Birding Varanger


Kiberg and Domen are exciting areas that are well worth exploring. In the harbour area and in the bays there are good localities for gulls, ducks and waders. In the mountains by the road out to Vardø one can find many species of passerines, birds of prey and waders. From the top of Domen there is a fantastic view over Vardø and the Barents Sea.

In Indre Kiberg only a few residents live. This area consists of a wide bay and a long sandy beach, with several flat rocks offshore. Ytre Kiberg has an active fishing harbour and several residents. Here there is also a broad bay with a sandy beach and a river outflow. From here the road goes over the mountain towards Vardø.

Best time to visit

Along the coast it is worthwhile looking for birds from February to October, while in the mountains the best time is from May to August.

Habitat and observation species

The high-alpine landscape goes right down to the coast. The only vegetation is some willow along the lower part of the river Kibergselva and in the inhabited areas. Ytre Kiberg is a well-known site for Steller`s Eider. From January until the end of April, one can often find flocks of over a hundred of this species within the harbour area. This gives fine possibilities for bservation and photographing. The harbour and the river outflow are good places for finding Glaucous Gull, also in summer. All gulls should be examined carefully with the possibility of finding rarer species. Norway’s first Glaucous-winged Gull was discovered in this harbour. During strong winds from the north and east, it is worthwhile looking for seabirds from the jetty. The sandy beach is fine for resting gulls and waders. Black-throated, Red-throated and Yellow-billed Diver are often seen in the bays.

The sandy beach is fine for resting gulls and waders. Black-throated, Red-throated and Yellow-billed Diver are often seen in the bays. Around the rocks off Indre Kiberg, large numbers of eiders gather, and this is one of the best places to see King Eider in summer. From February until April there are flocks of several thousand here. Eiders and Longtailed Ducks also gather in thousands, and the flocks sometimes move between Kiberg and Vardø. From Indre Kiberg, a gravel road leads up into the mountains. By following this, one arrives at farmland where there may be Bean Goose and Short-eared Owl. Immediately after one has passed Ytre Kiberg, another gravel road goes up to the top of Kibergsfjellet. Here one can find Rock Ptarmigan and Snow Bunting. The mountain pass over towards Vardø is a fine tour, where one can see many interesting species. The Rednecked Phalarope nests in the small pools beside the road. Long-tailed Skua, Arctic Skua, Willow Ptarmigan, Lapland Longspur and Horned Lark may also be seen right by the road. A gravel road goes up to the top of Domen, and in some years the Dotterel nests here. One can also have the luck to see Gyr Falcon and Ring Ouzel here.

In the mountains on the west side of the road there are fine areas of bogs and lakes, and it is worthwhile to wander for some days in these areas. One will then have good possibilities of seeing most of the mountain species in Finnmark. Whooper Swan, Scaup, Roughlegged Buzzard, Purple Sandpiper and Ruff are some of the species that one can expect to see. The Little Stint is a scarce breeding bird that it is possible to find in these areas. Many of the best bird localities along the coast of Varanger lie right beside the road. One of them is Kramvik, which lies three kilometres west of Indre Kiberg. This is one of the better sites along the coast for seeing waders, and is also an exciting site for passerines. Here, Bluethroat, Red-throated Pipit and Arctic Redpoll all nest, and here Norway`s first White-winged Lark was observed.


Less than 60 kilometres from Vadsø, in the direction of Vardø, one comes first to Indre Kiberg, and immediately after to Ytre Kiberg. These areas are easily accessible from road E75 which leads along the Varangerfjord and further over the mountain to Vardø. The gravel roads are only open after the snow has melted in May.

Further information

The bogs stretch almost continuously down to the large Barvikmyra which is a protected area. Such coastal wetlands are especially rich and vulnerable. One must avoid all unnecessary disturbance to the nesting birds.





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