Birdwatching - Fagernes
"Urban birding" has become a thing withing birdwatching. Urban parks and gardens, often around ponds, can hold astonishing amounts of birds. For Valdres' part, it is Fagernes that is the town.
Storøya, the peninsula at Lake Strandefjorden where the Valdres Folkemuseum is locted, is one of the places worth a visit, especially during migration and early summer. A natural path leads around and over the peninsula, and a number of species lives here throughout the year. Tits, Tree sparrows, Great spotted Woodpeckers, Fieldfares, Song thrushes, Barns swallows and Common swifts breed in and around the old museum buildings and trees and bushes throughout the area. Early mornings during May and the beginning of June are good for birding by ear, when the air is filled with song. Later during summer, the shrill srrii-srrii calls of the Common swifts fill the air above Fagernes. On the water close to shore Red-breasted mergansers are sometimes seen, and during winter Euopean Goldfinches are possible. The area is accessible for free outside the opening hours of the museum.
In the River Neselva between the two pedestrian bridges by the waterfal and at the river mouth White-throated dippers are fairly regular. Especially during winter, several individuals usually can be observed. Around the river mouth below the lower bridge which rarely freezes over completely, sometimes ducks can be seen, too.
At downtown Fagernes rowanberry trees av been planted which can attract large flocks of Fieldfares and Bohemian waxwings during late fall. Waxwings tend to be annual in smaller numbers and in a short time window, but in some years with fierce winters in the arctic and when the trees carry especially many berries there can be huge flocks which stay for longer periods. They tend to roost high up in the tops of the large birch trees in front of the town hall and sweep down into the berry trees when "the air is clear" until they are flushed by cars or pedestrians and retreat into the birch tops. If you stand still next to a berry tree, you may get them within 2 meters distance.
At Hunkevika at the Spikarmoen-exit along Skrautvålsvegen, some whooper swans normally are present during migration and sometimes well into winter. Common goldeneyes also can be observed in this area.