Spring signposted!

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There is a lot to be said for waymarked or signposted trails – leave your map and compass at home and enjoy a wander, which we have signposted for you. Perfect for an Easter Sunday springtime ramble with Hanne and Max. I was excited to visit this somewhat longer 15km circular route I found on Holsterbo Kommune’s website which winds around Subbergård lake, not far from our farmyard home.

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The path, which for the most, part doesn’t stray too far from the lake shore wanders through different habitats, from open heathland and grassland to both deciduous and coniferous forest and there is even a small taste of agricultural land. The weather was, as to be expected in spring, changeable, and we were rewarded with sunshine, rolling clouds and a fresh breeze as we walked.

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There were plenty of signs of spring to be seen. The fluffy soft buds of the willow trees were bursting out, and I learned that these are known as “gæslinger” in Danish, which translates to baby geese – how adorable!

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I was happy to find a small blanket (more like a rug) of early woodland flowers (Wood Anenome) and at one corner of the lake we spotted a small group of Greater Crested Grebes. To my surprise they were already beginning their exceptionally romantic courtship displays, which includes synchronised swimming, dancing, head shaking and giving each other gifts (mostly wet grass or weeds!). This is a must for everyone to see, and will melt the hearts of even the most cynical!

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Anyone who has joined me on an outdoor excursion, is familiar with my slight obsession for poo and poo like objects produced by mammals and birds. The lake side walk offered me many chances to get up close and personal with various forms of excrement – how exciting! I spotted what appeared to be signs of fox, otter and possibly a bird of prey pellet (undigested bones and fur are coughed up by owls, falcons etc.). My favourite was a fox dropping filled with the blue / purple shells of many many beetles (see below). Remember to wash your hands before eating, if you do, like me, decide to play with droppings!

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In the ruins of a monastery we also spotted signs of life. Stuck on to the white walls inside the strange shaped building, I counted the remains of over 20 barn swallow (landsvale) nests. It was all very quiet in the old building, but in no time at all the adult birds will reach Denmark, after flying a LONG way from Africa, and will start renovating their nests and starting families. It will get a little crowded in their I imagine! Keep your eyes peeled for returning swallows!

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When the sun broke through the clouds we were greeted with many tiny voices singing from the trees. The air was filled with the songs of skylark, robin, wren, coal tit, chaffinch and chiffchaff to name just a few. We were lucky to make it back to the car, with heavy legs and sore toes before the clouds brought rain. I’m looking forward to visiting again and spotting more signs of spring and maybe even summer!

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