We arrived in Vardø in the middle of the afternoon, and soon found our accommodation before heading out again for sunset. At that moment, we were at the very end of Norway, still far North but also further East than Saint-Petersburg or Istanbul (it’s easy at this latitude ;)). The small town lies on a island linked to the continent by a tunnel; Marci was really impressed to see such infrastructure in a remote location like this one.
Eiderology: the branch of knowledge that deals with eiders. Yes, branch of knowledge. Or science. And before you ask, no, eiderology doesn’t exist. Or well, didn’t exist until I invented it, two minutes ago. I’ve decided to specialize in this discipline, but more than the scientific aspect, I’m particularly attracted to the graphic aspect of those birds.
Eiders are sea ducks from the northern hemisphere, option Arctic. The most massive species is also the most common one; the Common eider (Somateria mollissima) nests as far south as France and Italy, and is very common in the Baltic Sea or along the coasts of Norway. After a year in Finland and a year in Denmark, it’s a very common sight for me. Remember, I saw this species migrating in Gedser: 1000 birds every hour 😮
Danish words of the day: venstre/højre = left/right
The last birding tour was a failure in terms of birds, but I had high hopes for this one. Set in Gilleleje, on the north coast of Sjælland, our main targets were seabirds. In December, I had a great experience of seawatching in Gedser, and I was quite keen on a watch over the ocean. Furthermore, a young Iceland gull (Larus glaucoides) had elected to stay in the harbour this winter, and I hoped it would still be there.
Such promises encouraged me to wake up at 5, swallow a quick breakfast, and leave on an epic odyssey that would deliver me in the middle of nowhere, not far from the sea, after two and a half hour of transportation featuring three trains and two busses… err, what would I not do for birds? The shining sun lifted my mood, and I was dressed well enough to face the gusts of wind that threatened to turn us into ice. In the trees, Rooks (Corvus frugilegus) cackled. A new species to my portfolio!