28 May 2011

VARANGER TRIP REPORT: promotional birding tour, may 2011

Photos by Tormod Amundsen/Biotope copyright (when not stated otherwise)
and Steve Rogers/SWOpticsphoto copyright (bird -and bear- photos).

From 6th to 14th of may 2011 Biotope arranged a promotrip for birdwatching tour-companies, in collaboration with touristportals and the ´Motvind´-project. With key knowledge on birdsites and the birdlife in ´Arctic Norway´, we had the pleasure to both prepare and guide this trip.

Varanger is a top 100 birdwatching destination in the world. It is the only easily accesible arctic destination in the world. This is where you travel to experience intact nature and unique birdlife. Stellers Eiders, King Eiders, Gyr Falcons, Brünnichs Guillemots, Pine Grosbeaks, Siberian tits and many other birdspecies of the north can be seen within a short distance. This is where taiga, tundra and arctic oceans meet.

BEARWATCHING (photo above by Steve Rogers / copyright):

Thanks to good info from local nature photographer Helge Stærk we started the trip with great views of a just-out-of-hibernation bear that had settled on a reindeer carcass. This was only a 5 minute drive from Kirkenes airport! A great start on a 6 day rather fast-forward journey inside the arctic circle.

For this promotion trip we had invited the following guests:
Martin Garner -
André van Loon - Dutch Birding:
Steve Rogers - SWOptics: and
Ruud van Beusekom - Birding Breaks:
James McCallum - Wildlife artist:
Jörg Kretschmar - Ozellus:
Nigel Jones - Ornitholidays:
Chris Lansdell - Oenanthe Birding Adventures:
Hans Ueli Grütter - Liberty Bird:
Colin McShane - Avian Adventures:

Trip itinerary: