Sort Sol i Tøndermarsken

Black Sun in the Wadden Sea

Photo: Ulrik Pedersen

Just before settling down for the night, large flocks of starlings create fascinating patterns in the sky that almost eclipse the sun; hence the Danish name, Sort Sol (Black Sun).

Tøndermarsken is an area of marshland in the western part of Sønderjylland and is the ideal place to experience spectacular natural phenomena such as Sort Sol. During spring and autumn, millions of starlings migrate north or south respectively, and on their migratory route they make a brief stop to stock up on food, ready for their onward journey. The starlings come to the marshes to feed on crane fly and chafer grubs, large quantities of which are found on the wet grass fields. During the day they primarily search for food in the outer polders of the marsh, whilst at night they frequent the reeds, where they spend the night.

The areas in which the starlings spend the night change constantly – both as a means of deceiving the birds of prey in the area and because the reeds tend to break after a few days, leaving the starlings with wet feet. As a result, you can never be absolutely sure where the starlings will be spending the night. As such, we always recommend that you buy a ticket for a guided tour under the leadership of experienced nature guides.

Guided tour
The nature guides spend the daylight hours observing the starlings, so they have a good idea of where the starlings will spend the night. Although there’s no guarantee that you’ll experience murmurations of starlings on a guided tour, the chances of seeing the phenomenon are much better than if you head out on your own. Furthermore, on a guided tour you have plenty of opportunity to learn more about the Wadden Sea and some of the many other birds that are found in the area.

Via the links below, you can buy tickets for guided tours, as well as mini breaks that include a ticket to a so-called Sort Sol Safari.

Buy tickets and accommodation online...

Black Sun from Skærbæk
Sort Sol i Tøndermarsken
Black Sun from Tønder
Sort Sol i Tøndermarsken
Black Sun from Ballum campsite in the middle of the marshes
Sort Sol i Tøndermarsken
Black Sun break at Hostrups Hotel
Sort Sol i Tøndermarsken
Black Sun stay at Schackenborg Slotskro
Sort Sol med orange himmel bagved
MOJN plaid
Efterår: familie sidder i klitterne med MOJN tæppe omkring sig
Sort Sol i Tøndermarsken over afvandingskanal
Photo: Claire Droppert
Sort Sol i Tøndermarsken
Photo: Sort Safari

As mentioned above, murmurations of starlings can primarily be experienced in spring and autumn, when the starlings are migrating either north or south. The best chance of experiencing this natural phenomenon is in March/April and from the end of July until the beginning of November. Due to climate change and generally higher temperatures, however, there are a number of starlings that never migrate any further south than Tøndermarsken; as a result, you may be lucky enough to experience smaller flocks of starlings swooping and swirling across the sky at any time of the year.

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Sort Sol med orange himmel bagved
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