25 March 2016

Vardø, Arctic Norway - Gullfest part 1

King Eiders in Vardø harbour during Gullfest, March 2016

Gullfest 2016 was another successfull arctic birding festival. This year we celebrated the epic Vardø harbour. In town birding in Vardø is probanly some of the coolest in the world! Where else can you enjoy great fish food, a hot sauna followed by a swim with King Eiders?!

We are currently into our video blogging, and we hope you enjoy our vlog version of Gullfest. A few photos follow below as well. There will also be another blogpost coming up soon from the Pasvik section of Gullfest 2016. Stay tuned :)

GULLFEST 2016 - the movie


Gullfest poster on the Østre Molokrok building

Stellers Eider study by artist Darren Woodhead, from Vardø harbour, Gullfest 2016

Artist Darren Woodhead in action on Hornøya during Gullfest

Gullfest is celebrating the amazing Varanger nature

Gullfest in progress

Gullfest ringing and kids art workshop

Arctic birding in Vardø harbour during Gullfest 2016

King Eiders in Vardø harbour

Soar throat? Have a Sea Urchin! Common Eider in Vardø harbour during Gullfest 2016


The Gullfest is made possible thanks to a number of great people and businesses in Varanger and northern Norway. A very big thanks to SNN Kulturnæringsstiftelsen for supporting Gullfest, which includes flying the worlds greatest bird artists to Vardø. Nord-Norges Arkitektforening also supports this nature destination development event. Thanks to them and Svein Harlad Holmen we could have en epic Gullfest party featuring a mobile sauna and swimming in the harbour! Big thanks ! Vardø Hotel are very kindly supporting Gullfest with rooms for our invited guests, speakers, bird ringers and artists! Its is the premium place to stay in Varanger for birding! Please give them a follow on their new Twitter @Vardo_Hotel - Thank you! Northern Norways premium chef, Tor emil aka Varangerkokken support us with the most amazing local food. Thanks Tor Emil. The guys at Vardø Harbour / Vadø Havn KF kindly support us with boat trips. Vardø kommune and mayor Robert Jensen also support Gullfest. Thanks to the brilliant guys at Vardøbruket (the local fish ´factory´). Top guys! Also thanks to the Next Generation Birders for joining: Follow them on twitter: @NGBirders Jonnie @Jonnie_Fisk, Tim @Timsbirding, Ben @BardseyBen, James @Jamesoneillii, Olli @Metcow33, Ed @Ed_birdingKane Bries from WWT shared stories from his work and some of the innovative PR + science projects run by the WWT. Follow Kane on Twitter @KaneBridesMorten Helberg is one of the top gull experts in Norway. He has been involved with Gullfest from the very first Gullfest back in 2012, and he helped make another Gullfest possible. Thanks!  Graham White of the RSPB presented some of the thinking and practicalities behind making nature aka the RSPB nature reserves. Graham on Twitter @Billybloodworm Follow him for the latest on innovative reserve projects. Darren Woodhead is one of the worlds most renowned bird artists. His art is truly one of a kind and it is admired by nature enthusiasts all over the world. Darren made en epic and very productive contribution to Gullfest 2016, both in his talk, his workshop and his field work. About 30 works of art was produced during Gullfest, in Vardø and in Pasvik. Check some of it out in the videos. Follow Darren on Twitter @DarrenNWoodheadNils Arne Sæbø of NRK, the national television broadcaster presented their big project for 2016: going live from Hornøya during the breeding season. Epic TV can be expected! SNO / Statens Naturoppsyn (the Nature Inspectorate) are the field officers for the Norwegian national parks and nature reserves. Arne-Petter Sarre of the Varanger national park presented their work with saving the threatened Arctic Fox. 

Lastly we want to thank the people of Vardø, the Vardø fishermen and everyone who came to visit our Gullfest 2016 basecamp in Vardø harbour. It truly was an event that smelt of fishing and birding! 

We also owe a big thanks to everyone who followed us online during this arctic event. After all this is a web event too. Thnx all :)

Also: check out the PASVIK BIRDING experience aka Gullfest 2016 part 2:

best wishes from the Biotope team:

Tormod, Elin, Alonza, Jonnie, Fay & Daniele

For more news & views:

On FB: www.facebook.com/biotope.no 
On Twitter @BiotopeOffice & @FinnmarkBirding
+ find everything Gullfest on Twitter #Gullfest2016