Runde - The Birds Island
Runde is a small, natural pearl, with millions of seabirds, counting an exceptional variety of species.
It is said that all Norwegian sea-birds nesting in colonies represented here at the Runde island.
The great favourite among tourist are the puffin, hiding its nest in screens and holes in the ground. In Runde you find thousands of pairs, maybe even hundreds of thousands.
The second biggest colony is the kittiwake, represented with about 50.000 pairs. And then there is the beautiful gannet, blending white with orange lines across the head. The colony at Runde is the biggest and oldest in Norway, one of only about 40 gannet colonies in the world.
The Coat of Arms for Herøy
Herøy municipality has 8 islands, and 6 of them are connected by bridges and the community center of Herøy is Fosnavåg, the only town in the municipality.
Herøy also is the center of an extensive offshore shipping industry.
Herøy municipality has 8400 inhabitants, and impressing 8 offshore shipping companys with more than 100 offshore vessels, besides beeing one of the largest fishing communitys in Norway.
Herøy is located south west of Ålesund, and the village of Torvik has daily calls by the coastal steamer, Hurtigruta.
Runde, this small island at the coast of Sunnmøre, in Møre and Romsdal county, is the largest bird-island south of the Arctic circle.
The island has only 160 inhabitants, and is part of Herøy municipality at the border of the Atlantic Ocean.
From the homepage of Herøy municipality we can see that Runde has been designated as a protected area, however, daily guided tours by boat around the bird cliffs, guided hiking tours and easy access to the cliff on well-marked paths enable visitors to experience the teeming bird life at first hand.
Here, one can see colonies of puffins, guillemots, gannets and razorbills, 200 species all together, and the impressive white-tailed eagle among them.
Runde Lighthouse was established in 1767, because the increasing ship traffic along the coast of Norway had led to several accidents, and the ocean around Runde was very dangerous.
Between others, in 1725 the Dutch merchant vessel Akerendam sunk close to Kvalneset, where todays lighthouse is located.
In the beginning the Runde Lighthouse was not more than an open fire, but as the government took over the responsability in 1826, the more modern, coal driven lighthouse was build.
In 1858 a big iron tower was raised, and the remains of this is still standing.
In 1935, the concrete lighthouse tower was build some higher up , and the first time this was lighted was on August 27. the same year.
The first lighthouses had to be looked after 24 hours a day, and the lighthouse keeper had to live close to where he worked.
Normaly, the lightkeeper used to have his whole family with him; wife, children, housekeepers, cattle and all needed.
Later, most lighthouses along the Norwegian coast became automated, and the last lighthouse keeper moved out from Runde Lighthouse in 2002.
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