Syltefjordstauran and Syltefjorddalen
Syltefjordstauran is one of Norway’s greatest and most important bird cliffs.
It stretches three kilometres along the north-west side of the Syltefjord,
and reaches 200-300 metres above sea level. Many seabird species nest here.
Birds of prey often use the bird cliffs as a hunting ground. Along the fine
Syltefjorddal there are good areas for passerine species. Along the first part of
the way one can find most of the typical mountain species.
The bird cliff Syltefjordstauran had at one time several
million seabirds. Unfortunately there has been a
catastrophic reduction in many populations of seabirds
along the Norwegian coast, and this has also hit these
colonies. The populations of Kittiwake and Common
Guillemot have been especially severely affected,
nevertheless one still finds a teeming bird life here.
Best time to visit
These areas are best to visit in the period May to August
and are mainly breeding grounds for seabirds, but are
also staging sites for ducks.
Habitat and observation species
In the bird cliffs Kittiwake, Common Guillemot,
Brünnich’s Guillemot and Razorbill all nest. Black
Guillemot and Atlantic Puffin may also be seen in the
area. The bird cliff also houses the northernmost Gannet
colony in the world. The White-tailed Eagle can often
be seen hunting in the bird cliffs, and there is also the
possibility of seeing Gyr Falcon. From the Syltefjord
there is a path out to the bird cliffs. This is a long walk,
partly in difficult and barren terrain, where one can also
observe Snow Bunting and Rock Ptarmigan.
The road down towards Syltefjorddalen can offer
many exciting bird observations. The first kilometres
pass through fine mountain terrain, and Long-tailed
Skua and Lapland Longspur often sit right beside the
road. In the lakes one can see Red-throated Diver and
Scaup, and along the steep downward path towards
Syltefjorden the Rock Ptarmigan has its home.
The vegetation is richer when one comes down to level ground and to the road that leads along the
Syltefjord river. In the luxuriant and isolated willow
and birch forest the Bluethroat and Brambling are
common species. The Arctic Redpoll may also be found
here. Red-throated Pipit and Willow Ptarmigan can be
found in the open bog areas. In the innermost part of
Syltefjorden, Straumen, many Red-breasted Mergansers
and Goosanders often rest, and also some Velvet Scoters
and Red-throated Divers. Out in the fjord one can see
several species of marine mammals such as killer whales,
porpoises and grey seals.
About four kilometres before Båtsfjord one turns off
from road no. 891 and onto road no. 25 eastwards
towards Syltefjord. After 35 kilometres one arrives out
at Syltefjord. The road to Syltefjord is closed in winter,
but usually opens in mid-May when the snow has begun
Boat trips are arranged from Syltefjord during the
summer. This is the easiest and best way to experience
this fantastic bird clif