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The Kola Bay has become a platform for birdwatchers

27 february 2012
Last weekend a new WWF project started which is meant to captivate Murmansk residents with wildlife watching and come to be a tool for oil spills monitoring

The project appeared thanks to the collaboration from Norwegian amateur-ornithologists and the ecological center “Svanhovd”. During the year on the base of the Regional Scientific Library, WWF gives training lessons for everyone who wants to take part. The tuition consists of two parts: the theoretic, where trainees can learn the different ways to define the different species of birds and how to keep record of the feathered creatures in the Kola Bay, and the practical, which is a trip to the specially selected observation points.

Those participants that seriously wish to devote their time to bird reports can register their observation results in a special data base. The existence of such a data base in case of an oil spill would give the possibility for a forecast on the dynamic needed for the restoration of the ecosystem, seeing that it is birds that are its biological indicator! Besides that the very presence of volunteers on the Kola Bay could quickly alert emergency services in case of an accident.

Twelve Murmansk residents came together Saturday, 25th of February, at the library. There were barely any questions and everyone wanted to take a trip to the Bay as soon as possible. Regardless of the frosty weather and the strong wind, the participants persistently looked through their binoculars and telescopes. It was especially difficult to define seagulls, seeing as in the Kola Bay it’s possible to meet several types of this bird. Some of them are distinct from each other merely by small spots on their wings.

Birdwatching isn’t an easy task it demands training and stamina,” said Vadim Krasnopolsky, WWF-Russia Barents Office oil and gas coordinator and the head of this particular project. “By the third watch field not all the volunteers got out of the bus, those who were especially cold remained to drink hot tea, but those who did brave 20 more minutes in the frost received real satisfaction! They were lucky to get close enough to see a large accumulation of a variety of bird species”.

And the joy of Norwegian partners was not at the limit because they got to see the Steller's Eider which is a duck that is rarely seen in Norwegian regions. Up to thirty units of this species were counted during the observation.

We just don’t notice the birds surrounding us. If we take a closer look at them then we would see that all birds are different and each is beautiful in its own way,” confidently stated a Norwegian specialist.

© WWF-Russia/Tatiana Baeva
© WWF-Russia/Tatiana Baeva
© WWF-Russia / Tatiana Baeva
© WWF-Russia/Tatiana Baeva
Vadim Krasnopolsky
© WWF-Russia/Tatiana Baeva
© WWF-Russia/Tatiana Baeva