to 18.00. Heavy rain

30+ bar tailed godwits, 4 shelduck, 2 dunlin, 2 fieldfare

Day 7. July 8 Vadso to Hamninberg. Cloudy at first, clearing and warm later

Vadso to Vardo

3 temminck’s stints (Kommagvaer)

Vardo to Hamninberg

3 whoopers in large roadside loch soon after Vardo. 2 red throated diver plus 3 diver sp. flying. 2 raven. 1 peregrine attacking a sea eagle. 2 rough legged buzzard. 5 red throated pipit. 1 redwing in full song from a rock. 4 fieldfare. 2 brambling. 3 lapland bunting, 5 wheatear. 20+ red throated pipit


30+ gannet, 15 razorbill, 10 puffin, 100+ tystie, 15+ arctic skua attacking kittiwakes, 6 wheatear. 1 great northern diver. 1 young drake king eider 200 m out to sea. 1 drake steller’s eider in almost perfect breeding plumage in bay. 5 long tailed duck. 1 black throated diver.

Ekerroy Bay

1 white billed diver

Day 8. July 9. Vadso to Vardo

On the road:

1 sea eagle. 3 arctic skua. 1 temminck’s stint

Svartnes Hill. Domen.

1 young snow bunting. 4 golden plover. 2 arctic skua. 4 wheatear

Vardo point.

2 twite. 2 redwing singing. 2 fieldfare. 10 puffin. 1 Brunnich’s. 200+ guillies. 20 razorbill. 10 tystie. 4 wheatear. 4 red throated pipit. 20+ arctic skua.


2 mealy redpoll, 5 greenfinch, 44 red necked phalarope, 1 drake and female wigeon with 7 young, 34 tufties, 1 female scaup. 4 arctic skua. 15 bar tailed godwit


4 shelduck. 4 rough legged buzzard, 1 kestrel. c. 100 common scoter, c. 100 velvet scoter. 6 drake scaup. 1 curlew. 5 red throated diver. 6 arctic skua. 2 fieldfare. 2 redwing. 20+ goldeneye.


1 red necked phalarope (nest found: four eggs). 1 red throated diver. 6 arctic skua. 1 curlew


1 short eared owl

Day 9. July 10. Clear and warm at first and then misty.

Fells northwest of Skallelv

2 temminck’s stints attacking rough legged buzzard. 15 long tailed skua. 10 arctic skua plus one young. 5 lapland bunting. 6 whimbrel. 2 bar tailed godwit breeding. 1 dunlin breeding. 10+ golden plover. 10+ wheatear. 1 mallard.

Departure for the midnight excursion to Gedjne

Arrival at Gedjne at 23.15. Fieldfare entering its nest on the building at Gedjne T junction. 3 long tailed skua. 2 red throated diver. Redwings singing well in the transitional habitat between the woods of Tana bru and the tundra of Gedjne

Day 10. July 11 Gedjne T Junction. Heavy rain all night with only short breaks between showers. Strong wind after 7.00 hours. Completely windless, warm and cloudless at “dusk”.

After midnight all the birds became much more active, with golden plovers (c. 4), temminck’s (2) and long tailed skuas (7) all calling and singing. Full song flight of golden plover. Red necked phalaropes very active on the roadside loch (6). 1 ruff with territorial behaviour and broken wing trick. Bar tailed godwits also very territorial, another mixed pair of one bright red and the other creamy buff. Fieldfare still entering its nest with food at 2. am. 3 arctic skua. 1 long tailed duck. 2 goldeneye.

Gedjne to Berlevag.

2 drake velvet scoter. 1 sum. plum. black throated diver. 1 teal. 3 red throated diver. 1 sum. plum purple sandpiper on the rocks at Kjolnes point. 1 long tailed duck flew by on the sea. 2 snow bunting at Berlevag airport. Large kittiwake colony on buildings at Berlevag.

Oardujávri Plateau

2 sum plum dunlin. 7 long tailed skua. 1 arctic skua. 3 lapland bunting plus one young. 8 golden plover with song flight. 2 whimbrel. 4 red necked phalarope on high loch. 2 sum. plum purple sandpiper in breeding territory.  Another calling and territorial bird later seen about 400 metres away, probably one of the same pair.

