The Varanger region in eastern Finnmark is in addition to Pasvik an area much sought after in Norway for birdwatchers and ornithologists. Several very rare bird species are observed here. Ekkerøy is well known for its easily accessible bird cliffs facing south and the Varanger fjord
Top birding place - 50 bird Species in Ekkerøy
In addition to the birds in the cliffs 50 bird species have been seen in Ekkerøy. Steller’s eider is one of the most popular and can be watched the year round. You can also watch white-tailed eagle, king eider and several divers. Waders such as bar-tailed godwit and dunlin rest and feed on neighbouring beaches. The most sought after bird species in Varanger are:
- white-billed diver
- king eider
- stellers eider
- rough-legged buzzard
- temminck's stint
- red-necked phalarope
- long-tailed skua
- glaucous gull
- iceland gull
- snowy owl
- shore lark
- red-throated pipit
- bar-tailed godwit
More information about birds in Varanger: www.biotope.no
Two Nature Reserves at Ekkerøy
Due to the rich bird life two bird sanctuaries have been established in and near Ekkerøy. The sanctuary on the peninsula was established in 1983 in order to preserve an important nesting site for birds. In addition to the bird cliff there are also birds in the shallow bay on the northern part of the peninsula on the beach and on the plateau with marsh and a small lake. A short distance east of Ekkerøy is Storelvosen nature reserve established in 1991 to preserve an important marshland with vegetation, bird life and animal life that naturally belong to the area. The area consists of a meadow with a rich vegetation of several species of plants. The area is a special nesting site for marshland birds, especially in the spring.
Rent GPS selfguiding for better birding
As our guest you have access to our selv-guided birding system. This includes a pre-programmed GPS for your car and se of birding information on paper. The system willguide you to the best birding spots in the area (points of interest), and make sure that you´ll see a representative collection of the birds the region can offer, and, hopefully help you find some of your most wanted species.
Visit amazing Hornøya
A visit to the seabird colonies at Hornøya is an nature experience that will certainly leave a lasting impression. Hornøya and Vardø is 45 minutes driving from Ekkerøy, and is the easternmost island in Norway, located about a mile outside of Vardø in the Barents Sea. Only 10 minutes by boat from Vardø Harbour is the home of 150 000 seabirds. The rich waters of the Barents sea and the steep cliffs off Hornøya provice food and safety for the seabirds. The main cliff is dominated by black-legged kittiwakes, common guillemots and Atlantic puffins, interspersed by Europeans shags, Brünnich's guillemots, razorbills and a few black guillemots. All are easy to see, hear and smell from the areas open to the public.
Fantastic Hornøya - very close to the birdlife
On the vegetated areas below the cliff and covering the island as a whole breed large numbers of herring gulls and great black-backed gulls, plus a few common eider.
Hornøya is a protected nature reserve and there are traffic restrictions on the island. A marked path ensures that alle the species are visible, many of them you will be able to observe wery close. Bring something to eat and warm to drink, and do not forget your camera. Use the path and not disturb the birds unnecessarily. Have a great stay at the spectacular Hornøya!
Max 6 hours, min 2 hours.
Departures from Vardø Monday-Friday: 9.00, 10.30, 11.30, 13.30.
Departures from Hornøya: 03.00
Departures from Hornøya: 03.00
Season: 1. March - 1. September
Capacity: Maximum 24 persons pr trip
Price: 350 NOK p.p.
Birding in Varanger Birdpark
Visit Varanger Birdpark/Bird reserve in the spring/summer. Only wild birds coming to the feeder. This small park in the village Vestre Jakobselv has a feedingstation, benches, birdboxes for passerines and Owls and a short track. You may see birds as Siberian Tit and Arctic Redpolls. Other regular birds: Pied Flycatcher, Brambling, Common Redpoll, Great Tit, Willow Tit, European Greenfinch. Possible birds: Eurasian Bullfinch, Eurasian Jay. Slimchance birds: Three Toed Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.
Price: NOK 500,- p p until 5 houers
Eagle safari Båtsfjord
Båtsfjord, Syltefjord and Stauran bird colony has a wonderful birdlife. Species and individuals are numerous. But one species stands out from the others, the great white-tailed eagle.
White-tailed eagles are particularly numerous around Stauran. In some cases, we observed up to 38 individuals at one time. One can find white-tailed eagle at Stauran bird colony all year round, but particularly in spring and early summer that the white-tailed eagle thrive. This is because other species come here every year to nest, making Stauran bird colony to an inexhaustible larder.
White-tailed eagle is the largest bird of prey in northern Europe and the fourth largest eagle in the world.
Arctic Tourist offers daily trips to Stauran bird colony. It is a trip that takes about 10 minutes from our base in Syltefjord. We guarantee a spectacular sight in Stauran Fuglefjell, whether you get to see white-tailed eagle or not.
The Varanger road - one of National Tourist Routes in Norway
Read more: National Tourist Routes in Norway