Dates of the trip: from 3 July to 1 August 1996.


In this page, you will find a summary of a birdwatching trip a group of friends and I decided to make in Scandinavia. I have indicated, day after day, the most remarkable observations but if you want to go directly to the list of species at the end of the page, click here.

3 July 1996. Frederic Malvaud and I left Forbach at 03.15 pm in a car following Francois, Martine and Segolene Thommes in their R.V. . We drove across Germany and camped in a field with no amenities near Hamburg, in the pouring rain.

4 July 1996. It was still raining when I got up and I soon had several pints of water in my shoes. Putting down my small tent in which two of us were to sleep for some time didn't take me much time. At the Fehnmarn bridge, which is the door to Denmark, we saw our first Arctic Terns.

The crossing from Puttgarden (Germany) to Rødby (Denmark), and Helsingør (Denmark) to Helsingborg (Sweden), cost us DM230 return included. Francois' R.V. cost him DM350 . This is what you get when you have extravagant tastes ... The crossing from Puttgarden on the " Prins Henrik " doesn't take much time and we observed several common sea birds. South of Copenhagen, we saw 3 Greylag Geese and Hooded Crows. We crossed the sea between Helsingør and Helsingborg on the" Tycho Brahe ", who was a Danish astronomer as everyone knows and as I learned on the ship. We went to the reserve of Getterön, near Varberg and, in spite of the rain, we saw a lot of birds that we don't see too often: a Whooper Swan, Ruddy Shelducks, 20 Pied Avocets, 20 Wood Sandpipers, 300 Common Teals, a Canadian Goose, a Little Tern, 2 Black Terns and several common waders. We put up our tent in the neighbourhood of Vänersborg where we were lucky enough to see several Moose from a short distance. I didn't sleep very much because I had forgotten to air my sleeping bag and it was full of dust mites. As I'm allergic, I had asthma all night.

5 July 1996. We followed the shore of Lake Vänern and drove all day as far as the reserve of Hamra. The temperature had fallen to 10°C. We observed an Osprey, 10 Black-Throated Divers, more Moose and a Eurasian Woodcock.

Fred and I, in the rain

6 July 1996. The weather was beautiful, at long last. We had a solid breakfast, I was feeling less tired and the area was beautiful. We saw our first Bramblings while taking a stroll in the forest and for the time being, the mosquitoes weren't too much of a nuisance. This was my second trip to the North of Europe and I knew what to expect. We were a little disappointed because we hadn't seen anything when just before coming back to our vehicles, we unexpectedly came across a juvenile Ural Owl. We drove farther up the Gulf of Botnia and saw 50 Canadian Geese and a Eurasian Hobby. In the evening, we arrived at Umeå and we had already logged up 2400 km. Scandinavia is indeed a long distance away. We were surprised to find a Hedgehog so far up north. We camped right in the middle of the taïga at Byske, at one o'clock in the morning just after we had seen a few Moose.

Moose (Photo by Francois Thommes)

7 July 1996. We woke up to the calls of Common Crossbills and I ate my first Midge, that sort of minute insect which bites you and makes you itch for at least 8 days. The temperature was 19°C and roads were in relatively good condition. North of Luleå, we observed 16 Common Cranes and 3 Common Ravens then discovered our first Rough-Lgged Buzzard attacked by an Eurasian Curlew. We had lunch in the small harbour of Råneå in the presence of 2 Red-necked Grebes and an Osprey. Not far from the Finnish border, near Happaranda, we were thrilled to meet our first Reindeer. This proved we were really way up north. We went down south again, following the Gulf of Botnia under the pelting rain, heading for Oulu where we arrived in the evening. We went to the Reserve of Virkkula in Liminka and put our watches forward one hour. There, we saw 120 European Wigeons, 7 Black-Tailed Godwits, one Short-Eared Owl and one Ortolan Bunting. Who could ask for more ?