Tana bru to Vadso

3 rough legged buzzard, 2 fieldfare


100 scoters (velvet and common) and 1 drake scaup

Varangerbotn to Vadso

2 rough legged buzzard


9 red necked phalarope. 2 hares, one standing completely on tiptoe with back legs straight.

Vadso: Navarsatnet, TV tower and Byvatnet

1 dunnock suddenly decided to sing in a place I’d previously passed many times without its ever piping up before. It never sang again. Vagrant? 2 crane flying along the coast. 7 redwing. 1 rough legged buzzard buzzing me near its nest. 1 short eared owl. 2 fieldfare. Another two hares, again once standing completely on tiptoe. Strange sight.

Vadso Bay

1 sea eagle. 5 arctic skua. 1 wigeon.

Day 11. July 12. Warm and partly cloudy with very little wind


1 white billed diver. 2 shore lark. 1 young lapland bunting. 1 red necked phalarope. 2 red throated pipit. 1 largish falcon being mobbed by oystercatcher; probably a peregrine. Lots of lemmings scuttling about and running into their holes.

Lochs above Kiby

2 territorial wood sandpiper. 2 whooper, one of them appearing to incubate among the lochside vegetation, 10+ wigeon with 7 chicks. 1 male bluethroat. 2 long tailed duck. 1 lapland bunting. 1 red throated diver flying and another on lock with 1 chick. 2 black throated diver flying. 2 red throated pipit. 2 arctic skua. 1 rough legged buzzard. 2 wheatear. 2 whimbrel.


20 bar tailed godwit, 1 red throated diver, 1 eider singing briefly. 3 arctic skua. 30 red necked phalarope. 3 wigeon

Vadso Bay

10 arctic skua

Day 12. July 13. Warm and windless at first, windy and light showers later and then overcast and windless

Vardo to Hamingberg

20 arctic skua. 2 rough legged buzzard. 3 sea eagle. 1 red throated diver


2 imm. Iceland gull. 1 imm. glaucous gull. 15 gannet. 10 arctic skua. 2 long tailed duck. 20 tystie. 1 guillemot.


2 arctic redpoll. 1 house martin. 1 common sandpiper. 4 fieldfare (1 singing). 3 redwing singing. 1 long tailed skua.


30 red necked phalarope. 3 arctic redpoll. 30 bar tailed godwit.

Vadso. Byvatnet and Gammeraben

1 rough legged buzzard. 2 red throated diver. 2 golden plover.

Day 13. July 14. Overcast, light wind


2 white billed diver in bay. 2 red throated diver. 1 male lapland bunting. 1 long tailed duck. 1 bonxie. 1 red necked phalarope.

Vestre Jakobselv

1 arctic redpoll, 1 temminck’s stint singing on the river. 9 rough legged buzzard. 1 beautiful male brambling at last showed itself. But the best of all is that while I was following it through the trees, emitting its alarm, it led me to a hawk owl sitting 4 metres away in a birch tree looking at me with its huge yellow eyes! One of the birds of the trip. 3 greenfinch. 1 great tit.


7 red necked phalarope. 1 red throated pipit. 4 arctic skua. 2 red throated diver.

Day 14. July 15. Very windy with occasional light showers

Day trip to Finland.

On the way there: 2 rough legged buzzard

Kevo National Park (Finland)

2 wood sandpiper. 4 red necked phalarope. 1 long tailed duck with chick. Family party of Siberian tit (4 or 5). Family party of spotted flycatchers (5). 1 pied flycatcher singing. 1 cuckoo singing!!! About 10 brambling, including two stupendous males. 2 Siberian jays and more heard calling. 2 grey wagtail. 1 robin singing. 1 crossbill sp. calling

On the way back: 3 rough legged buzzard. 2 fieldfare.


c.100 common scoter and c. 100 velvet scoter. 2 male scaup. 20+ goldeneye.1 red throated diver. 1 sea eagle.


2 shelduck. 2 short eared owl. 15 bar tailed godwit. 1 fieldfare


3 wheatear. 6 arctic skua.

Day 15. July 16. Sunny warm and light wind.

Vadso. Walk from Gammerraben to Nattlejeldalen

1 large snipe suddenly rose from the river at our feet by the riverside, flew a few metres in low flight with slow wingbeats (like a common sandpiper) to fall back immediately into the vegetation without emitting a call. Great snipe???

3 redwing. 5 wheatear. 1 golden plover. 1 rough legged buzzard.


1 guillemot. 1 razorbill. 1 red necked phalarope. 3 wheatear.


22 red necked phalarope

Day 16. July 17. Overcast, light wind


4 gannet. 1 male lapland bunting. 2 red necked phalarope. 20+ arctic skua.

The departure from Varanger:

Vadso to Nesseby

9 rough legged buzzard


1 male red necked phalarope with 3 chicks


2 goldeneye. The usual flock of scoters and velvet scoters

Varangerbotn to Kirkenes

2 rough legged buzzard. 1 cuckoo.


1 family of redstart calling. 2 or 3 crossbill sp. calling. 1 black throated diver flying over the water. 2 common redpoll. 3 waxwing. We saw the first just north of Vaggetem, hunting insects from a wire crossing the road. It disappeared and then returned to perch atop a telegraph pole, giving us stupendous views through the scope. It then went back to the wire before flying off. The other two birds were fleeting views.

Day 17. July 18. Very warm (up to 24.5 ºc and variable wind).

Journey south to Nyrud

1 young whimbrel by the side of the road and 1 woodcock flew up from the roadside.

Gjokasen, Nyrud and Noatun.

1 squirrel. 1 mistle thrush. 1 Siberian Jay. 1 sea eagle

In general, after reading all the mouthwatering blogs beforehand, the south part of Pasvik was a massive disappointment, perhaps due to the time of year. We had only fleeting views of one Siberian jay and a few siberian tits despite plodding through miles of boring, birdless, silent and midge-ridden pine woods.


Excellent views of a pair of waxwing hunting insects flycatcher fashion at the side of a loch, returning to the same set of perches after each sally and showing their whole range of colours, especially the yellow tail endings, with each twist and turn. Eventually one disappeared and the other came even closer before flying off over our heads giving out its thin high pitched call. Magnificent birds.

Skroytnes tower hide

6 wood sandpiper, one in full song flight. 5 adult and 2 young little gull. 1 red head smew. 6 yellow wagtail. 4 goldeneye. 2 red throated diver.

T junction 39 k south of Kirkenes

1 willow tit

Nearer Kirkenes

1 woodcock roding over a pinewood.

Summary in Spanish (Resumen en español)

Volvemos de la península Varanger y Pasvik en la Noruega lapona con muchas memorias indelebles a bordo, sobre todo la de andar solos “perdidos” (pero con GPS) por la tundra entre medianoche y las dos de la madrugada, en luz de pleno día atenuado, escuchando los cantos de colimbo ártico, cisne cantor, chorlito dorado y págalo rabero. Esta región del mundo tiene una magia especial y la luz 24/7 te da una flexibilidad absoluta en cuanto a planificar el día.

