Birds and Champagne
There are spectacular displays of birds and numerous varieties to look out for including Common Cranes, Greylag Geese, White Fronted and Bean Geese, White Tailed Eagles, Whooper and Bewick's Swans, Goldeneyes and many other species of migrating birds.
Spotters who travel from the UK will especially enjoy spotting the Common Crane, which although rare in the UK, is popular in Champagne, in huge numbers too. The Common Crane is beautiful and its migratory pattern is to come in to rest at the great lakes en-route from their nesting grounds in Scandinavia. The cranes over-winter in the warmer climes of Spain.
You cannot beat watching the huge number of cranes leaving and arriving in autumn, and early spring. Visitors can grab some amazing photography opportunities.
The Lac du Der is the largest of the Champagne lakes with 4800 ha of water and an amazing 77 km of shoreline. In the Der area, there are over 300 species of bird (some of which are rare and endangered), 40 species of mammals, 45 varieties of dragonflies, 20 kinds of amphibians and more than 200 different plants. Lac du Der has been listed as a wildlife reserve since 1978, and is one of the most important sites in France for bird watching, attracting specialists from all over the world.
Bird watching is made possible with five easily accessible observation points dotted around the lake for visitors to soak up the wildlife all around them. In addition, 4 small hides located in the middle of one of the main feeding areas for the cranes (la Ferme aux Grues) can be rented by the day for close-up observation. The hides are managed by the local Bird Protection Society, 'La Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux – LPO'.
Find out more information about Bird Watching at the Der in Champagne by visiting http://champagne-ardenne.lpo.fr