Back from Norway!

As some of you may know, last week I attended this year’s Gullfest – an annual birding festival run by Biotope (http://www.biotope.no/p/gullfest.html) in the far north-eastern Varanger Peninsula in Norway. I joined fellow young birders Jonnie Fisk, Ed James, Tim Jones, James O’neill and Olly Metcalf to explore the amazing selection of birdlife on offer in the region, as well as attending the superb events run as part of Gullfest. It was great also to see Darren Woodhead (leading bird artist in the UK), along with Biotope coordinator Tormod Amundsen (also an awesome photographer), plus a whole host of other interesting people like ringer Kane Brides.

All-in-all it was a superb event, hugely enjoyable, and made very dramatic indeed by the arctic conditions! I will write a full review on my blog in the coming weeks, but for now here are a few images to wet your appetite!

Arctic birding! This was in pursuit of a white morph Gyr Falcon, shortly after Ed had spotted one mobbing a White-tailed Eagle out of the car window! #onlyinNorway

The aurora was pretty spectacular on our first night in to the south of Kirkenes in the Øvre Pasvik National Park 
One of the highlights of the trip -HAWK OWL (absolutely stunning birds, with such an inferior demeanor)

King Eider – these showed amazingly well in the harbour where Gullfest is based, on the island of Vardo

Siberian Jays were present in the sparse Birch and Pine forests in the Øvre Pasvik National Park 
The island beside Vardø is called Hornøya, and is home to tens of thousands of auks, including a fair number of smart Bridled Guillemots (above) and Brunnich’s Guillemots
The NGB team

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