Durante nuestra estancia de dos semanas y pico hemos visto los 4 colimbos del paleártico occidental, dos de ellos en traje de boda; hemos visto las tres serretas, incluida la bellísima chica, todas criando, dos de los negrones (un careto macho también había pero no logramos distinguirlos entre tantos primos) y tres eideres: el común (raza ártica, cientos cada día), el real y el chico (de Stellers). Además de cientos de madres de eider con jóvenes vimos también los siguientes patos con pollos: haveldas (en casi cada lago e incluso una madre con pollo en una ciénaga a 200 k de la costa), porrón osculado y ánade silbón. También con pollos hemos visto los dos colimbos “locales”, el chico y el ártico, este último con su traje de motero de alta alcurnia, luciendo cueros de un negro lustroso colgados con todo tipo de medallones y ornamentos plateados. Una pasada de pájaro. Otro pato seguramente criando pero no visto con pollos era el porrón bastardo (7 machos, dos hembras). Encontramos cisne cantor  en 6 localidades  diferentes, una pareja de ellos con (2) pollos. Las limícolas que encontramos criando entre tundra y lagos incluyen: correlimos oscuro (que belleza de pájaro en plumaje nupcial) correlimos común, correlimos de temminck, chorlito dorado norteño, aguja colipinta, vuelvepedras, combatiente, zarapito trinador, andarríos bastardo (muchos) y falaropo de picofino (cientos). Del último encontramos un nido con 4 huevos y también vimos un padre guiando 3 pollitos chiquitines chiquitines por su primeras singladuras sobre el agua. Recién salidos del huevo y ya tan vivarachos, los pollos de esta simpática especie son una verdadera monada.

De los  peques tampoco nos ha ido mal,  con escribano lapón (muy común) en vistoso plumaje de verano, alondras cornudas también muy guapos, carbonero lapón, carbonero sibilino, bisbita gorgirrojo, los 3 sizerines (común, fenoscandia y de Hornemanns, los últimos blanquísimos y muy diferentes de los otros dos), arrendajo funesto, pechiazul de medallón rojo y escribano nival. Cantos nuevos para nosotros eran los del mosquitero boreal (un trino estilo papialbo/silbador), pinzón real, zorzal real y alirrojo, éste todavía en pleno apogeo de canto. Pero el pájaro estrella en este capítulo era el ampelis, una pareja de los cuales vimos durante buen rato ayer cazando insectos desde la orilla de un lago en Pasvik, luciéndose todos sus colores con cada giro de sus acrobáticos vuelos, sobre todo el amarillo al final de su desplegada cola.

Las colonias de aves marinas no pueden competir con las de las Shetlands, pero aún así son muy impactantes con miles de araos, araos de Brunnich, frailecillo, alca y arao aliblanco. De gaviotas tampoco podemos quejarnos, con enana (criando en Pasvik),  polar e hiperborea (holgazanando en las playas con las tridáctilas, argenteas y gaviones). Las tridáctilas están por todos lados, incluso criando en las ventanas de las casas de los pueblos y una colonia de acantilado con 22.000 parejas. ¡Que estruendo!!

En cuanto a rapaces vimos ratoneros calzados y pigargos todos los días, más esmerejon (3), lechuza campestre (6) y peregrino (2). Las “rapaces” de mar incluían los bellísimos y gráciles págalos raberos y muchas colonias de parásitos (también dos pollos de este último). Vimos a un halcón atacando  a un pigargo y otro estando atacado por un ostrero, que en los dos casos nuestra ilusión nos dijo que podrían ser  gerifaltes pero que nuestra prudencia nos hizo apuntar como peregrinos hembras grandes. Pero el mejor rapaz del viaje me guió a él un macho de pinzón real. Son difíciles de ver, los bramblings, y me estaba fastidiando no haber tenido vistas muy buenas hasta el día 14 de julio, el decimotercero de nuestras vacaciones. Aquel día, en un precioso abedular en Vestre Jakobselv, por fin encontré un macho muy cerca dando su alarma y moviéndose entre los árboles en compañía de unos sizerines de fenoscandia. Ya estaba colmada mi ilusión, pensaba, al poder ver tan bien por fin este bellísimo pájaro. Pero faltaba lo mejor. Mientras lo seguía por los abedules de repente mis prismáticos se llenaban de una lechuza gavilana mirándome con sus ojazos amarillos desde unos 4 metros!!!!!!! Marcaba el sitio, corrí a por Sammy y sacamos unas fotos, dejando el bicho magnífico sin molestias cuanto antes. Pero la verdad es que parecía pasar de nosotros. Una de las aves del viaje sin duda.

