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The Southern Norwegian Seas

Sleipner by night


Southern North Sea Northern Norwegian sector North Sea main page

 

This arbitarily defined area covers the southern part of the Nowegian Sector, covering Statfjord, Gullfaks, Troll and Oseberg along with a host of smaller areas. For pictures of some of the offshore installations in this area click here.


Troll, Oseberg and other "Southern" Norwegian fields

The above picture is a snapshot from this site

The Troll platform boasts some amazing statistics about its immense height. From the surface it is deceptively small but the steel and concrete structure is vast. This platform is even visible from the top of Gullfjell - at least using binoculars.

Troll A platform

Troll A plaform

Porbeagle Shark

It is not just birds that can be seen offshore - here a video frame grab of a Porbeagle Shark, October 2015

It was on the Troll field that a Yellow-browed Warbler landed on my computer screen in the middle of the night. During an autumn fall of migrants on the Troll field an unlikely set of dining companions shared biscuit crumbs flung onto the roof of a 20' container - a Lesser Whitethroat and a Little Stint. It is a rare event to see these two species together even on land, but feeding on the same food at the same time must be a unique experience.

The area around the Troll platforms is generally poor for seabirds, although exceptions do occur. It often strikes me as odd that Northern Fulmar and Glaucous gull are regular species here during the winter months - whilst at the same time both these species are rather scarce along the west coast of Norway a mere 50km away.

Exhausted Woodpigeon resting on survey vessel
Exhausted Woodpigeon resting onboard a survey vessel, April 2009



Oseberg to the south west of Troll is in much shallower water and seabirds seem a lot more prolific - this is the area where I have seen Storm Petrels more regularly than anywhere else in the Norwegian Sector. The numbers of Northern Fulmar and Northern Gannet can be high here with over 1000 of the former noted on a number of occasions - often in conjunction with fishing vessels.

Dead Meadow Pipit
Dead Meadow Pipit

Migrating Eider takes a break near Eldfisk
Migrating Eider takes a break near Eldfisk, October 2015



Even in winter passerines can be on the move - a Great Tit on the helideck of a boat at Kvitebjørn on 10th December 2002 must have been part of a cold weather movement forcing birds off the continent. A Tree Sparrow at Statfjord 27 April 1993 was another unusual species to be seen offshore.


Kittiwakes on helideck

Black-legged Kittiwakes, one of the few gulls that can actually be called a "seagull", often prefer to sit on the helideck than on the sea. In contrast their more land-loving relatives choose to sit on the sea instead. In the picture above they have been joined by a young Common Gull..

Species seen on the Troll field
Red-throated Diver  Smålom
Northern Fulmar Havhest
Sooty Shearwater Grålire
Northern Gannet Havsule
Grey Heron Gråhegre
Greylag Goose Grågas
Eurasian Wigeon Brunnake
Common Pochard Taffeland
Common Scoter Svartand
Common Kestrel Tårnfalk
European Golden Plover Heilo
Little Stint Dvergsnipe
Purple Sandpiper Fjæreplytt
Dunlin Myrsnipe
Common Snipe Enkeltbekkasin
Common Redshank Rødstilk
Arctic Skua Tyvjo
Great Skua Storjo
Black-headed Gull Hettemåke
Common Gull Fiskemåke
Lesser Black-backed Gull Sildemåke
Herring Gull Gråmake
Glaucous Gull Polarmåke
Great Black-backed Gull Svartbak
Black-legged Kittiwake Krykkje
Black Tern Svartterne
Common Guillemot Lomvi
Razorbill Alke
Atlantic Puffin Lunde
Eurasian Collared Dove Tyrkedue
Skylark Sanglerke
Barn Swallow Låvesvale
House Martin Taksvale
Meadow Pipit Heipiplerke
White / Pied wagtail Linerle
European Robin Rødstrupe
Common Redstart Rødstjert
Northern Wheatear Steinskvett
Common Blackbird Svartrost
Song Thrush Måltrost
Redwing Rødvingetrost
Lesser Whitethroat Møller
Garden Warbler Hagesanger
Blackcap Munk
Yellow-browed Warbler Gulbrynsanger
Willow warbler Løvsanger
Goldcrest Fuglekonge
Spotted flycatcher Gråfluesnapper
Hooded Crow Kråke
Common Starling Stær
Chaffinch Bokfink
European Siskin Grønnsisik
Snow Bunting Snøspurv


Migrant Redwing resting onboard
Migrant Redwing resting onboard in the southern Norwegian Sector, early November 2015

Migrant Redwing resting onboard
Goldcrest calling for some company, southern Norwegian sector, early November 2015







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