|Seabirds||Wildfowl||Waders||Gulls, Skuas, Terns and Auks||Passerines|
This site covers Draugen, Åsgard, Kristin, Njord, Aasta Hansteen and, above all, Ormen Lange along with areas in the vicinity including Solsikke and Trænedjupet. Ormen Lange is one of the most recent development in the area and will supply the U.K with a staggering 20% of its gas requirment from 2007. For pictures of some of the offshore installations in this area click here. Tyrihans is another recently developed field.
|Trip report December 2006|
|Trip report September 2006 (587 kb)|
The following is based on my observations during periods of work at these locations. I have worked on a variety of vessels working for Statoil and Hydro during the development of these fields. The timing of visits and birding opportunities has been irregular and erratic (for example no visits to the area at all during 1995 and 1996, only two days in 1997). Thanks to Bjørn Linnehol (BL) from the West Navigator who has supplied some additional observations.
Ormen Lange, Åsgard and surrounding areas (map from Norwegian Petroleum Directorate)
Vessels working in this area of the Norwegian sector usually mobilise in Kristinasund, although they tend to use the offshore bases more than the town centre. As with so much of the Norwegian coast the views of the mountains and offshore islands as one sails to and from the worksites are spectacular - whatever the season.
Overview of areas
Generally much more abundant than further south in the Norwegian sector, for example the Troll field.
One observed on autumn migration at Draugen 17.10.93, one on spring passage at Ormen Lange 30.5.98 - being chased by two Great skua (Storjo).
Flocks of up to 400+ resting on the sea around the vessel quite normal at Ormen Lange. Amongst these full "blue" phase and intermediate phase very regular (usually 5-10 full blue phase in a flock of 400). At times larger numbers (up to 1000) observed at Ormen Lange as happened late August / early September 2004.
Northern Fulmar / Havhest
Very regular in small numbers (up to 6), especially at Ormen Lange, in September and October. Latest date recorded is 26 November 2006 (Bjørn Linnehol).
One found dying on deck at Draugen after bad westerly storm 20.10.93. Another observed flying around a survey vessel during darkness in August 2006.Storm Petrel (Havsvale)
Regular in all areas, at all times of year, though never in large numbers (always less than 15).
Great Cormorant (Storskarv)
Two seen from West Navigator 01.05.2006 (Bjørn Linnehol), one 19-20.10.2006 (Bjørn Linnehol).
European Shag (Toppskarv)
One seen from West Navigator 20.10.2006 (Bjørn Linnehol).
Grey Heron (Gråhegre)
A first year bird spent the afternoon and evening of 16 September 2006 on the back deck of a survey vessel. The weather was clear and sunny but with a freshening southerly wind. This bird no doubt attempted a crossing to the U.K. but ran into difficulties.
Grey Heron / Gråhegre
One seen at Ormen Lange 01.10.2008 (BL)
One seen at Ormen Lange 01.10.2008 (BL).
Common Kestrel (Tårnfalk)
One first year bird at Ormen Lange 17.09.2006. Shared the main crane boom with above Grey Heron! A female was observed onboard West Navigator at Ormen Lange 04.06.2008 (BL). Two birds at the same place 01.10.2008 (BL).
Common Kestrel / Tårnfalk
5 on spring migration at Draugen 29.4.94
Draugen, singles on 16.10.93 and 21.10.93. One at Ormen Lange 06.04.2007 (B. Linnehol).
Draugen, a single on 16.10.93 and 10 7.5.94. Another individual was seen on 24.01.2007 feeding around the legs of the Draugen Loading buoy, totally unconcerned about the activities of a supply boat and an ROV support vessel.
Supply vessel "Ocean Sky" at Draugen Loading buoy
Draugen, single 4.10.93
Seen at Draugen on a number of occasions in 1993 and 1994, both in spring and autumn. Two at Ormen Lange 21.05.2007 (BL)
Seen on both spring and autumn passage, autumn records being in September and early October.
Dunlin / myrsnipe, Ormen Lange 01 June 2009
Ormen Lange 8.6.98
Åsgard, single 16.8.97, Aasta Hansteen single 03.09.15
Very regular between end of April and early October, up to 6 at a time not uncommon.
Great Skua / Storjo
One autumn record from Draugen 15.10.93, spring records: single at Draugen 7.5.94, two at Ormen Lange 2.5.98. During mid-May 2001 good numbers were seen heading NE together with Long-tailed Skua with up to 13 in an hour. Ome at Ormen Lange 21.05.2007 (BL).
Seems to be commoner in spring (early May-early June) than in autumn.
Åsgard, singles (probably same bird) 15-16.8.97. Between 17 - 19 May 2001 a fantastic passage of this species was observed at Ormen Lange with 63 logged heading NE in one hour on 18.05.01; this passage was well within the sight of land
Long-tailed and Pomarine Skuas regularly pass in large numbers well off the Møre coastline.
Recorded in small numbers during the spring. Draugen, single 25.4.93, Ormen Lange single 7.6.98
A few spring records from end April to early June and isolated records from summer and autumn (until October).
Regular in spring and autumn with up to 100 per day in late May/early June at Ormen Lange, generally less than 10 seen.
CommonGlaucous Gull (Polarmåke)
Very regular winter visitor, with up to 30 together at Åsgard 06.03.01.
Adult Glaucous Gull, Ormen Lange, 12 December 2008
Iceland Gull (Grønlandsmåke). Link to pictures here
Rare. One at Åsgard 06.03.01. Two second year birds at Ormen Lange 07.01.07 (Bjørn Linnehol)
Regular throughout the year, generally in smaller numbers than Herring and Great Black backed. Some indication of higher numbers in spring (100+).
Most records are of singles on spring passage. However, in May 2001 20-50 seen heading NE
Åsgard, single 16.8.97
Regular in small numbers, but possibly only during migration periods.
Common Guillemot, Kristin, April 2007
Less numerous than above sp.
Common Woodpigeon, Collared Dove (31.05.08, BL), European Turtle Dove (Ormen Lange 25.08.1999), Hoopoe (spring 2006 - Bjørn Linnehol), Skylark, Barn Swallow, House Martin, White Wagtail, Bohemian Waxwing (Ormen Lange 10.01.07), Meadow Pipit, European Robin, Northern Wheatear (one of the most regular passerines), Common Blackbird, Song Thrush, Redwing, Lesser Whitethroat (Draugen 5.5.94), Blackcap, Garden Warbler (25.08.2006), Willow Warbler, Goldcres, Spotted Flycatcher (2 ind Ormen Lange 04.06.2008(BL)) , Red-breasted Flycatcher (Draugen 04.05.1994 and Ormen Lange 17.09.2006, Ormen Lange 04.06.2008(BL)), Pied Flycatcher, Hooded Crow (Ormen Lange, 14.05.2007, BL), Common Starling, Chaffinch, Brambling (all early October), Common Crossbill, Reed Bunting (06.05.2006) and Snow Bunting (regular between mid-late September- early October).
Northern Wheatear (Steinskvett) sheltering under ROV, 10 September 2006