Birdwatching in Øra

Øra Naturreservat (Øra Nature Reserve) is a large wetland area just outside of Fredrikstad. The first time you visit Øra Nature Reserve, one of Norway’s best wetland areas for birdwatching, you will be quite surprised. The variety of ducks, waders, gulls, and other birds as well is remarkable. Rarities will also regularly show up. However, the greatest surprise does not involve birds.

The Greatest Surprise
Although birdlife in Øra offers great variety, the greatest surprise does not concern birds. The thing is, you have to drive through the recycling plant of Fredrikstad municipality to get to the bird reserve and the bird tower. There is no fee to pass the barrier. However, when the plant is closed, you have to park on the outside and walk. Speaking of rubbish, gulls have a tendency of being attracted by it, which is also the case here. Hence, this is a good area to look for rare gulls. These are some of the observations made in this area: Little Gull, Sabine’s Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Caspian Gull, Yellow-Legged Gull, Iceland Gull, and Glaucous Gull.


Map over Øra

1Ørahavna towards Fuglevikbukta
3Gansrød parking
5Bird tower at Øra

Øra Bird Tower
The view from the bird tower is very good, and you can even be indoors if you want. Øra Nature Reserve is probably the place in Norway where it is easiest to find the Bearded Reedling, and additionally, most frequently visited by Pied Avocet and Caspian Tern.

Helpful Information

Biotope:Wetlands with mud banks and common reed forest.
Islets and islands in the outer part of the reserve.
Best time to visit:All year, but April-May and August-October will let you see most of the ducks and waders.
Bird towers:Point 5 on Øraspissen.
Local association:NOF Fredrikstad lokallag.
Shoes:Training shoes or hiking boots.
Clothes:Leisure or hiking wear.
Telescope:Essential, if you are intending to see more than the gulls by the recycling plant.



Did you know …

… that Øra holds Norway’s first record of Trumpeter Finch and Eurasian Penduline Tit?

… that Norway’s largest colony of Great Cormorants, p. c. sinensis, lives in Øra?

… that Øra probably is the place in Norway where it is easiest to spot the Bearded Reedling?

Bird Species Seen in the Area

Some of the Birds in Øra

Rare Birds in Øra
Rare species regularly show up in Øra. Some of the records of one or more visits are Ruddy Shelduck, Blue-winged Teal, Red-crested Pochard, American Wigeon, Great Egret, Little Egret, White Stork, Eurasian Spoonbill, Great Bittern, Red-footed Falcon, Pallid Harrier, Red Kite, Pied Avocet, Kentish Plover, Pectoral Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, Little Tern, Black Tern, White-winged Tern, European Turtle-Dove, Alpine Swift, Richard’s Pipit, Savi’s Warbler, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Barred Warbler, Eurasian Penduline-Tit and Trumpeter Finch.

Key Map
Helpful Links
(also in english)