8 July 1996. Actually, what we were asking for was Yellow-Breasted Bunting, which is the bird to look for in this area. We stayed in this reserve without being able to see it and what infuriated us was to see several birdwatchers telling us they had heard it several times. We had to content ourselves with watching a few Little Gulls, a Redwing, several Common Cranes, a northern Yellow Wagtail, some Common Redpolls, a European Pied Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler, a Northern Hare and a Common Squirrel. From the hide, we saw 10 Greylag Geese with 7 chicks, 27 Whooper Swans, a Ruff, 3 Whinchats and we heard the song of the Sedge Warbler, a very common bird there. For want of anything better we did our shopping and nevertheless saw a couple of Scarlet Rosefinches. When we returned we spotted some Sand Martins and, at long last, very far away but still unmistakable, a nice male Yellow-Breasted Bunting. We went into great raptures and talked a lot about this bird. In the evening, we did a little birdwatching in town with some success as we had a nice view of Two-Barred Crossbills.

9 July 1996. At one in the morning, it was broad daylight and we were still in town where we saw a Eurasian Woodcock and 6 Common Cranes. We left Liminka but even if we had managed to get some shuteye, Fred was so tired that he fell asleep for a second while driving. Fortunately, there were two of us in the car. We went on northwards in the direction of the Pallas Reserve, passing by the numerous wooden sheds which are so typical of that place. I noticed a few Finnish flags in front of houses but I found the Swedes showed more patriotism in this respect. Naturally, we paused at the Polar Circle where the temperature was 22°C and where I learnt on the phone that my family had an awful spell of weather in the East of France! The taïga unfolded itself as far as the eye could see but a lorry pelted us with gravel and smashed our windscreen. Fred screamed blue murder because he had had it changed only a week before! We mended it with thick adhesive plastic tape. In the evening we slept near a lake after seeing our first Eurasian Golden Plover. There were a lot of mosquitoes and midges but it was still bearable.

Eurasian Golden Plover (Photo by Francois Thommes)

10 July 1996. I was still having very little sleep in my bag and to recuperate, I dozed in the car during the day. We visited the splendid Park Visitors' Centre and read the informative notices about the role of mosquitoes, but in spite of this, I still hated them. They were a real pain in the neck (and elsewhere too!) during our walk. I protected my head and neck with a mosquito net, I wore gloves and not a square inch of my skin was showing. Unfortunately the drizzle obstructed the net in the long run and it didn't prevent the midges from getting through. After some time, I couldn't see anything. I sometimes also had to blow my nose and all the mosquitoes of Finland took advantage of this to guzzle my blood. But this was still tolerable. The worst was to go to the toilets in the wild because we couldn't always use the clean ones in petrol stations. If you forgot to surround yourself with burning repellent serpentines, your bum soon looked like a cauliflower. Surprisingly enough we found a loo in a church where the mosquitoes hadn't dared go in. 

We saw another Northern Hare and a colony of Arctic Terns next to the post office in Muonio. The temperature was 12°C, i.e. 10 degrees lower than the day before. This was too much for my already weak health and I had to buy syrup for my cough. We saw a Black-Throated Diver, a Eurasian Hobby and a family of Goldeneye with 11 chicks, another female of the same species followed by 26 chicks which were probably not all hers, a female Goosander with 8 chicks on her back and 2 Whimbrels. We camped in a clearing and felt like staying a little in that area, which would spare us the trouble of putting up our tent again the following morning. We didn't fear any thieves because not many people live there.

Arctic Tern (Photo by Francois Thommes)

11 July 1996. I had had a good night and felt fine. The rain had stopped but the patches of snow on the surrounding low summits proved it was still pretty cold. We took a walk in the taïga, among the numerous dead trees. Francois saw a Willow Grouse, a Hazel Grouse and a female Capercaillie. As for us, we didn't see anything except mosquitoes and midges and my oilskin was shredded to pieces. I looked like the zombie of a tramp. There were still a lot of animals but we didn't spot anything new apart from a Merlin. While we were washing our linen in a freezing cold brook and trying to dry it as best as we could, we spotted Two-Barred Crossbills again. Apparently, there was a small influx of this species.

12 July 1996. We stayed another day in the same area. There were as many mosquitoes as there are bees in a hive and they were covering our windscreen. We took the same path as the day before but it didn't rain for once. We spotted Willow Grouse with their chicks, 2 Siberian Tits, 3 Siberian Jays, 3 Two-Barred Crossbills, a Bluethroat, the one with the red patch, a Common Cuckoo in the red phase and 2 Smews with chicks.

