Birds Flying High

On the island where my grandparents live, Runde on the West Coast of Norway, there is a famous nesting cliff.

The cliff looks straight out into the Atlantic Ocean, and houses species like puffins, northern gannets and northern fulmars.

The island also houses a good amount of white-tailed eagles.

There are two ways to get to the cliff.

One is by boat.

The other is to walk up and across the mountain, and watch it from the top.

When I was a kid, both ways were a huge experience.

But I especially remember the visits on foot.

My hope was to get as close to the puffins as possible, without trespassing their habitat of course.

I also loved watching the white-tailed eageles floating into the area, hearing the roars from a collective cliff warning each other about the unwelcome guest.

To see as many puffins as possible, you’ll have to visit them really early (before they go out to sea hunting fish) or in the evening when they get back.

It was exciting walking up in the evening hours, with dusk beginning to settle.

When we got close to the edge of the cliff we often saw birds popping up and down from sight, and a steadily increasing noise that sometimes would explode when reaching the edge.

This watercolour painting is based on that very moment when we were almost there.


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