Birdwatching in Herdla

Herdla is a small, flat island in the northernmost part of Askøy municipality. The island is known for its beaches, museums, fishing places, golf course, windsurfing, and kiting, in addition to the German-built fort from World War II. On the other hand, Herdla is Hordaland province’s best birding locality with interesting things to see all year round.
Especially many geese, waders, and passerines stage around Herdla in the migration periods. For example, look for Greater White-fronted Goose, Taiga Bean Goose, and Brant among the more common geese.
Herdla has road communication and bus service from Bergen.


Map over Herdla

1Urdneset bird hide
2Bird tower in Herdlavalen
3Herdla Bird Observatory

Birding Locality All Year Round
Herdla can definitely be visited all year round. In the winter, you will find vast amounts of seabirds in the area. Common Eiders dominate and are found in hundreds. And you will often find Common scoter, Velvet Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Common Goldeneye, and Red-breasted Merganser this time of the year. The Great Cormorant is common as well. Every winter the Red-necked Grebe is spotted, but that is out of the ordinary. You could also see loons and White-tailed Eagle. And in mild winters, there are good chances of seeing some waders and a variety of passerines.

The largest migrating birds like Common Shelduck, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Common Ringed Plover, Northern Lapwing, Eurasian Skylark, and European Starling, arrive around the end of February or start of March. After that, the non-stop stream of migrating birds lasts until May. Early summer might be the least exciting season in Herdla. However, about 40-50 species breed in the area, many of which sing beautifully at this time. Two rare breeding species for Hordaland province, Common Shelduck and Common Ringed Plover, breed in Herdla every year. As early as late June, the autumn migration starts. So later in July and in August, the number of species increases, and this is the perfect time to find waders. From then until October will normally be the most exciting time in Herdla.

Helpful Information

Biotope:Wetlands with mostly cultural landscape, beaches, and grazing land.
Best time to visit:All year. However, most activity during migration periods.
The autumn migration is the most exciting and starts as early as the end of June.
Bird towers:Point 1—Bird hide, Points 2 and 4—Bird towers
Local association:NOF Bergen lokallag and Herdla fuglestasjon.
Shoes:Water proof hiking shoes.
Clothes:Wind proof hiking wear. Often a good idea to bring rainwear and warm spare clothes.



Did you know …

… that well over 230 species have been registered in Herdla?

… that Herdla is located only about a 40 minute drive from Bergen?

… that the highest point in Herdla is approximately 40 metres above sea level?

Bird Species Seen in the Area

Some of the Birds in Herdla

Rare Birds in Herdla
Many rare birds have been seen in Herdla. Some of them are Little Egret, Surf Scoter, King Eider, Pectoral Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pacific Golden-Plover, Pied Avocet, Red-footed Falcon, American Golden-Plover, Pacific Golden-Plover, Greater Short-toed Lark, Tawny Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Richard’s Pipit, European Turtle-Dove, Pomarine Jaeger, Citrine Wagtail, Rosy Starling, Firecrest, Yellow-browed Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, Little Bunting and Yellow-breasted Bunting.

Key Map
Helpful Links
(also in english)