The Amager Coastal Path
The coastal path around the dyke on Kalvebod Common offers a bird safari second to none. The area is one of the most important international migratory routes for many species, while the combination of wet meadows, thickets, woodland, sea and lakes creates good conditions for many breeding birds.
Much of Kalvebod Common is actually below sea level. The dyke was built during the First World War, as part of a job-creation project designed to prevent unemployed Danish men being sent to do forced labour in Germany.
Recently, the dyke was raised two metres to safeguard Copenhagen from the danger of flooding as a result of climate change. As an added bonus, this means it is now possible to roller-skate or cycle all the way around Kalvebod Common, from Kongelunden to Islands Brygge.
The view from the dyke is breathtaking. On one side you have the Sound, Avedøre Power Station and the Copenhagen skyline; on the other is Klydesøen Lake, literally Avocet Lake, one of Denmark’s most important wetlands for a variety of birds.
This is a closed sanctuary, but a number of bird towers on top of the dyke offer good views of the rare species. In early summer, the nightingale sings – and you’ll also hear the less idyllic cries of water rails and red-necked grebes, who sound more like pigs at a trough.
Reports of white-tailed eagles in the area are becoming more frequent. They are hard to miss – watching one of these birds is like watching a door fly. More elegant is the peregrine falcon, which is seen in the winter. It has developed a special hunting technique that allows it to plummet at over 300 kilometres per hour toward its prey, making it the world’s fastest animal.
During summer, the first stretch of the dyke from the (still operational) pump house is used as a small jetty, making it possible to combine bird watching with a dip in the Sound. You can also fish from the shore.
Photo: Lars Bertelsen
DATA & LINKSKyststien om Amager
(The Amager Costal Path)
2300 Copenhagen S
- Bird watching
- Wild camping nearby
- Most of Kalvebod Common is below sea level. The area was reclaimed during the First World War as part of a job-creation scheme designed to prevent Danish men being sent to do forced labour in Germany.
- It was then used for military training until 1984. After the military left, the clean-up process began, and was completed in 2010.
- It is now a conservation area.
- The coastal path is 14 km long, but it is also part of the E6 path, which stretches from the north of Finland to the south of Greece.
- Birds are the main attraction. Large breeding populations of red-necked, crested and small grebe, bitterns, marsh harriers, penduline tits, etc. In the wetlands, the breeding species include greylag geese, mallards, coots, lapwings and large waders like oystercatchers, ringed plovers, common snipe and redshanks.
- During the migration period, many birds, including birds of prey, stop off and rest in the area, and Kalvebod Common is one of the best places to see roosting red-necked phalarope.
- The Sound has a rich variety of fish, and you might be lucky enough to see porpoises.
- The new road on the dyke is suitable for wheelchair users, although the distances are potentially quite vast.
- No shopping, but plenty of places to picnic.
- A bonfire site where you are allowed to prepare and cook food in the Pinseskoven Forest, near the pump house.
- Wild camping.
- There is also a bonfire site at Birkedam, at the northern end of the dyke.