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The North and Norwegian Seas

Northern Gannet
Northern Gannet, one of the most typical birds of the North Sea

Migrating Little Auks
Little Auks are a regualr species in the North Sea



For convenience this area has been divided up into three sections, click on table below for links to these areas:


The Northern Norwegian Sector including Åsgard, Draugen and Ormen Lange fields
The Southern Norwegian Sector including Troll and Oseberg fields
The Southern North Sea i.e. English, Danish and Dutch Sectors

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A surprising number of migrants can be seen as they cross the North Sea - some of them common, others considerably rarer, others downright strange. One of the strangest was on a pipelay barge in the Dutch sector when a male House Sparrow turned up onboard. He was fed by friendly crew members and soon began chirupping away as only sparrows can. The sound of this bird "singing" in an alien environment and far from the sight of land was almost surreal - and House Sparrows are hardly known for their migratory habits.

Grey Heron landing on a survey vessel in the North sea
Grey Heron coming in to land on the deck of a survey vessel

The main species encountered in the North Sea are Northern Fulmar, Northern Gannet, Greater Black.backed Gull and Black-legged Kittiwake. The other gull species and auks make up most of the rest - so generally not many species to be seen.
Strangely large movements of seabirds such as are experienced from seawatching headlands are relatively rare - with the exception of the regular spring skua migrations in the areas around Ormen Lange.

However, one good thing about birding offshore is that just about anything that turns up is worth seeing. Even birds such as Coot can suddenly turn up swimming in the thruster wash of a DP vessel or around a platform leg, far from their normal haunts of freshwater ponds and lakes. Great Tit, House Sparrow and a number of other species most people would not consider to be migrants have turned up on vessels I have been working on.

As with many types of birding it is a case of expect the unexpected. 


North and Norwegian Sea Overview
North Sea Overview Map (from Norwegian Petroleum Directorate)

Northern Fulmar
Northern Fulmar - THE bird of the North Sea

Black-legged Kittiwake
Black-legged Kittiwake



Common Guillemot
Common Guillemot







4944750889visits to this side since September 17, 2005.

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