Birdwatching at Østensjøvannet

Østensjøvannet is a small lake in the eastern part of Oslo, perfect for family trips. Here, you will get very close to the birds. There is a trail all the way around Østensjøvannet and also a playground in the area. Many gulls, ducks, and geese enjoy themselves in and around Østensjøvannet. And as you get very close to the birds, this place is perfect for taking pictures of them. In the early part of the summer, birdlife here is intense, and the sound level is pretty high. Particularly the large colony of Black-headed Gulls will not go unnoticed.

You might get tempted to feed the gulls, but adhere to the posters around the lake, and be cautious not to contribute to overfeeding or littering.


Map over Østensjøvannet

2Bird hide
3Bølerbekkens outlet
4Østensjøvannet South

Rich Birdlife in an Urban Environment
Although Østensjøvannet is considered an urban area, rare birds regularly show up here, for example Ruddy Shelduck, Black-necked Grebe, Red (Grey) Phalarope, Great Skua, Sabine’s Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Iceland Gull, Black Tern, Western Swamphen, European Turtle Dove, White-backed Woodpecker, Red-rumped Swallow, Great Reed Warbler, Pallas’s Warbler, European Stonechat, Red-breasted Flycatcher, and Eurasian Golden Oriole.

Østensjøvannets Venner (Østensjøvannet’s Friends) and Besøkssenter Våtmark Oslo (Visitor Centre Wetlands Oslo)
Østensjøvannets Venner is a very active local association. On their website, (only in Norwegian), you will find more details and a list of activities.
In the southern part of Østensjøvannet, a branch of Visitor Centre Wetlands Oslo is located. The point is marked “i” on the map. In this centre, you will find an exhibition on the wetlands and biodiversity around Østensjøvannet. Groups can get guided tours by the lake. Find contact information or read more in Besøkssenter våtmark Oslo (only in Norwegian).

Helpful Information

Biotope:Narrow lake with common reed and deciduous wood along the shores.
Best time to visit:Summer part of the year, particularly early summer.
However, there are birds here in the winter as well.
In the winter, ice-free only in the southernmost part by the bridge.
Bird towers:Point 2—Bird hide.
Local association:Østensjøvannets Venner
Shoes:Training shoes or hiking boots.
Food:Not necessary, but recommended.
Remember that the birds are equally interested in the food.
Clothes:Casual clothes or hiking wear.
Binoculars:Not necessary, but recommended.
Telescope:Not necessary. Recommended if you are an enthusiastic birdwatcher.



Did you know …

… that over 220 different bird species have been registered in Østensjøvannet nature reserve?

… that bats also like Østensjøvannet? As many as 8 different bat species have been registered.

… that the first record of White-winged Tern in Norway was in Østensjøvannet nature reserve?

Bird Species Seen in the Area

Some of the Birds at Østensjøvannet

Key Map
Helpful Links
(also in english)