LAND 19 – Grødby to Skelbro, 12.05.23

Denne side på dansk her

LAND 19 For the first time: no hat, gloves, scarf, or thick jacket. The sun rose into a clear steel blue sky, and from my start point surrounded by fields of yellowing rapeseed, I was completely covered by joyous peals of skylark song. As I slowly headed towards the woods of Raghammer, the skylark song was gradually replaced by the repetitive and overpowering rattle, chack and whistle of the newly arrived thrush nightingales.

I was to spend the first half of the day in the Raghammer Military exercise area. Covering over 300 hectares of forest, dune, and heathland, much of the area is protected on account of its diverse fauna and flora. I headed east and followed the outer boundary along a well-mown and signposted path, through a mixture of scrub and open woodland and accompanied all the way by an intoxicating cacophony of bird song and cherry blossom.

Wild cherry and pine, Raghammer

Eventually I arrived at the coast. Bathed in the morning light, the completely deserted beach was nothing less than paradisical. I was glad to meet the sea again and was reminded of my visit during the KYST project, in the autumn of 2018.

Eider duck, Raghammer Odde

I walked around Raghammer Cape, and then doubled back inland into the open heathland where meadow pipits, yellowhammers, and wheatears flitted about.

Raghammer skydeterræn
Wheatear studies

Overhead a honey buzzard and later a black kite. Huge areas of Bornholm once looked like this, but little heathland remains. A large flock of noisy chattering sand martins were busy excavating their nests in some huge sand bunkers – I was drawn to the light and flickering shadows, but they were seldom still for long enough and I struggled.

The day was long, but I still had a way to go. I was overheating and running out of water, my pack heavy. I headed west through a twisted and sleepy pine forest, and eventually arrived at the small seaside village of Boderne. Passing quickly through, I then followed the coastal path running atop the sandy ridge, parallel to the coast and the route of my KYST walk five years earlier. I was glad for the opportunity to paint some shelduck and a herring gull bathed in the strong reflective light of the sea, familiar and comfortable subjects for me.

Shelduck study, Vester Boderne
Herring Gull study, Vester Boderne

My route took me through wild scrubby meadows and blossoming cherry woods. At places the ridge had slipped towards the sea, exposing the red and green clays that were now cracked and dry because of all the dry weather. A rusty winch was possibly a remnant of the clay extraction industries that had been established here during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Winch, Munkerup

Just before the mouth of the small Rise stream, I arrived at a natural amphitheater grazed by sheep, and here I paused to admire frothy blackthorn blossom caught by last rays of the setting sun.

Sunset. Gryden, Risestrand

Time was getting on, and I followed the steam inland back towards the main road and my destination, the old limestone quarry of Skelbro.


WEATHER REPORT – Sunny all day. Temperature 11 – 20 degrees. Wind 4 – 7 m/s from the east. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 15 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 0


DAY LASTED – 16h and 02 m


BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 57 species: 14 new (Black-throated diver, Common eider, Goldeneye, Red-Breasted merganser, Kestrel, Common Sandpiper, Sand Martin, Yellow Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Thrush Nightingale, Wheatear, Garden Warbler, Whitethroat, Wood Warbler) running total = 106 species…incredible to see so many birds in one walk!

LESSONS LEARNED – I need to have a soft water bottle, so I can fill up in small sinks.

IN MY HEAD – despite the amazing weather, I fought against a bad mood and the symptoms of a cold all day