Birdwatching at Stjørdalsfjorden

Along Trondheimsfjorden, there are several good birding localities, and you do not need to travel further than Stjørdal to find a bird-rich territory. At Stjørdalsfjorden, these flying creatures are competing with the larger flying objects of Trondheim Airport, Værnes. In this territory, you will find two bird reserves and several good viewpoints. Birdwatchers can easily access these areas, as they are located pretty close to the main road E6.

Map over Stjørdalsfjorden—Northern Part

1Vinge caravan site
9Stjørdal havn (harbour)
12River outlet, Hellstranda
13River path

Vinnan—Velvangen Fuglefredningsområde (Bird Reserve)
Between Vingebukta and Velvang, the waters are shallow, making it an important spawning place for herrings producing nutritious spawn. Vast numbers of seabirds gather here, often as many as 3,000 to 6,000 birds. Common Eider, Velvet Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, and gulls are the most numerous species when the area reaches its peak in March or April. In addition to common seabirds, rare guests are regularly registered here, for example King Eider and Iceland Gull. Migrating passerines also find this area enjoyable.

Vikanbukta Fuglefredningsområde (Bird Reserve)
Vikanbukta bird reserve is a bay where the shallow waters stretch far out into the fjord. This bay is located on the northside of Stjørdalsfjorden and has a smaller beach meadow furthest in. Among other places, this is an important staging area for waders.

Halsøen is the name of the area around Stjørdalselva’s river outlet and has over time become a shallow brackish water lagoon with mud beaches. The lagoon is shielded from the fjord by the pine covered spit of land called Langøra. Halsøen is the part of the fjord that contains most birds and has great significance as staging area for geese, ducks, waders, and gulls both spring and autumn. In this area, many ducks spend the winter. During breeding season, the Common Shelduck is a characteristic species with up to five couples. The sandbanks and the sea area outside of Langøra are also important resting places for water birds.

South of Værnes’ runway, the old river course of Stjørdalselva serves as a staging area for Whooper Swans, ducks, waders, and gulls. This old river course is connected with Stjørdalselva’s current river outlet, which runs out near Hellstranda and Billedholman, two places that swans and ducks regularly transfer between. Whooper swans use these areas both for spending the winter and the night. Larger crowds of Common Eiders, often up to 1,000 or 1,500 individual birds, are regularly seen in the river outlet in March or April.

Map over Stjørdalsfjorden—Southern Part


By Flatholman in Muruvika, in March or April, large flocks of Common Eiders, Velvet Scoters, and Long-tailed Ducks gather close to land, creating opportunities for good photographs. Flatholmskjæret, furthest out in the bay, is an important breeding place for common eiders, gulls, and terns.

Hommelvika’s surroundings are calm, which provide good conditions for seabirds like Common Eiders, Long-tailed Ducks, and gulls through winter and spring. Many Great Cormorants use the old timber pillars in the bay as resting places.

Midtsandtangen stretch into the fjord, and combined with shallow seas, this is an excellent viewpoint for seabirds. The ebb-tide attracts large flocks of gulls when herring spawn hits land. Midtsandtangen and the territory around is also an excellent staging area for migrating passerines.

Helpful Information

Best time to visit:All year. Many seabirds in the fjord winter and early spring.
Bird towers:None.
Shoes:Water proof hiking boots.
Food:Recommended, but not far from the supermarkets.
Clothes:Leisure or hiking wear.
Telescope:Recommended, particularly by the fjord.




Birdingbed cooperates with long-time experienced guides in customizing personalized birdwatching experiences like…

  • excursions to see owls, woodpeckers, birds of prey and more.
  • Black Grouse lek, Capercaillie lek, bird cliffs, among other things
  • photography trips.
  • finding specific species.

For guided excursions in this area, contact Terje Kolaas through the web page Northern Birding

Did you know …

… that the second Pacific Loon ever seen in Norway was seen in the spring of 2016 from several locations in Stjørdalsfjorden?

… that a small flock of Purple Sandpipers usually overwinters by Midtsandtangen?

… that many rare bird species have been registered at Stjørdalsfjorden?

Bird Species Seen in the Area

Some of the Birds at Stjørdalsfjorden

Rare Birds at Stjørdalsfjorden
The rare observations listed below might inspire you to come visit:
Tundra Swan, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Bar-headed Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Mandarin Duck, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Ring-necked Duck, King Eider, Steller’s Eider, Surf Scoter, White-winged scoter, Ruddy Duck, Pacific Loon, White Stork, Black Kite, Stilt Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Pomarine Jaeger, Little Gull, Ivory Gull, Bonaparte’s Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Iceland Gull, Glaucous Gull, Caspian Tern, Sandwich Tern, European Turtle-Dove, Eurasian Hoopoe, Barred Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Citrine Wagtail, White-winged Crossbill.

Key Map
Helpful Links
(also in english)