Hi all!
In collaboration with Martin Garner of Birding Frontiers we have put together a new birding event: the Arctic GullFest!
Everyone who ever thought of visiting Varanger - this is a very good opportunity to do so! There is a lot happening in the arctic north. There is much talk of the Northeast Passage opening new global possibilities in trade, oil- and gas explorations / exploitations - We aim to put birds and nature on the map. Varanger has for a long time been a well known birding destination, and for good reasons: This is where the Gulf stream meets the climate of the arctic. Seas are kept open and the shallow Varanger fjord is facing east and is therefore protected by heavy waves caused by typically heavy westerly winds, on top of this (and because of) it is one of the richest fishing fields of Norway. All this combined makes ground for spectacular birdlife. We want to promote and protect this as best we can, and make these natural qualities count when the future of the arctic north is being decided.

At the same time we want to make this a great experience as possible, for those who are engaged in birds and nature. So, with good help from a lot of people and even some generous funding from those who agree with our ideas (and our own countless work hours to make this happen..) we are now in the position to make this first ever arctic birding event. And we invite you to be a part of this.

Our goal is to make a true birders event: filled with great birding experiences and inspiring talks. We have now put together a very nice programme for the days 13 - 17th of April 2012. We are still improving it with new events and talks by very knowledgable birders. Check out the programme and much more info on both Martin Garners Birding Frontiers and the Biotope website.

In short : we will set up a base camp at the bird wise most strategical site in the Varanger fjord. From here we will do an extensive Gull ringing scheme. We will have a big Lavoo (Samí-style tipi) with warm food and a fireplace. We will have daily trips to the fantastic Hornøya bird cliff (100 000+ seabirds). We also have several other events set up, like King Eider photo safari by boat, Arctic Pelagics with fishing Vessels, and more. Thanks to the extra funding we have been able to get, we can offer this for symbolic prices. After all it is the first year we are doing this, and we really want to make this an enjoyable event as possible. We will also advise you on booking, flights, accomodation adn more. We have cheap guest houses available, cheap car rentals and more..

Basically - what you have to do is bring your binoculars and show up in Vardø, Varanger around the middle of April. Feel free to drop me a mail. I will try and and help out with any questions you may have (from booking to what birds we will see).

We know that this will be a great experience, and really hope all birders who are interested will join us for this. The birding will be great and the event and talks likewise!

check out www.biotope.no, the Gullfest article


birder and pro-nature architect, Vardø / Varanger