Además del caprichoso gerifalte algún que otro ave objetivo se nos resistió, como el chorlito carambolo, el camachuelo carminoso, la agachadiza chica (estuvimos en tres sitios de cría diferentes donde han estado cantando este año), el pico tridáctilo e, increíblemente, el lagópodo escandinavo (muy mal año por lo visto). También dejamos nuestros ojos en el mar intentando ver belugas, porque pasaban muchas, pero sin suerte. Pero nada, 28 bimbos de vida para mi hijo y 14 para mí, que no es fácil in Europa para un sesentón. Y también disfrutar de dos semanas del canto del mosquitero musical en pleno julio (¡y cuco cantando también!) ha sido todo un lujo.





Red throated diver


Common on lochs and the sea and also flying around calling. Much commoner than black throat, especially on the sea.

Black throated diver

15 + 2 chicks

Pair seen with young on first day in Pasvik and then fairly regular sightings throughout the 2 weeks on Varanger, usually on lochs. Heard singing one night. Also one seen in winter plumage in Batsfjord.

Great northern diver


One in winter plumage on sea off Hamningberg.

White billed diver


2 1st winter birds in Ekerroy bay.



1 seen in Vadso bay

Sooty shearwater


1 seen off Ekerroy



Flocks at Hamningberg and odd birds in Vadso bay.



Common on sea and in colonies such as Hornoya.

Whooper swan

18 + 2 young

Seen first day in Pasvik and then on 5 occasions on Varanger, including one pair with 2 young.



Individuals in Varangerbotn and Nesseby.



Largish flocks in Pasvik and Varanger, and a pair with young on Vadsoya



Largish flocks in Pasvik and odd individuals on Varanger



Some on Varanger and a female with ten chicks.

Long tailed duck

29+ 31 chicks

Common on lochs throughout Varanger, often with young. Also seen on sea. One with a chick on a loch in Kevo (Finland) at over 200k from sea. Eclipse plumage



Flocks in Pasvik

Tufted duck


Small flocks and individuals on Varanger



One female on Vadsoya and 6 drakes at Varangerbotn



Hundreds every day, including many females with young. Most males in eclipse but a few still in full breeding plumage. No  song until one eclipse drake in a largish flock decided to air its pipes with a few oooohs on Vadsoya.

King eider


1 off Hamninberg, young male.

Steller’s eider


1 eclipse bird at Batsfjord and also a nearly perfect breeding plumage drake at Hamninberg.

Common scoter


2 females in Vadso bay; large flock  in Varangerbotn

Velvet scoter


2 drakes on sea near Berlevag and large flock in Varangerbotn.



Female with young at Pasvik and odd individuals and small flocks in eclipse throughout the peninsula, usually on lochs.



Flock at Pasvik and single redhead on last visit

Red breasted merganser


Large post breeding flocks on sea and lochs



Huge post breeding flocks on sea and lochs

Sea eagle


Daily sightings, especially along the south coast perched on the beach. Average of 1 or 2 a day.

Rough legged buzzard


Regular sightings except in pure tundra. Average of 3or 4 a day



1 bird Nesseby



1 seen at Pasvik and 2 more up on the moors on Varanger



1 pair attacking sea eagle near Hamningberg and another being mobbed by oystercatcher on Ekerroy.



2 flying over Vadso



Common along whole coastline, some with young

Ringed plover


Common around inland lochs, broken wing display indicating presence of young

Golden plover

43 + 3 chicks

Common on moors. Some song, especially at night

Temminck’s stint


Seem to be commoner along rivers than  on the open tundra. One nest found with 4 eggs on a sandy beach.

Purple sandpiper


1 on  rocky coast near Berlevag and breeding pair near Gednje



Fairly common on tundra



1 breeding male  with broken wing display near Gednje. Small flock at Vadsoya



1 drumming at Gednje



1 roding male in Pasvik and another flushed from the roadside

Bar tailed godwit


Common along coast and breeding pairs found on tundra, not always both red


25 + 1 chick

Very common on tundra



1 heard Nesseby and Varangerbotn



Very common on lochs and sea

Wood sandpiper


Very vocal and common in Pasvik and some mires and lochs on Varanger

Common sandpiper


One in Pasvik, one on the Tana and on several smaller rivers on Varanger.



