French cranes, woodpeckers, and red kites


After yesterday, Saturday 2 March 2013 was our third full day at Lac du Der in France.

After the early morning, we traveled further than before.

Today, we hoped to see not only cranes and water birds, but forest birds as well.

We went to Lac d’Orient. Around this lake is the Parc Naturel Régional Forêt d’Orient.

The middle spotted woodpecker lives here.

And the black woodpecker.

This video is about a black woodpecker nest in the Netherlands.

This is another black woodpecker video, from Bulgaria.

The three lakes in the Parc Naturel Régional Forêt d’Orient area are artificial lakes. Like the Lac du Der, they were made to prevent flooding in Paris. While the Lac du Der gets its water from the Marne river, these three smaller lakes get their water from the Seine.

On our way, we passed yesterday’s big crane group, on the field near the trees. They were still there.

Moss on a tombstone in a Lac du Der village

In a village, moss on a tombstone in a cemetery.

Then, we arrived at the Lac Amance lake. A chaffinch in a tree.

On a bank of the canal leading to the lake, a water pipit. Maybe the only European bird species which in autumn migrates to the north, not the south. These birds live high in the Alps, which get inhospitable in winter, so they migrate to lowlands.

Then, to the hide. Mute swans and a Bewick’s swan.

A peregrine falcon on the bank. Great cormorants behind it.

Over fifty dunlin flying.

A pintail duck swimming.

On to the second lake, Lac du Temple. A male wigeon swimming.

Near the hide, a lesser spotted woodpecker.

From the hide, a male goosander swimming.

Then, a forest walk. Holes in the ground. Used by badgers as “toilets”.

We hope to see the black woodpecker, but we only hear it.

We do see a nuthatch. And a European crested tit.

As we go on, a buzzard along the road, feeding on a roe deer killed by traffic.

Red kites, France, 2 March 2013

Then, a migrating group of over ten red kites, circling in the air.

Buzzard, France, 2 March 2013

Close to them, another buzzard sits in a tree.

Cranes near mistletoe, France, 2 March 2013

Much mistletoe in the trees. And, of, course, no lack of cranes.

Cranes flying near mistletoe, France, 2 March 2013

Cranes still flying near mistletoe, France, 2 March 2013

Cranes still flying, France, 2 March 2013

Our last lake of today is the Étang de la Horre. A male and a female smew swim there, cleaning their feathers.

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32 thoughts on “French cranes, woodpeckers, and red kites

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