Birdwatching - Stølsvidda
Stølsvidda is a lower alpine plateau just at the tree line west in Valdres. It lies roughly between Tisleidalen to the southeast, the River Tisleia and Lake Tisleifjorden to the southwest, the Road Panoramavegen to the northwest and the main valley with lake Strandefjorden to the north. This is Valdres' realm of mountain farming with many summer mountain farm that are still in use even today. Cattle and goats graze freely during summer. The best areas for birdwatching lie to the south and southwest with the triangle between Furuset, Gauklia/Brattåsen and Langstølen as the core area.
On Stølsvidda you will find a rich birdlife that spans from forest species like Capercaillie and Siberian Jay, open wetlands with a number of waders and breeding cranes to owls and raptors. The area is best explored from the car by driving on the farming roads with some stops along the way. Use your car as hide and bring a telescope. A popular round drive, among local birders called "the pizza circuit", is to drive to Tisleidalen and from the Joker store to follow the road Tisleivegen via Hermannstølen, Fløten and Furuset to Langestølen and from there to Vaset - either via Tyrisholt and Brattåsen or via Nøsen and along the road Panoramavegen - from where you return to Fagernes. Side trips and detours via Gauklia and towards Jaslangen are recommended.
From the toll barrier to Hermannstølen: Siberian Jay, Bullfinch and tits
Around Hermannstølen: Black Grouse and Northern Hawk Owl during spring (March to April)
Between Hermannstølen and Fløten: Capercaillie during spring (March to April)
Around Fløten: Black Grouse and Northern Hawk Owl during spring (March to April)
At Langestølen: Black Grouse and Northern Hawk Owl during spring (March to April), Common Crane and waders such as Common Snipe, Northern Lapwing and Eurasian Curlew as well as Whinchat, Yellow Wagtail and Short-eared Owl (with luck Long-eared Owl) in May, Eurasian Wryneck and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in June (the two latter in the birch forest north towards Flya)
River Flya (where it flows close to the road): White-throated Dipper
Around Tyrisholt: Bluethroat and Northern Wheatear in May-June, Great Snipe in the willows between Tyrisholt and Brattåsen in June, Short-eared Owl and Common Crane in May-June
Around Brattåsen: Common Kestrel, Willow Ptarmigan
Around the ponds south of Gauklia: Velvet Scoter, Black-throated Diver, Whimbrel and Curlew, Hen Harrier (and even Pallid) in May-June
Jaslangen/Bridge over the River Buaråne: Common Redstart, Common Merganser/Goosander, White-throated Dipper
At Rennsenn: Common Crane (in pairs from late May-June)
River Sundheimselvi (Ulnes): White-throated dipper (all year)
Tips: Start very early in the day, preferably before sunrise from the Joker store, and use the whole day in the area. The Black Grouse lek is often over an hour or two after sunrise.
Directions: Via Tislevegen (toll road), exit from road 51 at the Jokers store in Tisleidalen or from Vaset via Road Panoramavegen (toll road). The toll fees can be paid by credit card.