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"One of the big scientific sensations", was the title in the Bergens Times newspaper on the 22nd of November, 1941. It was the geologist Isal Undås who had been interviewed by the newspaper. He thought that he had discovered a 120 000 year old whale bone, remains of life from before the last Ice Age.
The shift in the landscape is striking between the barren craggy moors north on Askøy and the green fields of Herdla, which has the county's biggest farm. The majority of Herdla, such as the island appears today, is a gift from the glacier: The glacier that advanced here over 12,000 years ago stopped at the northern tip of Askøy and took its time building up the moraine on Herdla. Since then, Herdla has been under continual transformation. The re-organisation of the loose sediment deposits continues today.
Spring, summer and autumn, there is bird life on Valen, and the tidal zone is especially attractive. Out on Herdlaflaket, you see ducks and other diving birds all year round, but most in winter.
Bergen folk landed on it, long and well. The Germans took it over, during the Second World War. The birds had been doing it for several thousands of years: HERDLA is the main airport for migrating birds during their autumn migrations.
There is no place in Hordaland where there are so many over-wintering song swans as in Tjeldstømarka. And there are few places in the county that have had this birdfowl as a guest for as long.