4. stop: The Red Clover Path - Eagles near Holckenhavn Fjord
The area surrounding Holckenhavn fjord is rich in extraordinary birdlife and nature.
Birdlife at Holckenhavn fjord
You can often see sea eagles sitting in the old big trees that surround the fjord from the parking lot if you stay on the dam that crosses Holckenhavn Fjord in the winter. The white-tailed sea eagles wait for the right moment, letter from the perch, and fly towards the parts of the fjord where the coots have gathered in large dense flocks, to catch an inattentive or unlucky coot. The prey is grabbed with the strong and sharp claws, after which the sea eagle flies away with the prey.
The sea eagle is a very large bird, with a wingspan of up to 235 cm. The birds are sometimes referred to as the "flying door". They have completely white tail feathers, brown body and their head is a lighter shade of brown. The sea eagle does not breed in Nyborg, so the sea eagles you see stay by the fjord because of the good opportunities to find food. Several pairs breed on Sydfyn and Langeland.
In autumn, you may be lucky enough to observe an osprey flying over the fjord in approx. 25 meters height. When the sea hawk has spotted a fish it wants to catch, it dives into the water, grabs the fish with its talons, and takes off from the water with powerful wing beats. The osprey is a formerly large bird, somewhat larger than a buzzard.
It is white on the underside and dark on the upper side and has long wings. Ospreys only breed in small numbers in Denmark, and not in Nyborg. The ospreys seen at the fjord are typically on their way to Africa, where they winter south of the Sahara.
The nature at Holckenhavn fjord
You will encounter exciting areas with rare plants in the area along the old railway line north of Holckenhavn Fjord. Here, for example, you can find different orchids, e.g. Broad-leaved Marsh Orchid and the Early marsh-orchid. Possibly there are also hybrids of these two orchid species in the area.
The Danish orchids are all terrestrial, i.e. that they grow in the ground. Many of the exotic orchids that can be bought in shops are epiphytes, meaning that they grow on other plants/trees. All Danish orchids are protected and it is not allowed to pick them or dig them up.
Another interesting plant that grows here is quaking-grass. It has a dense tufted growth and the leaf ends are flat or slightly rolled up. The flowers have a very characteristic shape and is sometimes called pearl grass due to its shape. It is common in most of Denmark, but prefers calcareous, nutrient-poor, light-open areas.
The area also offers Garden angelica otherwise known as Wild Celery, which is a tall screen plant with many uses. However, it can very easily be confused with even very poisonous plants, so you need to be extremely careful if you want to use it.
In the Middle Ages, the plant was used as a remedy against plague.
The stems can be boiled and used as a vegetable, they can be used in combination with fruit in jams and the seeds are used as a flavoring agent in various types of alcohol.