After long months of autumn, winter came to Helsinki, and with it, holiday season. I had not been on a real adventure since September and our road-trip in Lapland, but I had planned something spicy for the end of December. The origin of it all was Sólstafir’s concert in Copenhagen: I wanted to see this old favourite band of mine again, and when I learnt they were playing in the capital of Denmark, they had not announced any gig in Finland yet. I thought it was a good opportunity to visit Denmark again, and see some friends there.
I flew there on Friday evening, and the morning after, I was in the train to Falster and Lolland, two islands in the south of Copenhagen. In Nykøbing F, I met Gert and Hans. I knew them from my year in Denmark, when I had spent two weekends in the area already. We drove to Lolland, stopping in several good birding areas and chatting about birds. I was astonished by the quantity of ducks feeding on the sea or resting on the lakes, including the remarkable Smew (Mergellus albellus) and Red-crested pochard (Netta rufina). I don’t see many raptors in Helsinki, so I was happy to spot a few Common kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) and Common buzzards (Buteo buteo).
After this busy morning, we drove to Gedser Fuglestation, where both Gert and Hans are involved in bird ringing activities, especially during migration time. In mid-December, no one was there anymore, like the first time I visited, so I had the whole house for myself again.
Hans showed me their new setting for the attic: a guest room, something that did not exist at all two years before! That way, they are more ready to welcome travellers; if you fancy a peaceful night at the end of the world, I can only recommend the place, especially since it costs only 100kr.
I walked to the tip for sunset. Gedser, the southernmost point of Denmark, is located at the end of a peninsula pointing south. From the village, ferries travel to Rostock, in Germany, but many other ships can be seen from the shore. In addition, sea birds like Common eiders (Somateria mollissima) and Long-tailed ducks (Clangula hyemalis) spend winter at sea there, resting on the water or diving in search of a shell or a crab, which they must swallow quickly lest a gull steal their lunch.
Wind mills dotted the horizon; I was back to Denmark indeed, and it felt good. I had a very hygge evening, with a simple dinner, a shower and a good read. I didn’t linger too late, for I wanted to wake up at dawn.
In the morning, I met Preben at the tip, and we watched sea birds. Nothing extraordinary, but it was an enjoyable sunrise, with some warm light and good company.
The main bird was a Common scoter (Melanitta nigra) that seemed hurt; he had a leg floating stiff behind, and I supposed it wasn’t functional. Most of those birds we saw far out at sea, but this fellow was swimming close to shore, back and forth. I don’t think he had much time left, sadly.
Apart from this, countless Great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) flew along the coast.
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