A Semipalmated Plover was found four days ago in Sunddammen in Vardø, Varanger. This little bird magnet of a location is actually a man made bird site. Not made to be a bird site, but rather a very lucky and convenient result. Sunddammen below Vardøs old fortress is a well known and very bird rich place. The tide just barely cover the pool beach twice a day, and it is a favoured place for waders in the outer Varanger fjord. This is where the concrete sand for rebuilding Vardø town after WW2 was found. The left over space is a very attractive, artificially / man made wetland.
I have just published an article of the find of Norways second Semipalmated Plover (amerikasandlo, Charadrius semipalmatus). An extraordinary find and an extreme rarity in Europe. There you will find the story on the bird. Below follows a brief story on the place.
Article at Birding Frontiers:
Semipalmated Plover, a visitor from North America
Even the tabloid newspapers found their way to Vardø for this bird! VGs photographer in Sunddammen. The old fortress in the background.
Sunddammen, Steilnes and the Vardø birding fascilities project
As a part of a wider project to improve conditions for birds, birders and locals in Vardø, we have made a study on the nature qualities of Vardøs southern areas. Included here is of course Sunddammen in a nature- and culture path. This work is commisioned by the National Tourist Routes of Norway. We are very happy to be a part of this project, and most importantly - making sure that birds, birders and locals can have this fantastic area protected and even improved. Too often architecture happens at the expence of nature - the Sunddammen, with the pond itself being an example, show us that we can actually make things better for nature! Dare I even say ´make nature better´...
Below is page 1,3,5,6 and 13 of a 19 page area study / proposal. Sunddammen is a key site in the area. We will start building a new bird hide at the southern point of the Steilnes area this summer. The making of the birding destination is in good progress. More to come on that soon. For now: a little more material on the chosen site of the Semipalmated plover (link to Birding Frontiers article).
Steilnes, Vardø - an important bird site: possibilities and considerations
Sunddammen and the old fortress, overlooking the very bird rich Bussesundet
Sunddammen - a natural viewpoint. The pond in front, Bussesundet and mainland Vardø in the distance.
Overview of the Steilnes area, and the fascilities to come. We are starting with a new wind shelter / bird hide at the southernmost point.
Stay tuned for updates - pro bird work in progress..
Tormod A. / Biotope