While we were having lunch by the side of a dirt road, a drunken Finn came up to us and apparently wanted us to leave. He sounded very aggressive and as he was unable to speak any other language but his own, he kept saying something like: " Kokoriaki " . If anyone knows what this means, I'm quite willing to increase my Finnish vocabulary. We offered him a cup of coffee, which he declined, and went on insulting us. Seeing that only he could understand what he was saying he got tired and left.

13 July 1996. The sky was overcast, hosts of midges paid us a visit but we knew they would be far fewer in the Varanger Peninsula, our destination for that day. Once in Norway, we noticed a change in the landscape. The taïga gave way to the wooded tundra dotted with floating peatbogs and the birchtrees were already much smaller. Further up north, they crawled on the ground. We drove right through Lapland and once more, we were pleased to see the colourful houses of Kautokeino, the first typical tents and wooden sheds, as well as some Laps in traditional costumes. I was very surprised at the change that had taken place since my last trip in 1987. The cost of living was much lower and you could find everything in the shops which were also much more numerous than at that time. There's no need to take all your food with you as I had to do then. In Kautokeino, we observed 2 Wood Sandpipers, a Rough-Legged Buzzard and just before Karasjok 2 Long-Tailed Skuas. We had already logged up over 4000 km and we had to drive even more carefully now because there were a lot of sheep and Reindeer on the roads. We drove along the river Tana and saw a Merlin and a Eurasian Woodcock. After a long time we finally made it to the mythical Varanger Peninsula and its famous little church in Nesseby, facing the cod driers.  All around us we could hear Eurasian Oystercatchers running among the Common Shelducks and several waders among which a Bar-Tailed Godwit and a Temminck's Stint. We saw our first Black-Legged Kittiwakes and then started looking for a sheltered place for the night because the wind was starting to blow very hard.

Dunlin (Photo by Francois Thommes)

14 July 1996. Fred was well organized, as usual, and it was a pleasure to have a nice breakfast under the canvas cover, protected from the wind and the pouring rain. The trouble was that the canvas, made heavier by the accumulating rain tore itself open and I got a bucketful on my back. The only thing to do was to change clothes. No problem, I knew what I was in for coming here. I found some comfort in watching the many waders and Arctic Skuas, the Common Ravens, the numerous Common Gulls and a Short-Eared Owl. However, what thrilled us most was the observation of 4 Belugas that Segolène had spotted from the car. We could see their milky bodies swimming slowly at the surface of the Varangerfjorden, 50 m from the shore. In Vadsø, a Red-Breasted Merganser seemed lost among the hundred or so Red-Necked Phalaropes swimming close to the colony of Arctic Terns which dive-bombed at us. A Northern Hare had to undergo the same treatment. 2 Razorbills were flying low above the waves and I saw a Harbour Porpoise in my spotting scope. It is impossible to mention all the birds we saw as they were so numerous but I noted 9 Long-Tailed Ducks, 3 Black Guillemots, our first Snow Bunting for this trip, Eurasian Golden Plovers whose sad and insistent call was to become familiar to us very quickly, many Arctic Skuas in all possible phases, 2 White-Tailed Eagles and 14 Steller's Eider. Robert Lecaille and Odile Mella, who had joined us in between felt sorry or ashamed of my oilskin which was now torn to pieces and they lent me a brand new one. I almost looked human. We drove as far as Ekkerøy where we put up our tent not far from the pebble beach.

Black-Legged Kittiwakes

15 July 1996. I had a good night in spite of the cold and the wind. The temperature was only 4°C under the tent but we had the best of modern comfort as far as toilets were concerned: a wooden shed with a few boards where you had to sit in unsteady balance above huge plastic bowls that are emptied at the end of the season, the whole contraption being loaded with big stones because of the wind. Black-Legged Kittiwakes were making a hell of a noise but we listened to it with much pleasure. We took a walk above the cliff to have a better view of these birds which were accompanied by 10 Black Guillemots, 2 Razorbills and, flying above them, a Rough-Legged Buzzard. Going to Vadsø, from the roadside, we had a good view of a Horned Lark, all sorts of waders we had already seen and a few Ruddy Turnstones. I remember, as a pleasant anecdote, that we went to the graveyard to fetch water. Although it was peaty, it was drinkable.

