20 November 2011

Varanger harbour life - northern and eastern gulls

Winter is arriving in Varanger - and Siberia is visiting. 

We are at the outer limits of Europe. Far east - further east then Istanbul - and far north. Varanger is truly a place of extremes. From 24-hour daylight in the summer with an abundance of life, and birds. It is for many the attraction of the north. We meet quite a few birders in Varanger that have trouble with the midnight sun. You can actually go birding non-stop in the summer. On the other hand you have the arctic winter, with heavy snowstorms and near total darkness day and night. In these conditions there are still birds that thrive. Gulls are birds with phenomenal capabilities. Experts on flight - and survival. They are generalists that can adapt to people. In Vardø harbour the arctic gull species Glaucous Gull is just arriving. These are birds form Siberia.

Adult Glaucous Gull, Larus larus hyperboreus (polarmåke), Vardø harbour, outer Varangerfjord, nov 2011

06 November 2011

PASVIK - one autumn day in the taiga

All photos by Tormod Amundsen and Elin Taranger of Biotope / copyright. 

Photos below: 
Siberian Tit - a perfect match and a compliment to its environment 
Old house in Pasvik 
Pasvik river scene. 

Birds, architecture and landscape of the northeastern taiga: A study in all shades of brown and green.

We are working on a project where we assist approximately 30 tourism businesses in Central and Eastern Finnmark with expertise and advice on arrangements and fascilities for birds and birders. We have for more then two years initiated and contributed to several bird projects in Finnmark. The aim is to promote birds, nature conservation and nature-based tourism. This goes very well together. Both tourism and conservation has much to gain from a focused initiative and close collaboration. This work involves everything from giving advice about feeding stations to attract birds, to bird-watching facilities at strategic locations. Varanger Fjord is an already well-known birding destination in the world. Here you can experience the tundra and the Arctic coast and all the bird species that belong to this environment. In Scandinavia Pasvik is well known among birders. Internationally, however, this is a better kept secret. We aim to change this. The combination Varanger and Pasvik is actually quite unique. Here you find taiga, tundra and arctic coastline within a days drive. It takes less than 4 hours to drive from Vardo / outer Varanger Fjord to Nyrud, deep in the Pasvik taiga forest.

Conseptual map: Biotope - architecture & nature