How do I get there? Pictures Description

Stora Fjäderägg is one of the true gems in the Kvarken area. When travelling by ferry to Holmö you can see Stora Fjäderägg's white lighthouse if you raise your binoculars and look out across the expanse of water north of Holmön. The round island rises up, a slightly curved elevation in the haze at the horizon. The lighthouse stands on the middle of the island and no one who knows what awaits at Stora Fjäderägg can resist its call.


Stora Fjäderägg

At Stora Fjäderägg nature and culture meet - and people meet here as well. The most natural starting point for outings on the island are the lighthouse-keeper residences around the lighthouse. A narrow cement walkway leads you from the harbour, via the sparsely covered boulder-strewn land and crowberry heaths all the way to the lighthouse. The straight kilometre-long cement walk is part of Stora Fjäderägg's identity and this is where you will meet those who are returning to civilization. You may also be surprised by a cycling ornithologist on his way to empty his net one last time before the morning's ring marking session is over.

The "Egg", as birdwatchers usually call the island, has an exceptional location on the flight path of migratory birds, where those heading southeast meet the birds heading to the southwest. Both bluethroats (Luscinia svecica) with their eye on the Persian Gulf and willow warblers (Phylloscopus trochilus) on their way to Africa are caught in the fine mesh of the bird nets. At times the nets are overfull, but they can also be empty if the winds are not right. The Egg also offers birdwatchers excellent opportunities to become familiar with sea birds that migrate far away across the seas. They may be small groups of loons or flocks of brent geese (Branta bernicla) heading for the White Sea far to the northeast. The Egg also provides outstanding opportunities for finding eastern species of birds that have taken a slight wrong turn and ended up at this outpost at sea. At least the yellow-browed warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) or Pallas's Warbler (Phylloscopus proregulus) can rest up for a while on this island before continuing on their journey.

The birds do not find much protection on the island - and that is probably just what attracts all the people. Most of Stora Fjäderägg consists of open heaths with individual juniper bushes and scattered, dense clumps of spruce trees. But the island is slowly becoming covered in vegetation since the cultivation ended and in recent years the birdwatchers and Holmö residents have actively worked to carefully remove some of the spruce trees and pines that are starting to take over the heaths.

Stora Fjäderägg is one of the points in Kvarken that has always been important for navigation in these difficult waters. In 1850 a lighthouse was built with lighthouse-keeper homes to secure the traffic coming from the north and heading for the Kvarken area. At that time several families lived at the homes, which are close to the lighthouse. Just west of the homes are the remains of an extremely small field, which shows that the residents of the island at the time farmed in the hollows on the barren heaths. The small meadow is now one of the locations that attracts resting small birds.

Stora Fjäderägg has long been an obvious base for fish and seal hunting around the northern Holmöarna, as can be seen in the "gistvallar" - drying racks for fishing gear - on the south side of the island.

Stora Fjäderägg is a deserted island during late fall, winter and early spring. In the break between spring and summer and during the early fall the birding station is staffed. Otherwise most people come here during the summer. Since 2001 there is a STF youth hostel in the island's light keeper’s house. The hostel is managed by Fyrvaktaren HB on behalf of Holmöns boat museum. Hostel guests are traveling to the island with Holmöslupen, that makes daily trips between Holmön and Stora Fjäderägg during summer. The boat belongs to Holmöns boat museum and is a copy of the type of boat which were common among traders along the coast of Västerbotten.

If you are considering a visit to Stora Fjäderägg, remember that you must bring all food with you, preferably even some spare provisions just in case weather delays your departure from the island. And don't forget warm clothing. It can be much colder here than on the mainland, especially in the spring and early summer.

Photo: Anders Enetjärn
Photo: Jörgen Wiklund/N
Photo: Anders Enetjärn
Lighthouse-keeper's residence
Siskin(Garduelis spinus) and ring marker
Cement walk between the harbour and the lighthouse
Photo: Anders Enetjärn
Photo: Anders Enetjärn
Photo: Ann Salomonsson
Evening light to the west with groups of spruce on the heaths
The bluethroat migrates to the east and is usually captured on the "Egg"
"Gistgårdsvall" on the south side of the island
Photo: Ann Salomonsson

Texts: Anders Enetjärn, Lise-Lotte Molander.
Translation: Accent Språkservice AB.
Layout & illustrations: Päivi Anttila.
Webbdesign: Fredrik Smeds, Freddi Com Oy Ab.
for maintenance & updates contact: [email protected].