16 July 1996. We were still in Ekkerøy. It had rained a lot that night and I had a little water in the tent. The view was very pleasant when the sun happened to shine: the sea was green, the houses very colourful and the inland summits covered with snow patches. Going to another place, we saw a few Long-Tailed Ducks and, on the Komagvaer dirt road, some Whimbrels, several Lapland Buntings, 6 Red-Necked Phalaropes, several Long-Tailed Skuas, Bar-Tailed Godwits, a Black-Throated Diver, a Red-Throated Diver and another Horned Lark. We drove back to Ekkerøy where our 2 White-Tailed Eagles seemed to be nesting.

Red-Necked Phalarope (Photo by Francois Thommes)

17 July 1996. Another day in Ekkerøy where we saw the same birds. From the beach, we observed 23 Black Guillemots, a Guillemot, 2 Lesser Black-Backed Gulls of the northern race. On the ground, we found the nest of a Lapland Bunting with 4 chicks and from the top of the cliff we spotted a White-Billed Diver and 6 Steller's Eider. We drove to Vardø through the tunnel under the sea and when we reached the other side, we were amazed to see a Temminck's Stint followed by two tiny chicks which bolted away as fast as their small legs could carry them. Fred, the lucky one, saw an Arctic Redpoll. There was also a Reed Bunting and while we were driving back to our camp, we made a pause to have a look at a Red-Throated Pipit.

18 July 1996. I got up at 5.45 a.m. to have a nice view from the cliff. Later on, when Francois wanted to leave, the engine of his R.V. started coughing, spitting out black smoke and refused to start. We were at the back of beyond, helpless on the beach of a small village. We called "Inter Mutuelle Assistance", our insurance company, which accepted to reverse the charges and connected us to some office where a secretary spoke very good French. Even though she had never heard of the nearest town to our village, she still managed to send us a 4-wheel-drive breakdown van less than an hour later.

The mechanic had helped us out for the time being but we had to go to the garage to have the preheating plugs changed, which Francois had just done when he had his R.V. overhauled. It cost him a fortune but we were able to move farther. We drove to Vardø hoping it would be possible to take the boat to the island of Hornøya. We were disappointed to learn that the boat was being overhauled and that the trip was put off to the following day. We were nevertheless lucky enough to see a Glaucous Gull, Atlantic Puffins, a few Gannets and a Silver Fox. This is the Canadian race of the Red Fox which was introduced there for its fur but some of these animals managed to escape. Its fur is a beautiful pepper-and-salt and it is quite tame. We put up our tent on the island, looking forward to the next eventful day.

Arctic Skua (Photo by Francois Thommes)

19 July 1996. We had a good night on the tundra peat and we were at last able to take the boat to Hornøya. We had arranged to be taken back later in the evening, when we had feasted our eyes on all the species living on the cliffs or the slopes of this small island. During the crossing, I saw a huge Bearded Seal. Its back was a broad as the deck of a submarine and it had bushy whiskers. We were spellbound as soon as we arrived on the island. All the birds were uttering shrill calls from the top to the bottom of the cliff and you could sometimes get as close to them as a mere 2 m. There were thousands of alcids and among them Guillemots, Black Guillemots, Brünnich's Guillemots, Atlantic Puffins, a few European Shags and the usual gulls. We also saw 2 Rock Pipits on the strand. We were however getting short for time and had to return to the harbour. We saw the Glaucous Gull we had seen the previous day and then took the scenic road cut in the middle of a moon-like countryside to go to Hamningberg. On the shore, we observed thousands of Common Eider together with two King Eider and a White-billed Diver. Hamningberg is a small town of about forty derelict houses and as many Reindeer. I found the people there rather stand-offish and the beach was a real rubbish dump. Fortunately, birds are not fussy, whether in the choice of their habitat or the people they mix with all year round.

Atlantic Puffin (Photo by Francois Thommes)

20 July 1996. The weather was mild (13°C) and the sky overcast. We stayed in the area and saw a good many Gannets, alcids, several Red-Throated Divers, a Grey Seal and a Glaucous Gull. We took several dirt roads but didn't see any new species.

