If you ever have experienced the life on or near a bird cliff you are forever a changed person. The numbers of birds, the sounds, the smells, the nature and… yes… the guano, hits you with wonder and awe. Huge numbers of birds come flying in from the sea, in waves. There is a wall of noise from the screeching and nesting birds when they fight with each other or just call for other reasons. There is a constant “wosh” from birds passing you by just a few centimetres or by the flapping of fast wings as they pass you. Hornøya (norwegian version) is far to the north of Norway, so the environment is harsh. Rain, snow, slate, wind and salt water hits you, especially early in the season/spring. And finally, I recommend wearing clothes that can be washed and a cap or some hair protection. You should also protect your camera gear. There is a always a few drops guano that drops near you, and sometimes on you.
At hornøya you may find a large numbers of birds. Some of the most common are.
- Common murre or common guillemot (Lomvi)
- Atlantic puffin (Lundefugl)
- Black legged kittiwake (Krykkje)
- Razorbill (Alkefugl)
- European shag or common/green cormorant (Toppskarv)
In addition to this you might also find
- Thick-billed murre (Polarlomvi)
- Great black-backed gull (Svartbak)
- European herring gull (Gråmåke)
- Gyrfalcon (Jaktfalk)
- Great cormorant (Storskarv)
- Common eider (Ærfugl)
- King eider (Praktærfugl)
- Long-tailed duck (Havelle)
- And other birds
But it is the number of birds that really makes you look around. The birds are not scared either. In Norway that is kind of weird, because most wildlife in Norway have been heavily hunted and are scared of people. The difference at Hornøya is something you notice. You can get close ups of a lot of the most common birds using only your iPhone. I recommend visiting the island, and if you get either Knut Sverre Horn (blog) or Bjarne Riesto (blog) to guide you around on one of their workshops you will have a great time.