Sketch of the Day: Shorebirds at Ølsemagle (oolseh-mowel) Revle

Lapwings and Oystercatchers at the marshes north of Køge, Denmark. The lapwings hung out in the inland lagoons and the oystercatchers spent all their time in the kelp and sand and surf. They were within spitting distance of each other, which shows you how compact a niche can be.
Lapwings and Oystercatchers at the marshes north of Køge, Denmark. The lapwings hung out in the inland lagoons and the oystercatchers socialized in the kelp and surf on the other side of a single grassy sand dune, which shows you how compact a niche can be. Køge is pronounced, “kooweh”, sort of. My Danish neighbor is trying to teach me Danish pronunciation, and when Danish tones are attempted by American lips, hilarity ensues. Watercolor and pencil on Stillman & Birn 8 1/2″ x 11″ Alpha Series. Drawn through the scope.

There’s this wonderful long barrier island along Køge Bay, south of Copenhagen, a bird sanctuary called Olsemagle Revle, with marshes and beautiful white sand beaches that go on for miles. I’ve gone there twice now, once with the Danish Ornithological Society  and once alone. That would be today. The S-Train (“S-Tog”) goes right near it, and you can take your bike on board for free, get off at Olby Station and ride to the marsh, about 2.5 km.

I swear I'm going to upload a step-by-step tutorial on how to actually, physically, take your bike on the S-Train. It's a great service, goes everywhere, works wonderfully, but if you don't know the ins and outs, you're going to screw it up. If you're anything like me, that is. That's my bike. It's on the S-Train. I'm sitting next to it, making sure it doesn't fall over, even though it's fairly securely engaged with the rear-tire clamp rack. The first time I used it, my bike fell onto the expensive roadster next to it, earning me a dirty look from its owner. So it goes.
I swear I’m going to post a tutorial on how to physically get your bike on the Copenhagen S-Train. It’s a great service, goes everywhere, works wonderfully, but if you don’t know the ins and outs, and if you’re anything like me, you’re going to screw it up. This is my bike on the S-Train. I’m sitting next to it, making sure it doesn’t fall over, even though it’s securely engaged with the rear-tire clamp rack. The first time I used it, my bike fell on the expensive roadster next to it, earning me an unhappy look from its owner. I love the S-Train, but it’s a learning curve.

At Olsemagle there are scads of swans, buckets of barnacle geese, a glut of golden plovers, and plenty of graylag geese to go around. Also, today, naked men. In Denmark, sunshine + beach = nudists, but I admit getting caught by surprise. Two guys on the dune, who, from a distance, seemed to be dressed in long pink t-shirts, were simply displaying their sunburns. One nude man walked up to me as I trudged across the sand, scope over my shoulder, and tried to entice me into joining him for a swim. Though the Danish was incomprehensible, the body language was unmistakeable. I thanked him and hurried along, eyes forward.

Barnacle geese at the marsh. Their white faces in black necks makes them look like sock monkeys. Beautiful geese. Not the most common in the marsh, but the most vivid. The greylag next to them- that's the most common. Pencil in Robert Bateman 8 1/2" x 11 sketchbook.
Barnacle geese at the marsh. Their white faces in black necks makes them look like sock monkeys. Beautiful geese. Not the most common in the marsh, but the most vivid. The greylag next to them- that’s the most common. Pencil in Robert Bateman 8 1/2″ x 11 sketchbook.

Fabulous day, beautiful marsh, lots of sunshine, plenty of exciting encounters all around. See below for one more.

Happy Friday.

Flock of gentle sheep, sans ram, helps keep down the invasive beach roses growing everywhere. Reminds me I need to look for a warm sweater before winter sets in.
A flock of gentle sheep helps keep down invasive beach roses. Which reminds me to shop around for a warm sweater before winter sets in.

 

 

6 thoughts on “Sketch of the Day: Shorebirds at Ølsemagle (oolseh-mowel) Revle

  1. Alan Medak says:

    Great post. You are really getting around like a Dane. It is amazing how many people use a bike to get to work every day. Their bike lanes in Copenhagen and bike trails in the countryside are fantastic.

    1. zeladoniac says:

      Thank you, Alan. The bike system here is really well done. If you have a favorite country bike trail, I’d like to know more about it. The city ones can be a little intense with so many other riders, if you know what I mean:-) Thanks again!

      1. Alan Medak says:

        The guide we used is titled: North Zealand, Guide to Bike Experiences. It has a scene of the ocean with a red and white light house (I think) with a couple and their bikes near it. Check bike shops or Amazon for the book. The guide gives sightseeing info and there is a nice map included with the bike trails shown paralleling the roads or sometimes even going cross country through farm fields. It is typical to have the asphalt trails running on the side of the road, but separated by some distance so you feel safe. That is not always the case though. It was really intense near Copenhagen, and a bit confusing. Riding north along the east coast was nice (Route 9). Sometimes the trail went inland away from the sea, but that was interesting too. Since we were on a 5 day tour we only were on a trail once, so I don’t have many specific trail recommendations, but with your expertise in public transportation you could go to any of the small cities and just pick a trail and do an out and back or figure out a loop. Our tour had us staying in Helsingor, Helsinge, Hundested, ferry across to Rorvig and stayed at Holbaek, then Roskilde and back to Copenhagen. The bike paths were good, but once in a while we ended up on a road with bad traffic, but not for long. If I was in your position, I would go to a bike shop and ask them for a recommendation. The locals always know the best places to go. Good luck!
        Alan

  2. Pooja says:

    I’ve been following your blog for years and it’s great to hear your enjoying Copenhagen. It is a wonderful city and I wish I could have spent longer than the 2 days that I was there. Do go up to the Round Tower (Rundetårn), if you find time. The views are phenomenal in the evenings and the rooftops make for an interesting composition for a sketch.

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