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In My Heart

Birdwatching in Tana-
munningen nature reserve

By Olav E. Johansen (text) and Martti Hagman (photo)

Birdwatching in Tana

Birdwatching in Tanamunningen nature reserve is becoming more and more popular.

laksand mergus merganser The Tanamunningen nature reserve has a rich food production and is used for moulting (change of feathers) for many birds. It has been registered 19 duck species, five goose species, 22 species of wading birds, 14 gull bird species and other wetland birds here.

More and more bird-watchers come from all parts of the world to Tanamunningen to watch birds.

The nature reserve is an important resting place for such birds as ducks and geese. The special thing is that the Tana estuary is important for the European population of goosander (mergus merganser). See left photo.

It has been attempted to estimate the number of goosander in the fall. According to some estimates it may be as much as 27,000 individuals at the same time. They are males heading towards the coast of Finnmark after mating. They gather in the Tana estuary before migrating south.

In summer there are also many red-breasted merganser (mergus serrator).

sea eagle The Tana estuary is also important for waders on their autumn migration and also in the spring. In particular, dunlin (Calidris alpina) and little stints (calidris minuta) that can occur in large numbers. It has been observed over 2,000 dunlins and nearly 300 little stints in the autumn. One can also see knots (calidris canutus) here.

Sometimes you see rough-legged buzzards (buteo lagopus).

If you are lucky, you may get across more rare birds like surf scoter (melanitta perspicillata), terek sandpiper (xenus cinereus) and gull species like sabine's gull (larus sabini) and Mediterranean gull (larus melanocephalus).

Some species stay in the area during winter. They are, among others, the black-throated loon (gavia arctica) and different ducks. Together with these there are also 10-20 white-tailed eagles (haliaeetus albicilla). See left photo.

Many come to see gyrfalcons (falco rusticolus) that nest on steep cliffs in the area. In addition, peregrine falcons (falco peregrinus) have been observed here.

stint myrsnipe jaktfalk red-breasted merganser
Above pictures (from left): Stint (calidris minuta), dunlin (calidris alpina), peregrine falcon (falco peregrinus) and red-breasted merganser (mergus serrator).

Here is a map to help you find the best place for birdwatching in Tana.

Read more about Tanamunningen nature reserve.

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