The black sun in Denmark, this is one of nature’s most breathtaking phenomena that can only be seen in Denmark, and witnessing this should be in any nature lover’s bucket list. The Sol Sort (“Bird Flock”) is the term used to describe the amazing formations of hundreds of thousands of migrating European starlings as they head to their breeding grounds or the next comfortable place for resting when the weather turns.
The Sort sol can best be seen in the Tonder marshlands or in the Ribe island near the Wadden Sea in the Jutland peninsula and happens twice a year – during spring from March to April, and also in the autumn from the middle of September to October. The birds fly from the southern parts of Europe to regions in Scandinavia and countries near the Baltic Sea such as Sweden, Finland, Germany and Poland. The “dance of the million birds” take place around dusk, when they rise up in hordes in the sky.
As they move in unison, their direction takes on incredible changing patterns and at times appears to cover the sun as it sets down in the horizon (hence the name). The undulating black shapes against the breathtaking colors of the sunset accompanied by the rustling of a million wings will simply astound any onlooker and is a sight that should never be missed.
The spectacle lasts for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the wind conditions and if there are birds of prey that hover around waiting to disrupt the flight of the starlings.
Experience the Black Sun at Wadden Sea
If there’s such a thing as a Black Sun, it’s only in Denmark where you can experience this. The place is Wadden Sea, the country’s third largest national park.
The Black Sun (or Sort sol in Danish) phenomenon is said to take place twice every year. The first occurrence is from middle of March to April while the second one takes place from middle of September to October.
During this time thousands of starlings leave their nests and gather together in one large flock particularly at dusk. This takes place before the birds decide to where they will settle for the night.
This extraordinary phenomenon is a feast for the eyes as numerous flocks composed of more than a hundred thousand black birds fly making different formations in the sky. As this happens, amazing patterns are formed and sometimes, these birds completely cover the sun as it sets in the horizon.
Birds are known to migrate as the weather changes to a cold one in the area where they nest. For the starlings, they usually move from southern Europe in winter to Scandinavia for the summer and vice versa. And Denmark’s Jutland notably the south western section is a popular destination for these migrating starlings.
The Wadden Sea is a favorite meeting spot for these birds mainly due to its great and diverse flora and fauna. This is attributed to the sea’s unique tidal conditions. The area is where birds, fish, seals and oysters abound.
Owing to its rich natural and aquatic resources, the Wadden Sea has been chosen as Denmark’s new national park. This is in addition to the Thy National Park and the Mols Bjerge.