Birdwatching in Flesland

Like most other airports, Flesland has a rich birdlife. Bergen Lufthavn (Bergen Airport) was opened in 1955, and the name “Flesland” comes from the Norwegian word “fles”, meaning “flooded reefs”. The airport was built in an area with large moors and thin pine hills. Close to the runway, great fields have been established. These are hayed each summer, preventing overgrowth. These vast plains provide great conditions for Northern Lapwings and Eurasian Skylarks. Additionally, the vegetation along the edges, with its bushes and thickets, is among the most exciting of biotopes in the area. Breeding here are, for example, Greater Whitethroat, Whinchat, and Eurasian Linnet. During migration periods, the variety of species is naturally even greater.

Although probably the most bird-rich area Skjenavatnet has disappeared because of changes at the airport, Flesland has several good viewpoints. You can read more about some of them on this page.

Map over Flesland

1Flesland, technical area
3Flesland gård (farm)
6Steingardsvika, marine biological field station

Techical Area and Langavatnet
Langavatnet is located east of and parallel to the runway. This southern part of the water, close to the technical area, is very nutritious. Consequently, you will find more birds in this part of the lake. Additionally, inside of the technical area, many exciting observations are made. Collectively, this area makes up a very interesting part of Flesland. Some of the registered species are Garganey, Common Quail, Little Grebe, Osprey, Eurasian Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Woodcock, White-backed Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, and Great Grey Shrike. Some of these species have been seen many times.

Fleslandsskjæret is a reef just outside of Fleslandsvika. Common Terns breed here in great numbers, in addition to Eurasian Oystercatchers and several gull species. In the winter as well, you can find many birds here. Little Gull, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Common Murre, and White-winged Crossbill have been seen in Fleslandsskjæret.

Flesland Gård (Farm)
In the Middle Ages, Flesland farm used to belong to the Apostle Church’s Mansion. And since then, it has been used by both a glassworks and a herring oil factory. Now, however, the farming is back in business—in close proximity to this area’s teeming birdlife. Greater White-fronted Goose, Taiga Bean Goose, Peregrine Falcon, Water Rail, Sanderling, Jack Snipe, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Australasian Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Mistle Thrush, Great Grey Shrike, Carrion Crow, and Lapland Longspur are examples of species seen here one or more times.

Espeland and Lønningen
Espeland and Lønningen are located south of the runway. For birdlife, the archipelago is what makes this area so significant. The numerous reefs, islets, and inlets are important breeding places for gulls and terns in the summer and great overwintering places for ducks and similar birds in the winter. You could also encounter large flocks of Grey Herons in the winter. Lønningen is the only distinct wader locality around Flesland. Mudflats are uncovered here at ebb-tide. You will find some good viewpoints on the PDF-map along the coastline and archipelago. The area also contains mixed forest and deciduous forest, including oak trees and hazel trees. Additionally, you should know that for example Little Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Peregrine Falcon, Water Rail, Eurasian Woodcock, Common Kingfisher, Great Grey Shrike, Rosy Starling, and White-winged Crossbill are registered around Lønningen. Lønnetjernet, a small moor tarn, has been visited by Hen Harrier, Water Rail, and Common Kingfisher.

Kviturspollen is a shallow fjord, located south of Flesland. Its greatest significance is as an overwintering area, particularly in the coldest periods when the waters freeze. At this time, you may find species like Greater Scaup and Little Grebe here. And Common Pochard, Smew, Eurasian Woodcock, and Glaucous Gull have all been observed here in the winter.

Helpful Information

Biotope:Wetlands. Airport.
Best time to visit:All year. Greatest activity during migration periods.
Bird towers:None.
Local association:NOF Bergen lokallag
Shoes:Training or hiking shoes.
Clothes:Casual clothes or hiking wear.



Did you know …

… that Short-eared Owl, Long-eared Owl, and Northern Hawk-Owl all have been registered many times in Flesland?

… that the Great Bittern was seen at Skjenavatnet on the 9th of May, 2003?

…that for example Gadwall, White Stork, Corn Crake, Eurasian Marsh-Harrier, Australasian Pipit, Yellow-browed Warbler, and Firecrest all have stopped by Flesland?

Bird Species Seen in the Area

Some of the Birds in Flesland

Key Map
Helpful Links
(also in english)