visit Varanger, birding Varanger, photo bird, fuglekikking, Persfjorden, Finnmark, Norway

birds at Persfjorden

The majestic Persfjorden offers a spectacular landscape and exciting bird
watching. Among the most interesting are the large flocks of diving ducks
that gather here. This is also a very fine place to see divers, gulls and birds
of prey. On both sides of the fjord there is the special and barren moon-like
landscape that continues out to Hamningberg.

Bukkemoltangen projects out into Persfjorden and
divides into two the inner part of the fjord. Here
there are sandy beaches, coastal fields and grazing
ground. This is one of the best places in Varanger to
observe sea mammals.

Best time to visit

As long as the road is open it is worthwhile to take a
trip out here. The fjord is exciting throughout the year.
The best time to visit the inland valleys is from late May
until mid-July

Habitat and observation species

Persfjorden is one of the very best fjords in Varanger for
bird watching. The flocks of staging and summering
ducks and seabirds are especially interesting. Single
birds or small flocks of King Eider, Common Scoter
and Velvet Scoter can be observed the whole summer.
The same applies to Yellow-billed Diver, Black-throated
Diver and Red-throated Diver. During migration in
May and in late summer the numbers are greater. The
Long-tailed Duck can appear in thousands, and the same
applies to Red-breasted Mergansers and Goosanders.
Persfjorden has also proved to be a site where one may
meet with very rare species. Both Harlequin Duck and
White-winged Scoter have been recorded here. The
fjord should therefore be observed from all sides.
 At the river outflows, large numbers of gulls gather,
especially when there is an onshore wind. One should
always study these thoroughly. The scarce Sabine’s Gull is a species that one may meet during such conditions.
When there is much fish in the fjord, there is a teeming
bird life. Then the Gannet often comes into the innermost
parts of the fjord, as also do auks, divers, skuas and gulls.
The White-tailed Eagle and Rough-legged Buzzard
often hunt along the fjord, and Peregrine, Gyr Falcon
and Merlin also occur in the area. The Temminck’s Stint
nests along the rivers, and Sanderlings often rest along
the bare sand beaches.
There is little vegetation around Persfjorden, partly
due to the stony terrain, but also due to the amount
of grazing by sheep and reindeer. As a result there are
not many species of breeding passerines. Nevertheless,
there are good possibilities of seeing Red-throated Pipit,
Horned Lark, Bluethroat and Arctic Redpoll. The Ring
Ouzel nests in the mountain slopes along the fjord.
Further into the valleys and in the mountains, one may
find Willow Ptarmigan and Rock Ptarmigan.
By the road, three kilometres east of Persfjorden, lies
the bay Prestnæringsbukta. Here large flocks of ducks
and gulls often gather.

Access

Take off from road E75 immediately before the tunnel
out to Vardø and into road no. 341. After 30 km you
come to Persfjorden. There are many fine places to
stop on the way, and it is worthwhile to stop at these
in order to gain a good view over the different parts of
the fjord. One should go out on Bukkemoltangen in
order to come nearer the birds out on the sea. It can
also be worthwhile to walk along the rivers further in
the valleys. The road is closed in winter, normally from
October to early May.

Further information

The road is narrow and winding along the fjord, and
in summer there is also alot of traffic. Many grazing
sheep and reindeer in the area make it necessary to drive
carefully.