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Mild and still, with a thick layer of cloud, the day started imperceptibly, with no indication of the rising sun other than an gradual lightening. I started the day where I had ended it the week before, looking south past the Randkløverne towards Melsted and beyond.
Just metres away, a pair of common gull chicks gradually became used to my presence and emerged from behind a rock, under the watchful eye of their parents. The mewing of aggressive common gulls was to be a sound that followed me throughout the day. Across the sea, dark clouds threatened showers, but apart from a light dusting, the rain never came.
Nearby I watched a pair of hooded crows feed their newly fledged and vociferous young. The bushes around were full with baby birds, great tits, blue tits and linnets. It was as if all the island’s birds had fledged on the same day. I was drawn back to the local wild flowers (from the left clockwise, Hawkbit, Sheep’s bit scabious, Tufted vetch, Common centaury and Honeysuckle).
Eventually I packed up and walked on towards Melsted, the next town after Gudhjem. I passed through a campsite where everyone was still asleep, and continued on to a rocky outcrop where I could see Melsted’s small harbour arm.
The sun, now emerged and hot, passed across a rocky tower. I painted it both before and after a short nap under the M60 umbrella.
I was woken by the cacophonous shrieking of a common gull that actually landed on the M60, just above my head (photo).
On the beach at Melsted, I was drawn again to the incredible diversity of flowers (Common Nipplewort, Foxglove and ? and ?).
Melsted is a pearl of village, charming and quiet, despite being so close to Gudhjem. I’ve lived on Bornholm for ten years but had never been there. I wandered around for a while soaking up the peaceful atmosphere, and visited some friends where I refilled my water bottles. I was jaded and irritable: despite the fine weather, the day was challenging and my creative eyes were flagging. On the harbour arm I painted the gulls resting on the rocks while a procession of locals bathers jumped off the pier into the sea.
Melsted is bordered to the south by an open area, grazed by sheep, known to the locals as ‘little Scotland’. Here the parched grass crunched underfoot and yellowhammers, linnets and whitethroats kept an unceasing chatter amongst the juniper bushes (see top). I jumped off the jagged rocks into the invigorating sea, my first time in this year. Afterwards I sat and painted the shadows on a rock. Underfoot, amongst the vegetation surrounding now dried-out pools, thousands of newly metamorphosed minute toads walked and hopped about.
Further on another large campsite bordered the coast. I was feeling a little unsocial and walked quickly through the delicious haze of bacon and sausage smoke. Just past the campsite, I was again stopped in my tracks by some amazing wild flowers, this time Greater Knapweed.
I walked on to the day’s destination, the mouth of the small Kobbe Stream and enjoyed the gradual unfolding of the sunset.
Weather report = Cloudy with dusting of rain in early morning, otherwise sunny with a few clouds. Temperature between 17 °C and 23 °C , don to 12 in the evening. Wind between 2 and 4 m/s from the west. Visibility: fantastic. Hours of sunshine: 13.5 hours. The hot and dry weather continues.
Lessons learned – Flowers, flowers, flowers
Stops with the M60 = 1
Kilometers walked = 8.43 km
Day lasted = 17 hours, 36 minutes
Birds seen and heard = 37 species (0 new ones! = running total 95)
Other stuff = tired, just tired
People talked to = 1 + 4
In my head = … thoughts relating to the presentation and talk I’m giving at a conference in Canterbury on Thursday (to a soundtrack of ‘Starlight’ by Muse, the earworm to beat all earworms).