Tuesday, 1 June 2010


Today we reached Svalbard – and it’s southernmost island, Bjørnøya. And this was really the Big Bird Day. We have met one of the largest sea bird colonies in the North Atlantic actually. We arrived the southern tip of Bjørnøya in the middle of the day. Then we already had listened to about four lectures, and some also saw whales from the deck – so this is not quite a lazy holiday … 

Guillemots and kittiwakes. Photo: Ian Lawson

When we arrived Bjørnøya we went out in the small boats, watching the fantastic cliffs and birds. In sun, snow, wind and sun again.
Photo: Ian Lawson
Some of us learned a lot of new bird names today, but now we have to ask, Gro Vestues, our biologist and member of the Expedition Staff:
–  What have we actually seen today?
– During the breakfast we saw the fulmar, sailing past the windows, watching our coffee. When we got closer to Bjørnøya we saw the guillemots, a lots of them, and kittiwakes. And during the small boat cruise we saw all these birds pluss the glaucous gull nesting. In between we also saw some great skuas passing by, Gro said.
– And what was this day like for you, bird lover?
– It was really good to be back on Svalbard and see my old friends, she completed.

When we left Bjørnøya the snow and wind curtains closed down the view for a while  – perfect weather for even more education.