21 July 1996. We had beautiful mild weather on the Indre Kiberg track and to start the day we saw a Rough-Legged Buzzard, a White-Tailed Eagle and a Red Fox. I was in the R.V. with Francois when the others, who were straggling behind, told us over the C.B. that they had spotted a Snowy Owl. Hell's bells! Panic stations! Francois turned his Volkswagen into a Ferrari and drove like Michael Schumacher. The van jumped from one bump into the next hole and we caught up the rest of the group in a cloud of dust, so quickly that we were afraid to shoo away the bird which was feeding on a Eurasian Golden Plover down by the side of the track. We had plenty of time to observe it on the ground and in flight before it left. We talked about it all through the day. We also saw a Willow Grouse and many other species. On another track, we watched a Red-Throated Pipit, a Rough-Legged Buzzard and 21 Great Cormorants and that was the end of the day.

22 July 1996. We turned and came back to Vardø where we saw the same species we had seen before and then headed north towards the mouth of the Tana where you can see a lot of waders and terns nesting. We took some time watching the birds feeding their young and then we drove inland nothward bound in the direction of the Varanger Peninsula. In the Båtsfjord region, a Purple Sandpiper flew off from under our feet in the tundra and we spotted several Eurasian Dotterels at some distance.

23 July 1996. We cruised along a dirt track in the Kongsfjord fjellet where we observed a male Eurasian Dotterel in excellent conditions. The countryside was very pleasant to look at and it is impossible to name all the many birds we saw in the Varanger Peninsula. We drove as far as Båtsfjord where a few Hooded Crows and, what luck, an Iceland Gull where waiting for us. The temperature reached a high of 30°C and we took advantage of this to store heat observing birds. In the evening, while we were camping on the heights of the peninsula, I took a walk alone and I flushed a Rock Ptarmigan. We had been looking for this bird all day long so I was careful to take some bearings for my birdwatching mates who were all sound asleep.

24 July 1996. The weather was still fine and we were lucky enough to find my Ptarmigan. There were far fewer mosquitoes now and we hardly paid any attention to their bites. Back in Båtsfjord, we met Laurent Maly and his girl-friend Marie-Cath as planned before. We followed the same route and were flown over by 2 Golden Eagles while we had lunch. Once in Syltefjord, a herd of about 150 Reindeer showed up against the mountainous skyline. I thought they were far less numerous than in 1987.  Maybe this was due to the killing of so many of these animals after the Chernobyl meltdown?

We went to the tourist office to get some information about the mountain track leading to the northernmost colony of Gannets in the world. You can also see it from under in a boat if you're not sea-sick. Francois who is always heavily loaded with his video equipment decided to stay with the girls, except Marie-Cath who would come with us. According to the woman in the tourist office the way was clearly indicated but we would have to do with a tiring 22-km walk, return included. As the colony spreads out over 4 km, we would have to plod along for at least 31 km.

Rock Ptarmigan (Photo by Francois Thommes)

25 July 1996. We left the camp at 8 a.m., loaded like pack-horses. We had to carry our food and water, our telescopes and we were dressed very warmly because the weather was colder. We soon found out that the red dots indicating the way had faded away and as we had missed some of them, we made detours on this already long enough excursion. We quickly came across 3 White-Tailed Eagles flying together and forgot how tiring it was walking on the big boulders. The terrain was pretty flat in the beginning for a few miles, then the path went up the mountain side. The wind started blowing harder, the rocks were slippery and we saw no end to our trip. After walking across the mountain for several hours, we made a pause to have a bite, lightening our backpacks by the way and giving us the opportunity to see a Bearded Seal. It was smaller than the one I had seen in the harbour of Vardø but we had plenty of time to watch it because it was only 10 m or so from the strand. 

