Exploring Utterslev Mose
A Family Friendly, Copenhagen Nature Walk
Hello and Welcome to Laughing Linnet’s Nature Blog! Today we will be exploring one of my family’s favorite Family Friendly Nature Walks – Utterslev Mose, in Copenhagen, Denmark.
So, don your wellies, grab your Nature Books and join us for another exciting Outdoor Nature Adventure!
First Things First…
Where and What is Utterslev Mose?
Utterlev Mose is a series of lakes and reed beds situated in the North West corner of Copenhagen. It is an amazing place for a family friendly Nature Walk; and, home to many, many species of birds, trees and wildlife.
Close Your Eyes
Let Me Take You on a Journey
A Guardian Willow
Alighting from the gravel car park, you look across the road at the proud willow standing guard on the corner. It is winter now, and the leaves have fallen. You trace its spindly orange branches up and down across the sky. Suddenly, a flash of red darts into your vision. What was that? You narrow your eyes and focus, searching. A dart of red… there it is again. You try and follow it, but it move so quick! Then suddenly, it pauses. You take a breath… it’s a red squirrel! You have a few seconds of awe before it darts off again and vanishes behind the willow. Wow! That was the first wild, red squirrel you have ever seen!
A Playful Willow
You cross over the road and continue to your right. Another willow stands proudly beside the path. But, this willow is magnificent. This is not a guard willow… bop! Bop! Bop! The branches drape playfully upon your head as you pass. Laughing, you turn around and go under again. Bop! Bop! Bop! And then you go under a third time. This willow is definitely a fun one!
An Elegant Birch
Suddenly, you realise, you are being watched! Slowly, you flick your eyes to the left. To the tree poised dramatically in the water meadow. A creamy, milky, silvery trunk glistens in the winter sun. Masses of slender, elegant purple, branches swish neatly in the wind. There is no mistaking this tree… a silver birch. It watches you playing with the willow and smiles gently. Carry on, carry on, it whispers.
A Water Meadow
You look out across the water meadow. Some 30 greylag geese have their beaks in the mud. Absent mindedly lost in their foraging. The drift and amble here and there across the meadow. Then, a cat races through the clearing. Startled, the geese look up, flap, honk all together and with a beat and a rush and a lots of complaints, lift up into the sky.
The Grass Verge
As they vanish above the trees, you continue your ramble – your eyes drawn to the muddy road. Just a few weeks ago, this verge was teeming with clusters of white flowers with feathery leaves – yarrow – and daisy… and dandelion… buttercup, clover and hawkweed… and several types of interesting grass. But now it’s just a goose-churned mud bath. So you carry on your ramble.
A little further on, you catch your first glimpse of the lake. A cluster of mallards ripple under an alder tree and in the distance, hundreds of white-coloured birds fly and bob on the water. The lake disappears behind a hedge – twisted hawthorn, stripey-barked elder and catkinned birch and alder.
A Neglected Patch
Turning left at the crossroads, you disturb a flock of birds. Flashes of yellow and red zoom upwards from a clump of burdock and settle in the tree. You peer up into the branches and point excitedly – they are goldfinches and were eating the burdock seeds!
A Swampy Stream
Their tree borders water – a little swampy stream. Something moves and catches your attention. You flick your gaze up and down, searching the stream bank… there! A grey heron is standing in the water. It balances lazily on one skinny leg, eyes fixed on its reflection.
The Reed Banks
Further along, the reed beds deepen. Some twenty young coots cheep and peep, wading and waddling across the fallen branches… More mallards, dabbling, their tails in the air… More geese, picking at the grass, raising the necks to hiss and eye you as you pass… swans… swans sailing gracefully; dancing; dabbling… gulls and terns – so many gulls and terns! Arctic terns, herring gulls, black headed gulls, all calling and cawing; flying, ducking and diving…
In the trees ahead, another bird calls – intruders! Intruders! Warning! Warning! A big brown bird with a flash of blue – a territorial jay. As you watch, it’s mate takes up the call on the other side of the path. Get out of here – this is our home, they blast.
You carry on around the lake, turning left when you reach the road. In the summer, a cuckoo sang here – cuckoo… cuckoo… cuckoo! Now, thrushes and a robin flit through the branches. It is another hedgerow, still sprinkled with berries. You spot hawthorn and dog rose; elder; bramble, guelder rose; damson, sloe and buckthorn.
Turning left at the murky, bog, you saunter along the path, dodging land skiers and cargo bikes, dog walkers and joggers. Aspens line the reed bank – their Catkins and cones swaying and dancing on horizontal, purple branches; their spotty brown trunks unmistakable to miss. Meanwhile, elder line the fence bank, with their arching trunks and upright twigs; their stripey, green and brown tree trunks. Pretty Danish houses line the fences too – and if you look carefully… bagh, bagh, baghaaah! There is a pen full of colourful chickens!
Turning left again, as you come back to the road, you spot a familiar scene – the guardian willow. You have returned and finished your Nature Walk!
If you are searching for a family friendly nature walk on a trip to Copenhagen, this is definitely one we recommend – and its buggy friendly too!
Its Time for Your Own Nature Adventure
Take a Nature Walk near you and see what surprises you can find. Take your Nature Books and record what you see. Note down words to describe colour, texture, smell and movement; Take rubbings of any interesting tree bark; pick up interesting feathers and leaves for your scrapbook; why not add in a catkin?
Share Your Adventure
Share All Your Nature Findings
Let us see what treasures you find – your photos, drawings, poems, scrapbook items. Join our Facebook Nature Nook Community.
If you enjoyed this blog post, don’t forget to share it with friends and relatives too!
For more Nature Walk Activity ideas, why not check out our Outdoor Activity Books in Linnet’s Book Shop ,
or check out this post on Nature Walks.
And for more Copenhagen Nature Walk ideas, visit http://www.kobenhavnergron.dk/
See you again and Happy Nature Walking!