Bird list:

Black Woodpecker - Dryocopus martius - Pic noir

Boreal Owl - Aegolius funereus - Nyctale de Tengmalm

Brant Goose - Branta bernicla - Bernache cravant

Citrine Wagtail - Motacilla citreola – Bergeronnette citrine

Common Eider - Somateria mollissima - Eider à duvet

Common Goldeneye - Bucephala clangula – Garrot à œil d’or

Common Sandpiper - Actitis hypoleucos - Chevalier guignette

Eurasian Eagle-owl - Bubo bubo - Grand-duc d’Europe

Forest Wagtail - Dendronanthus indicus - Bergeronnette de forêt

Glaucous Gull - Larus hyperboreus - Goéland bourgmestre

Great Cormorant – Phalacrocorax carbo – Grand cormorant

Great Grey Owl - Strix nebulosa - Chouette lapone

Little Auk or Dovekie - Alle alle - Mergule nain

Long-eared Owl – Asio otus - Hibou moyen-duc

Merlin - Falco columbarius - Faucon émerillon

Northern Harrier - Circus cyaneus hudsonius - Busard d’Amérique

Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus - Faucon pèlerin

Purple Sandpiper - Calidris maritima - Bécasseau violet

Short-eared Owl - Asio flammeus - Hibou des marais

Tufted Duck - Aythya fuligula - Fuligule morillon

Ural Owl - Strix uralensis - Chouette de l’Oural

White Wagtail - Motacilla alba - Bergeronnette grise

Yellow-browed Warbler - Phylloscopus inornatus - Pouillot à grands sourcils



Avibase (Lepage Denis)


Citrine Wagtail

Aurélien Audevard


In the Russian high Arctic


Severnaya Zemlya is an archipelago that consists of four large islands and about 70 smaller ones. It lies in the Arctic Ocean, between the Kara Sea (west) and the Laptev Sea (east), at about 50 kilometres from mainland Siberia’s Taymyr Peninsula. The archipelago covers a total area of 37,000 km². It is uninhabited by humans, except for an Arctic base.

The climate is cold and quite dry, with temperatures ranging from -28°C in February, to +1°C in July. Cyclones are common in September and October, with 30% of annual precipitations.       

Severnaya Zemlya is a polar desert with sparse vegetation including species of Cerastium and Saxifraga, and various species of mosses and lichens.

About 22 bird species can be observed on Severnaya Zemlya, with 17 breeding on the islands. However, 8 species are widespread on the archipelago and include Little Auk, Black-legged Kittiwake, Black Guillemot, Ivory Gull, Glaucous Gull, Snow Bunting, Purple Sandpiper and Brent Goose.

Several mammals are found on these islands such as Collared lemming, Arctic Fox, wolf, ermine, Arctic hare and reindeer. The Polar Bear population depends on ice conditions and prey availability, mainly seals.   

Severnaya Zemlya was fist noted in 1913, but it was not put on the map until 1930-1932. These islands continued to be studied by geologists between 1948 and 1954, in order to provide a comprehensible geological map.  

Text by Nicole Bouglouan

Sources for this text:

Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

Bird Observations in Severnaya Zemlya, Siberia

Polar bears of the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago of the Russian arctic

Snow Bunting

Tom Grey
Tom Grey's Bird Pictures & Tom Grey's Bird Pictures 2