At 12.15, we made it to the colony where we saw at least 200 Gannets and about 15 White-tailed Eagles. What a sight to see them from so close! The gull colony, however, was disappointing. It was huge enough but you can only see the birds from a distance and I didn't feel comfortable lying in the slippery grass, one or two hundred m above the sea. At 3.15 pm, we reached the farther end of the colony, watched the birds and at 6.15 pm it was time for us to return. The way back was strenuous because we were more tired than when we had gone out and the wind even made me fall once. Fortunately enough I didn't break my telescope. Then the fog came down and as we didn't want to risk falling from off the cliff, at one time Fred suggested we might have to spend the night on the spot if the worst came to the worst. We eventually made it to the place where we had parked our cars. It was 9.15 pm and we had spent 10 hours walking and 3 hours scanning the cliff. When we reached the camp, Martine treated us to a bowl of hot soup and Odile gave me some cream to massage my aching feet. Let the whole world know I thank our two charming nurses! We hadn't been aware that the weather conditions had been far worse at the camp where gale-force winds had been blowing. Francois had had to secure our tents lest they were blown away and worried a lot about us. It's good to learn some people still care for you!

On our way to Sandfjorden

26 July 1996. The weather wasn't very beautiful and we had to part. Fred and I had to return home earlier for family reasons. We therefore went southward, alone. And indeed, we didn't meet a single car in 70 km. Of course, we came across more and more mosquitoes but we still made a few stops to do some bird-watching, without seeing anything new. We had chosen a more eastern course, passing near Lake Inari. We camped in a pleasant clearing, plagued with mosquitoes, in the region of Ivalo.

27 July 1996. The countryside was getting more and more civilized but the taiga was still as impressive. We took a 3-hour walk in the Urkokekhosen Park in the area of Sompio. There, we spotted 200 Common Redpolls, Siberian Jays and as Fred was suffering from a severe bout of migraine, I was at the wheel more and more often, which I enjoyed. During a pause in the forest I flushed a female Capercaillie.

28 July 1996. We left the region of Vuotso where we had spent the night and at 10.40 am we crossed the Polar Circle in the opposite direction. When we reached Rovaniemi, the Varanger Peninsula was already far behind us. At the Swedish border, near Happaranda, we had travelled 6200 km. We saw 2 Honey Buzzards which were probably migrating back. They too had a long distance to travel and they do it every year, both ways.

I still didn't like the Scandinavian way of driving. You drive with your lights on, which is very useful when the low-lying sun is dazzling you and that's fine. But what I hate is the trouble you may have overtaking someone that has decided you should stay behind. There is a kind of emergency lane on the right-hand side of big roads which you are supposed to use when someone faster wants to overtake. Some people are very reluctant to use it and when you have been dragging yourself for hours behind a slow coach, you often feel like overtaking on the right, which is something you should never do, of course. The towns sped past: Lulleå, Skellefteå, Umeå, etc. . We travelled almost 1000 km on that day and, in the evening, we were happy to get some rest in our tents in the middle of the forest near Harnösand.

29 July 1996. We drove all day as far as the Getterön Reserve in Varberg. I felt almost civilized as there were no more mosquitoes and as I had put on my town shoes on again to drive.

30 July 1996. The topography no longer looked the same in the reserve. There was far less water than on our way out and the birds were different too. We saw 400 Greylag Geese, 1000 Canadian Geese and a lot of waders already sporting their winter plumage, among which 2 Grey Plovers and a Red Knot. A Water Rail chick slithered away between the reeds and an American Mink crossed the path and dived into the ditch. We also saw a Common Pheasant and above all a Broad-billed Sandpiper. That was to be our last rarity.

31 July 1996. We left Varberg and boarded the "Tycho Brahe" in Helsingborg around 10.30am. We crossed the small stretch of Denmark very quickly and embarked in Rødby heading for Puttgarden at 2.30 pm. The "Deutschland" set out almost immediately and we crossed Germany under the pouring rain.

1 August 1996. We arrived home at 1 in the morning after we had logged 9000 km.

List of species seen during the trip.

My comments are not meant to be scientific. The comments below do not concern the statute of birds in Scandinavia but only reflect my impressions during this trip. I have not seen personally the species marked *.

Red-throated Diver
Gavia stellata
Pretty rare.
Black-throated Diver
Gavia arctica
A little more frequent than the previous species.
White-billed Diver
Gavia adamsii
Very few individuals in The Varanger Peninsula.
Great Crested Grebe
Podiceps cristatus
Red-necked Grebe
Podiceps grisegena
Northern Gannet
Morus bassanus
A large colony in the Syltefjord.
Great Cormorant
Phalacrocorax carbo
European Shag
Phalacrocorax aristotelis
Grey Heron
Ardea cinerea
Whooper Swan
Cygnus cygnus
Only in certain places. Rare.
Mute Swan
Cygnus olor
Greylag Goose
Anser anser
Not seen very often.
Canada Goose
Branta canadensis
A few individuals.
Common Shelduck
Tadorna tadorna
Rare. In the Varanger Peninsula.
Eurasian Wigeon
Anas penelope
Pretty common.
Anas platyrhynchos
Anas strepera
Common Teal
Anas crecca
Tufted Duck
Aythya fuligula
King Eider
Somateria spectabilis
Very rare. In the Varanger Peninsula.
Steller's Eider
Polysticta stelleri
Very rare. In the Varanger Peninsula.
Common Eider
Somateria mollissima
Very common.
Long-tailed Duck
Clangula hyemalis
Rather uncommon. In the Varanger Peninsula.
Velvet Scoter
Melanita fusca
Rather uncommon. In the Varanger Peninsula.
Common Goldeneye
Bucephala clangula
Rather common.
Mergus albellus
Rather uncommon.
Red-breasted Merganser
Mergus serrator
Rather uncommon?
Common Merganser
Mergus merganser
Very common in the North.
Red Kite
Milvus milvus
Western Marsh Harrier
Circus aeruginosus
Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Accipiter nisus
Honey Buzzard
Pernis apivorus
2 individuals migrating in the South of Sweden.
Common Buzzard
Buteo buteo
Rough-legged Buzzard
Buteo lagopus
Not very common.
White-tailed Eagle
Haliaeetus albicilla
Several birds in the Varanger Peninsula.
Golden Eagle
Aquila chrysaetos
2 individuals in the Varanger Peninsula.
Pandion haliaetus
Not very common.
Common Kestrel
Falco tinnunculus
Eurasian Hobby
Falco subbuteo
Falco columbarius
Rock Ptarmigan
Lagopus mutus
Difficult to see.
Willow Grouse
Lagopus lagopus
Difficult to see.
Tetrao urogallus
Hazel Grouse*
Bonasa bonasia
Very rare.
Common Pheasant
Phasianus colchicus
Water Rail
Rallus aquaticus
A chick in the south of Sweden.
Common Moorhen
Gallinula chloropus
Common Coot
Fulica atra
Common Crane
Grus grus
A few birds.
Eurasian Oystercatcher
Haematopus ostralegus
Pied Avocet
Recurvirostra avosetta
Great Ringed Plover
Charadrius hiaticula
Rather common.
Little Ringed Plover
Charadrius dubius
Eurasian Dotterel
Charadrius morinellus
Rather uncommon.
Eurasian Golden Plover
Pluvialis apricaria
Common in the Varanger Peninsula.
Grey Plover
Pluvialis squatarola
Very rare.
Northern Lapwing
Vanellus vanellus
Purple Sandpiper
Calidris maritima
Only one bird.
Ruddy Turnstone
Arenaria interpres
Rather common?
Red Knot
Calidris canutus
One bird only.
Calidris alpina
A few birds.
Broad-billed Sandpiper
Limicola falcinellus
One bird.
Little Stint
Calidris minuta
Temminck's Stint
Calidris temminckii
Rather uncommon but you can't miss it in the Varanger Peninsula.
Philomachus pugnax
Eurasian Curlew
Numenius arquata
Rather common.
Numenius phaeopus
Rather common.
Black-tailed Godwit
Limosa limosa
Rather uncommon.
Bar-tailed Godwit
Limosa lapponica
Rather common?
Common Redshank
Tringa totanus
Common Greenshank
Tringa nebularia
Wood Sandpiper
Tringa glareola
Common Sandpiper
Tringa hypoleucos
Green Sandpiper
Tringa ochropus
Eurasian Woodcock
Scolopax rusticola
Several birds.
Common Snipe
Gallinago gallinago
A few birds.
Red-necked Phalarope
Phalaropus lobatus
Some in the Varanger Peninsula.
Arctic Skua
Stercorarius parasiticus
Rather common in the Varanger Peninsula.
Long-tailed Skua
Stercorarius longicaudus
Some birds, more often inland than the Arctic Skua.
Little Gull
