Due South

Due South, Lac du Der, France

Due South, Lac du Der, France

© 2012 – philip vergeylen – all rights reserved

The long trip of migratory birds is surely one of the most fascinating spectacles that nature can offer. Every year, I travel to France to witness the migration of some 50 to 60.000 common cranes. Their typical trumpet-like calls and their impressive V flight formations are one of the most magic experiences of the year.

The best moment for an unforgettable experience is just before dawn, when the birds prepare to leave the secure place on the Lac du Der, where they spend the night. As soon as the sun appears above the horizon, small groups of common cranes leave the lake. Some will spend the day foraging in the surroundings of the lake, and return in the evening. Others will continue their journey to the South.

The Lac du Der, in Northern France, is one of Europe’s most important locations for migratory cranes. Some years, up to 80.000 birds gather at the lake and spend a few weeks in the area before leaving for warmer regions.

And another evenly important reason the go the Lac du Der, is to visit the ‘Festival Photo Nature Montier’. This nature photo festival is organized yearly in the town of Montier-en-Der.


14 thoughts on “Due South

  1. Interesting how the feathers on the wing tips seem to flip up. No wonder it took all the folks trying to imitate bird flight so long to develop the airplane!

  2. They are so elegant!
    A trip to see them is well worth the effort.
    The migration routes of the birds are fascinating.
    On their way south, they make a stop in Israel. In the Hula lake, not far from Nazereth is a favourite spot, although they pass all over Israel. Some of them spend the whole winter, others just pass by.
    Last Fall I made a trip to see them in the lake. Sunset is a beautiful time as well.

    • Not one of these days, but they will certainly fly over your head. The peak period on the western route is in November. The period for the eastern route is probably the same.

    • Thanks Adrian. With hundreds of birds in the sky, it is not always easy to isolate a small group. But families (one or two adults with one or two juveniles) stay together and somtimes travel on their own.

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