LAND 10 – Bodils Church to Bro Odde, 10.03.23

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LAND 10 Dawn at Bodil’s Church. Ahead, the flatlands of southern Bornholm stretched off into the distance. The sky grey and dark, my mood darker still.

Dawn. View from Hønselundsvejen

I headed south, the frigid east wind blowing across the frozen fields. The landscape felt imperceptibly different. The fields were large, dull and flat, the narrow country roads straight.

I stopped at the side of the road in the shelter of a small brick building – the old waterworks. Here, sandwiched between two huge industrial farms and a large solar panel farm, is a small uncultivated area – all that remains of a much larger meadow and wetland that once dominated this area. Drained and intensively cultivated, this small field was left fallow in the 90s, and was now brimming with life. Roe deer and hare grazed together with geese; stock doves, starlings, and lapwings milled around, while a rough-legged buzzard and a red kite circled above hunting for rodents, before settling in a nearby tree.

I walked on, continuing south. The solar farm looked like a strange geometric lake in the distance.

View from Graanakkevej mod vest.

Eventually I arrived on the edge of Hundsemyre, one of Bornholm’s wildest areas – over 50 acres of lake, swamp, forest, and scrub. As I entered, honking greylag geese scattered, their wingtips zipping up the air. In just a few days the reserve closes for the breeding season, and I felt like an intruder. Much of the path was waterlogged, but the mud and water were frozen, making it easier for me to navigate. Alder, willow, and birch dominated, and the dark swamp felt wonderfully neglected.

Melting ice and alder trees

Cormorants and various ducks sheltered from the wind or prepared to nest. I was overjoyed to get great views of a lesser spotted woodpecker, my first good sighting on Bornholm for over 10 years. My mood lifted somewhat.

The lesser spotted woodpecker (very cute)
Cormorants in the dead trees overlooking the lake
More cormorant studies

Leaving the reserve, I passed a charismatic herd of highland cattle.

I walked on, unable now to stop for long because of the cold. I walked through the outskirts of the village of Snogebæk, and continued, zigzagging across the fields and small roads, trying to keep warm. I could hear the roar of the sea.

Hares and geese, Smedvejen

As the sky darkened imperceptibly, I made one more painting, before walking through a summer house area and arriving at Bro Odde, the coast, where the foaming sea tumbled onto to the beach.

Dusk, from the bench, Søndre Mosevej


WEATHER REPORT – overcast all day. Temperature 0 – 2 degrees. Wind 3 – 5 m/s from the east. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 0 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 0


DAY LASTED – 11h and 15m


BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 43 species: 11 new (Lesser spotted woodpecker, Stock dove, Great black-backed gull, Rough-legged buzzard, Goosander, Tufted duck, Teal, Shelduck, Barnacle goose, White-fronted goose, Mute swan, running total = 64 species)

LESSONS LEARNED – I should have taken my tarp, even though it was dry, I could have done with the cover.

IN MY HEAD – Biogas, greenwashing, the environment, biodiversity, the land, the LAND