Larus minutus
Some birds.
Black-headed Gull
Larus ridibundus
Common Gull
Larus canus
Black-legged Kittiwake
Rissa tridactyla
Very common on cliffs.
Herring Gull
Larus argentatus argentatus
Glaucous Gull
Larus hyperboreus
Iceland Gull
Larus glaucoides
Very rare. One bird only.
Great Black-backed Gull
Larus marinus
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Larus fuscus fuscus
Common Tern
Sterna hirundo
Rather common.
Arctic Tern
Sterna paradisea
Little Tern
Sternula albifrons
Black Tern
Chlidonias niger
Uria aalge
Brünnich's Guillemot
Uria lomvia
In one spot only.
Alca torda
Black Guillemot
Cepphus grylle
In one spot only.
Atlantic Puffin
Fratercula arctica
In one spot only.
Common Wood Pigeon
Columba palumbus
Common Cuckoo
Cuculus canorus
Short-eared Owl
Asio flammeus
Pretty rare.
Snowy Owl
Bubo scandiacus
Only one bird.
Hawk Owl*
Surnia ulula
Very rare.
Ural Owl
Strix uralensis
Very rare.
Eurasian Nightjar*
Caprimulgus europaeus
Common Swift
Apus apus
Three-toed Woodpecker*
Picoides tridactylus
Very rare.
Horned Lark
Eremophila alpestris
Sand Martin
Riparia riparia
Barn Swallow
Hirundo rustica
Northern House Martin
Delichon urbicum
Rock Pipit
Anthus petrosus littoralis
Rare and  localized.
Tree Pipit
Anthus trivialis
Meadow Pipit
Anthus pratensis
Red-throated Pipit
Anthus cervinus
Rather uncommon.
White Wagtail
Motacilla alba
Yellow Wagtail
Motacilla flava thunbergi
Rather common.
White-throated Dipper
Cinclus cinclus
Luscinia svecica svecica
Rather common.
Common Redstart
Phoenicurus phoenicurus
Saxicola rubetra
Northern Wheatear
Oenanthe oenanthe
Eurasian Blackbird
Turdus merula
Turdus pilaris
Rather common.
Turdus iliacus
Rather common.
European Sedge Warbler
Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Common in some places.
Garden Warbler
Sylvia borin
Willow Warbler
Phylloscopus trochilus
European Pied Flycatcher
Ficedula hypoleuca
Spotted Flycatcher
Muscicapa striata
Siberian Tit
Poecile cinctus
Willow Tit
Parus montanus
Crested Tit
Parus cristatus
Great Tit
Parus major
Red-backed Shrike
Lanius collurio
Great Grey Shrike
Lanius excubitor
Not many.
Common Starling
Sturnus vulgaris
Siberian Jay
Perisoreus infaustus
In the taïga.
Common Magpie
Pica pica
Eurasian Jackdaw
Corvus monedula
Common Raven
Corvus corax
141 Hooded Crow Corvus cornix Common.
Carrion Crow
Corvus corone
Common in the south.
Corvus frugilegus
House Sparrow
Passer domesticus
Fringilla coelebs
Fringilla montifringilla
European Greenfinch
Carduelis chloris
Eurasian Bullfinch
Pyrrhula pyrrhula
Common Redpoll
Carduelis flammea
Arctic Redpoll*
Carduelis hornemanni
Rare and difficult to make out from Common Redpoll.
Scarlet Rosefinch
Carpodacus erythrinus
Rare and localized.
Common Crossbill
Loxia curvirostra
Two-barred Crossbill
Loxia leucoptera
A small influx.
Yellow-breasted Bunting
Emberiza aureola
Very rare and localized.
Emberiza citrinella
Ortolan Bunting
Emberiza hortulana
Rare and localized.
Rustic Bunting*
Emberiza rustica
Reed Bunting
Emberiza schoeniclus
Lapland Bunting
Calcarius lapponicus
Rather common in the Varanger Peninsula.
Snow Bunting
Plectrophenax nivalis
Rather common in the Varanger Peninsula.

Other animal species:

Moose (Alces alces)

Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)

Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes). Including Silver Fox.

American Mink (Mustela vison)

Northern Hare (Lepus timidus)

Common Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)


Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas)

Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)


Bearded Seal (Erignathus barbatus)

Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)

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