March 24th, 2012, 11:00 AM
Bird photo workshop in Varanger in progress
New article out with iphone photo of Puffin, northern lights photos and a few King eiders.
We are arranging, for the second year, what looks to become an annual bird / nature photo workshop on the spectacular Hornøya bird cliff in Varanger. Still in progress - so just a brief note with a link to a few fresh out of the memory card photos from Varanger.
It is truly a spectacular time of the year. We have also just counted the birds of the Varangerfjord and the totals are looking pretty good:
King Eiders 12 712
Steller´s Eiders 4 398
Eiders 17 054
Lon-tailed ducks 8 332
and much more: several Orcas, 400+ dolphins, 2 White-billed divers (just returning/migration), and Gyrflacon is seen almost daily on Hornøya bird cliff, also 6 Hawk Owls is reported in one day.
Winter meets spring! Looks good for the Arctic GullFest
photo workshop article: http://www.biotope.no/2012/03/northe...nya-photo.html
March 24th, 2012, 10:56 PM
Thanks for the update. Where are you seeing most of the King and Steller's Eider congregations at the moment?
March 25th, 2012, 11:31 AM
Most of the King Eiders are found in the outer Varanger fjord, from Kiberg to Vardø. Here we have two large rafts - one with approx 3000 birds and another of 4600 birds, but this is obviously not static. Mostly the King Eiders are found just south of Hornøya bird cliff or south of Vardø, closer to Kiberg (these are easily missed as they are not seen from the road). Then there are smaller flocks around Varanger fjord, from Nesseby to Vardø, with 10 - 150 birds.
The Stellers eiders are also seen everywhere in the fjord, but in smaller flocks from 10 - 200 ind. With the exeption of a 800 ind flock outside Kiberg. At this place (just north of Kiberg, under the mountain cliffs ´Domen´) there are lots of birds in mixed species rafts.
In good weather most Steller leave the harbours of Svartnes and Vadsø, and are found mostly from Komagvaer to Skallelv + north of Ekkerøy.
We counted approx 1000 more Stellers Eiders in the fjord this year, but I suspect that is mostly due to better weather conditions this year.
Also Kings are stronger in numbers, but I believe this has to do with the fact that we counted the fjord 10 days later then last year, and also spring seems to be arriving earlier (3 weeks-ish) this year. That means King Eiders from further west have probably found their way to the Varanger fjord to rest/feed here before migrating further east.
Good numbers around, but again for the best views I still advice a trip to Båtsfjord: http://www.biotope.no/2012/03/batsfj...with-view.html
Fewer birds, but fantastic views..