Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Vikingship Museum, Roskilde after the Storm.

gb: Vikingship Museum, boatyard 2001


Vikingship Museum Roskilde storm december 2013

 The Vikingship Museum in Roskilde was in danger of being flooded during the storm in December 2013. The violent storm pressed the waters of Roskilde Fjord up to a dangerous level and the water was 2.06 meter above normal when it was at its highest. The police in Mid- and West Zealand, the Emergency Agency, the Home Guard and the Fire department were all fighting a battle against the clock to save this national treasure from a devastating flood.

Also the Museum staff had a long and dramatic night. The water stood up to the edge of the large window facades of the ship building, and they were also worried if something, floating in the water outside, would crush the windows and make the water enter the buildings with the irreplaceable 1000 years old Viking ships. They said afterwards that the sound of the waves against  the building was frightening. The Emergency and the Fire Department had helped securing the window facades against the water pressure and the Museum staff was especially fighting to keep water away from the Viking ships. Fortunately the ships were not damaged, they were being packed in plastic, and the water was pumped out of the buildings.

But the Museum Island with the café, the education center and the boatyard was massive damaged by the flood.

The Vikingship hall was damaged by the waves, seven windows were crushed and the concrete structure was pressed in several places, causing cracks. On the Museum Island the water stood high and floors,walls and installations were badly damaged. In spite of the massive damage the Vikingship Museum did not close to the public, and it is expected that the buildings of the Museum Island are ready for the summer season from 16 May.
Source:, Vikingeskibsmuseet Roskilde.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

To a visitor:
You have asked for Elmelunde kirke, which you cannot find here at Thyra,
but please look at my block: Church and Manor.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Whooper Swans singing a Swan Song in March

I don't think I have seen so many swans in one flock before. I guess there were about 500, it is common that they gather in large flocks of 500-1000 swans in winter. They were singing their special song,and  they were really singing loudly  - as if they were all joining the Pilgrims Chorus from Tannhäuser.  Suddenly they got agitated over something and their voices rose to inferno and chaos. I'm not sure the farmer-family on the other side of the road has a good night's sleep if the swans stay there for some days, singing  their swan song each night !!

But they are beautiful birds, and it was a great experience to watch such a big flock. Soon they will fly eastwards to their breeding places in Scandinavia and Russia, some of them will fly all the way to Sibiria and to the Pacific coast. It is so amazing.   

I did not use a wide angle lens - I did not have space enough for a photo of the whole flock, which spread over a large area.



The Whooper Swan (Source: DOF, Dansk Ornitologisk forening, Fugle og Natur) 
The whooper swan is of same size as the mute swan, but easy to recognize with its yellow beak, which has no black knot like the mute swan. It keeps its neck more straight and higher than the mute swan, and it has a strong and very sonorous voice, sounding almost like a trumpeting - contrarily to the mute swan, which usually is silent, except from the rhytmic singing sound from the wings during flight. 

The whooper swan is a common guest in Denmark in the winter season and is often seen in large flocks in fields or in the the outskirts of flocks of mute swans in lowwatered areas.

The whooper swan breeds in forest moors and lowwatered lakes in a large nothern region from Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and in a broad belt in Russia and Sibiria till the Pacific coast. The whooper swan has expanded with breeding pairs south to Skåne and also eastern Germany. In Denmark a single pair has tried to breed in North Jutland. In 2007 three breeding pairs were registered in Denmark, two pairs in  West Himmerland in some small moors, and one pair in Bølling Sø (lake) at Silkeborg. One pair in Himmerland had eight chicks.

Denmark is together with Germany the most important overwintering area for the whooper swan in Europe. It also overwinters in large numbers in Great Britain and Ireland, but is seen in most European countries in the winter season, except in Spain, Portugal and Italy. The whooper swan stays mostly in Denmark during mild winters, but migrates southwards in hard winters.

The food of the whooper swan is water plants, grass and winter crops like wheat and rape. 

Thrre swans came flying and landed by the flock.
They had been out on a little study trip I suppose! 

photo 1 March 2014, a field near the village Løve: grethe bachmann