My finger has stopped clicking the release, I hold my breath. It is the end of April, few minutes before 10 p.m. Here in the north, up the rocky cliffs, I am sitting in silence among a countless number of puffins and watching the sunset. Close, deathly hush. There is just the endless squabbling cry of the thousands of seagulls coming from the sea. Lost in the company of flapping wings, I am counting the last minutes of the day. Comparing that all with the everydayness, I realized that Norway is different and the “Birds´ Island” has changed my life - made it more beautiful and richer.

There was a desire at the beginning of our journey; desire for the unseen, for the unknown, and for adventure. Desire to discover, to experience and to share. Just few days after finding Runde in the map, being convinced of its uniqueness and beauty, I called my friends. Hunger for travelling came over us.
With very little knowledge of the island though full of excitement, four of us set on the journey on the 20th of April 2004. We want to gain new experience of watching and photographing arctic birds in their natural habitat. Squeezed in a small four passenger car we took the long and strenuous journey to the island of Runde. It is situated on the west coast of Norway between the fyords of Storfjodr and Romsdalsfjord, west of Alesund. The island is fascinating already at the first sight. The cliffs rise from the sea up to 200 meters; the highest peak Vardane reaches up to 333 meters. About one third of the island is covered with marshland and dotted with small lakes, stretching up from the altitude of about 100 meters. It is the relatively cold climate of the island and the warm Gulf Stream that provide the surrounding sea with abundance of plankton and fish and thus create ideal conditions for nesting of arctic birds. Runde is the third largest highly diverse bird colony in Norway. In fact, you can find all species of artic birds that breed in colonies in this northern country here, all that in the area of 6,4 km2 only.

Island of RUNDE

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