Pasvik has the northernmost virgin forest in Norway and the area occupies the north-westernmost corner of the Siberian taiga. The park is a patchwork of ancient woodland, bogs and lakes. Highlights for visiting birders are Pine Grosbeak, Siberian Tit and Siberian Jay. The top birding sites in Pasvik are numerous, but the most easily accessible areas are from Svanvik to Skogfoss and from Vaggetem to Nyrud. The Øvre Pasvik National Park covers a 119 sq. km of pine forest. It has been able to develop without significant human disturbances, resulting in its great biodiversity. However birding in the taiga forest can test your patience and birding skills, as knowledge of where and when to visit is important for finding birds. The ´Birding Varanger´ guide book will certainly help you find the top sites in the area.
Pasvik is a great place to discover numerous bird species, but it is also a home to several mammal species, like the Brown Bear, Wolverine, Elk, Eurasian Lynx, Grey Wolf and many others.
Svanvik is the last of the bigger settlements in Sør Varanger and you can find the National Park Visitor Centre here. There is decent birding found here, during early summer the fields surrounding the Visitor Centre can attract Common Crane, Bar-tailed Godwit and Whooper Swan.
The Skrøytnes area is surrounded by a road which is the best way to view the area. It also has a small bird tower that overlooks the Pasvik river to the Russian border. Whooper Swans, Common Goldeneye, Greater Scaup, Common Scoter, Black-throated and Red-throated Divers can all be expected. But Ospreys, White-tailed Eagles and Rough-legged Buzzards can also be seen.
Along the road from Skogfoss to Vaggatem is worth keeping an eye out for Siberian Jay, Pine Grosbeak, Great Grey Shrikes and Black Woodpecker.
The houses and fields around Vaggatem are good places to look for Hawk Owl and hunting Short-Eared Owls, Common Crane and flocks of Bean Geese. The rivers and lakes attract Black-throated Diver and fishing Osprey. At the end of the main road leading into the National Park is the Police station at Nyrud. You cannot enter the police station compound, but the surrounding area is a great place to find Little Bunting and the chance encounter with Black Grouse and Capercaillie. Siberian Jay, Siberian Tit and Hawk Owl all occur in this forest. Again: check out the guide book for info and maps of the best sites to visit.
Find out more about Øvre Pasvik on the biotope website: