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

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