Photo: Common Gull swoops in for attack, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. May 31, 2021. 21:53
With summer just around the corner, many of Lofoten’s migratory birds will have chosen their nesting sites and begin laying eggs. In my valley, I can already see dozens of pairs of mostly common gulls spread out across the moorland. Every once in a while when something passes through, they will scatter to the sky in a flurry of noise and commotion.
Most of the migratory bird species on Lofoten are ground nesting: the various gull types, arctic skuas, oystercatchers, curlews, geese, and more. The result is the parents can have various levels of aggression when one passes too closely – particularly the arctic skuas, which might actually physically contact you, while most of the others just do a near flyby.
If you are just passing though an area, then there is not too much to be done, but do keep an eye out of where you are walking to hopefully avoid stepping on a nest full of eggs. The most common nesting areas are in the wild, coastal heather terrain which offers plenty of cover. But not all birds are this smart, and if you’re walking around the villages in late June, its likely you’ll see fresh chicks walking around the sidewalks and harbours at times.
If you are camping however, it is best that you pay attention to any annoyed birds. Camping too close to a nest will cause the parents to keep away, which might cause the eggs never to hatch, or, allow predators like stoats to approach and eat them. I’ve seen a few abandoned nests, still with eggs, in areas where it was obvious people had been frequently camping over the summer.
Just something to keep in mind while out enjoying Lofoten’s nature.
Head over to my Instagram account for (almost) daily postings of the local conditions here on Lofoten: @distant.north
Nikon 70-200mm f/4