06 August 2016

BIRDING NORTH ICELAND - Nature destination development


Biotope recently made another visit to northern Iceland. For the past two years we have made repeated trips to this amazing birding destination, as a part of a nature destination development project we are working on. In collaboration with local nature based businesses we are exploring the region with the aim of designing and building a series of bird hides, photo hides and wind shelters. 

19 June 2016

BIRDING RUSSIA - exploring the northwest russian tundra


Aerial view of the Kostuanoy Cape, our basecamp on the russian tundra


The Nenets State Nature Reserve is a vast tundra and wetland expanse bordering the russian Pechora sea. Biotope was recently invited by the good folks of the nature reserve to visit the reserve and to look into possibilities for creating bird hides and nature viewing architecture. It was an honor to be invited to this reserve and it has been a long time wish for us to visit and bird in Russia. We enjoy every opportunity to visit top nature destinations of the circumpolar regions. Invitations based on our birder architect skills are somthing we consider a big compliment every time. We will do our outmost to see and understand the needs of a destination and the people there and their ambitions to develop a destination. Advising on where and how to put up bird hides, wind shelters and other nature viewing facilities are the jobs we truly enjoy. In addition there are different interests to consider ranging from nature conservation issues to more nature based tourism business opportunities. Finding a balance is important. Making these interest work together is even better.

Версию нашего  отчета на русском языке смотрите ниже

05 June 2016

The Birding Varanger guide book - Arctic Norway sites & birds


"Varanger is the world´s most easily accessible Arctic birding destination. In Varanger, Arctic Norway,  you can experience the northern taiga, tundra and the Arctic coastline within a dya´s drive. Birders, birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts can enjoy an amazingly rich birdlife in a sutnning landscsape. Varanger is particularily famous for its wintering population of Steller´s Eiders. However the wide variety of unique bird species have made Varanger one of the top birding destinations of the world."



26 May 2016

Birding Northwest Iceland - May 2016




 Harlequin Duck, Blönduós May 2016


Nature destination development: Northwest Iceland

Iceland delivers some of the coolest birding in Europe. We just visited the northwestern region of Iceland, working on a destination development scheme. For 10 days we have visited, researched, measured and photographed a wide range of sites. Visiting Iceland is not "just" a birding thing: The landscape, the mammals and the people you meet are equally an important part of any visit to this cool destination. Not to mention the heitur pottur culture! Almost everywhere you go you can sink into  a relaxing hot bath, in the field, at your hotel or at any of the numerous public baths. 

27 March 2016

Øvre Pasvik - birding the arctic taiga - Gullfest pt.2

Hawk Owl about to strike

In the Pasvik taiga forest the arctic bird festival Gullfest turned into an Owlfest! The Pasvik section of Gullfest was an epilogue of Gullfest where we aimed to show our invited guests some of the finest birding in the arctic. The taiga forest of Pasvik is the northernmost coniferous forest in the world. The taiga forest stretches from Pasvik and all the way to the Pacific coast in the far east. The birding here is spectacular, when you where to look, that is. To maximise the niceness and chances of great experiences we teamed up with our Pasvik friends Ben Arne Sotkajærvi aka Mr.Pasvik and the good folks at Øvre Pasvik Camping.

25 March 2016

Vardø, Arctic Norway - Gullfest part 1

King Eiders in Vardø harbour during Gullfest, March 2016

Gullfest 2016 was another successfull arctic birding festival. This year we celebrated the epic Vardø harbour. In town birding in Vardø is probanly some of the coolest in the world! Where else can you enjoy great fish food, a hot sauna followed by a swim with King Eiders?!

We are currently into our video blogging, and we hope you enjoy our vlog version of Gullfest. A few photos follow below as well. There will also be another blogpost coming up soon from the Pasvik section of Gullfest 2016. Stay tuned :)


GULLFEST 2016 - the movie

           

14 March 2016

Gullfest 2016 - fugl & fisk /// nature destination development

The fifth arctic birding festival in Varanger is on! 17-22nd of March 2016 we celebrate the amazing bird life of the worlds coolest arctic birding destination. Gullfest 2016 is about Birding Art, Architecture, Tech and Community.

Gullfest 2016 is open and free to join for anyone in Vardø from Thursday 17th to Saturday 19th. The daytime basecamp is at Østre Molokrok (northeast harbour in Vardø) from 10.00-15.00 Friday and Saturday (Gull ringing, trips, etc) + at Vardø Hotel from 20.00hrs on Thursday and Friday (talks). Welcome!


07 February 2016

Steller´s Eiders & snow caves - living the Arctic life


Incoming Steller´s Eiders in Kiberg harbour. Photographed from water level, dressed in a drysuit, swimming in the harbour. The Steller´s Eider photos and the video was shot, yesterday, Saturday the 6th of February. The weather was just too nice not to go for a swim in the harbour. 

Kiberg harbour in outer Varanger Fjord is one of the best places in the world to get close to this iconic arctic seaduck. We are currently working on a Steller´s Eider photo hide so some research needs to be done. We like everything about our jobs, but this kind of fieldwork is on top of the ´love it´ list. So without further ado: here are a few Steller´s Eider photos and a 2 minute video of the experience. We hope you enjoy (click on any image for full screen view, for desktop)

              
A day in Kiberg, swimming with Steller´s Eiders.

22 December 2015

Wallcreeper action at Chateau des Baux


Wallcreeper - a name that puts a dreamy face on every birder. It is after all one of the most iconic bird species in Europe. The non-birding reader of this blog should note that this is an alpine species that is often tricky to find, unless you know exactly where to look. It is a bird unlike any other species in Europe. Being northern birders we have an affinity for extreme species which seem capable of thriving in the harshest conditions.

03 December 2015

Avitourism - Birding in Norway (fugleturisme i Norge)




An introduction to of the world of birding and avitourism and its potential in Norway

© Biotope & Innovasjon Norge / 2015 

This report was written and researched by Tormod Amundsen and Jonnie Fisk of Biotope. Biotope is the world´s first and only architecture office specialising in birding. We combine more then 25 years of experience as dedicated birders with the field of architecture. Biotope specialise in nature destination development, from designing bird hides to destination schemes to advising tourism businesses on how to operate and engage in the birding niché.

We would like to thank Innovation Norway for asking us to make this report. Our gratitude also goes to all the keen birders and nature enthusiasts who helped us with information and opinions. We hope this report will give the reader a better undestanding of a niché or culture that millions of people worldwide feel connected to, but perhaps is not so well known in a mainstream setting. Birding is on the rise and this will change. We hope this report is one helpfull step forward. Thanks for reading and engaging.