Birding in January and February: cranes and wintering birds

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Lake Der area is really worth a visit in January or February. The wintering population of Common Cranes is normally  between 10,000 and 20,000 and tens of thousands of birds occupy their winter quarters here. On a one-day trip, you can hope to see up to 15 to 20 species of wildfowl: lake Der is the most important wintering place in France for Whooper and Bewick’s Swans, Greater White-fronted and Smew.  You will also see lots of ducks in their beautiful breeding plumage: Goldeneye, Goosander, Common Shelduck, Eurasian wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Common Teal, Tufted Duck, Common and Red-crested Pochards are all present and more occasional species include Red-breasted Merganser, Velvet Scoter and Greater Scaup.

If you are lucky, you may see the rare White-tailed Sea-eagle whereas Peregrine Falcon is easier. Other birds include hundreds of Great Egrets  and Grey Herons and a few Little Egrets, thousands of Great Cormorants, Yellow-legged and Mew Gulls (and even a few Caspian Gulls!), Eurasian Curlew, Northern Lapwing, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Eurasian Kingfisher among many other species.

The winter months are  is also good  to look for passerines: Water Pipit, White Wagtail, Brambling, Hawfinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Redwing, Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush to name just a few.

Altogether, you can hope to see up to 50 bird species on a one-day trip but you can also book for a half-day trip.

Trips are can be operated any day on  request (mail: contact@birder.fr  or phone call: 0033 684 098 406).

 

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