Breeding pairs on tundra and also a breeding pair on coast of Ekerroy

Red necked phalarope

295 + 3 chicks

Common on lochs of all sizes throughout the peninsula. Two nests found with sitting birds, one with four eggs. 1 male seen escorting 3 small chicks.

Arctic skua

194 + 3 chicks

Common throughout. Two chicks found  on tundra.

Long tailed skua


Common in the more open tundra of the north and odd individuals elsewhere. Another colony found in the south near Skallelv

Great skua


1 on Ekerroy

Little gull


5 in Pasvik on first visit and 5 more with two young on last visit

Common gull


Common everywhere

Herring gull


Common everywhere

Iceland gull


2 imm. in Hamningberg

Glaucous gull


1 imm. in Hamninberg

Greater black backed gull


Common everywhere



Common everywhere and huge colonies on Ekerroy and  in towns like Vardo, Berlevag, etc.

Arctic tern


Many disperse  colonies with smallish numbers



Seen on and near  Hornoya on sea. Very vocal on Hornoya. A few seen on Ekerroy.

Brunnich’s guillemot


Seen on and near  Hornoya on sea.



Seen on Hornoya and near any rocky coast. A few seen on Ekerroy.



Very common off rocky coasts, especially Hamninberg and Berlevag



Seen on and near  Hornoya on sea. Others near Ekerroy, Berlevag, Hamninberg, etc.

Short eared owl


6 birds along the south coast

Hawk owl


1 found in Vestre Jakobselv



1 singing in Kevo. 1 seen in flight Varangerbotn to Kirkenes



In Oslo

Shore lark


Three pairs found, one carrying food for young

Sand martin


Neiden churchyard

House martin


1 in Hamningberg and in Oslo airport, waiting for connection



Oslo airport, waiting for connection.

Meadow pipit



Rock pipit


Seen near rocky coast, e.g. Ekerroy

Red throated pipit


Common throughout the peninsula, many carrying food for young

Yellow wagtail



Grey wagtail


2 in Kevo

White wagtail


Common near all rivers



5 in Pasvik



1 singing in Vadso

Red spotted bluethroat


One male carrying food near Vadso, odd individuals elsewhere. Very little song, only a few short bursts



1 singing in Kevo



Family party in Kevo



1 in Pasvik



Very common in all rocky and stony areas



Common around towns and villages and all areas with some vegetation up to Gednje. Singing less than redwing



Common in all areas with even minimal  vegetation. Still in full song, especially at “night”.

1 mistle thrush


1 called in the south Pasvik area

Arctic warbler


One singing in Neiden churchyard



A few birds singing in town gardens and at Neiden.

Willow warbler


Abundant throughout until the very last vegetation gives way in the northern tip of the peninsula. Still in full song. Step out of a car in any point of the peninsula and the first bird you hear is the willow warbler, followed a distant second by the mealy redpoll or redwing. The willow warblers sing from telegraph cables much more than in England or Spain, presumably because the dwarf willow scrub doesn’t give them enough projection.

Sedge warbler


1 singing roadside loch in Varangerfjord

Pied flycatcher


Seen in Kevo (Finland) and Tana Bru

Spotted flycatcher


Family party in Kevo

Siberian tit


1 in Pasvik

Willow tit


1 bird called in the T junction 39 k south of Kirkenes

Great tit


In Pasvik and in Vadso gardens



Common in typical “dog walking” country around towns



Abundant everywhere



Fairly common along rocky shores

House sparrow


Abundant in towns, absent elsewhere



Common in birch and willow woods and scrub. Call  often heard but no song.

Common redpoll


3+ in Pasvik

Mealy redpoll


Common throughout

Arctic redpoll


2 in Hamningberg. 3 in Vadsoya.

Crossbill sp.


Heard calling in Kevo and Pasvik



Breeding birds on Vadsoya and in towns

Lapland bunting

34 + 5 young

Common in all tundra and grassy areas, many with free flying young

Snow bunting


Only 3 sightings, a young bird at Domen and a pair briefly seen along the road at Berlevag airport

Reed bunting


Pasvik, Tana and scrub around Vadso.


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