It is very easy to observe migratory birds, and particularly cranes, thanks to these specific facilities. In the shelter of one of the hides built on the edge of the calm zone, you will witness a unique spectacle.
Various facilities are available to the public, such as the hides on the Lac du Der and ponds of Outines and Arrigny.

The best places for observation around the Lac du Der

From the roads on the dykes

The dykes along the western part of the lake have the best places for observing birds during autumn and winter. The cranes fly over these roads in the morning at sunrise and in the afternoon when they come back from the fields to the west of the lake.
LPO Champagne Ardenne offers you a chance to observe these cranes and other birds as you stand on the dykes, thanks to the telescopes they make freely available to visitors. This event takes place from mid-October to late March (with an interruption during the very cold weather from mid December to mid February).
The Champaubert peninsula
From the church, you can observe the birds which prefer large bodies of water: Divers, Common Mergansers and Smews, not forgetting Ospreys during migration periods. 
From the hide located to the east of the peninsula, beautiful views of cranes and Greylag geese.

The Chantecoq site

A very good place to observe cranes, ducks, swans, herons and cormorants. The very large hide makes it possible for groups of birdwatchers to indulge in their favourite leisure sheltered from the rain. The Bean geese and Greylag geese are easily observed from here.

The best places for observation around the lakes of the Forêt d'Orient

The Orient Lake ornithological reserve

The hide here mainly allows visitors to study migratory and wintering birds from October to April. Presence of cranes, bean geese and many ducks.

The Lake Amance Hide

Allows you to see many shorebirds, diving ducks, great crested grebes and coots.

 

Other interesting observation sites

The Outines and Arrigny ponds (51)

From the port de Chantecoq car park, take the footpath on the other side of the road. A hide set up on the ponds allows you to see many ducks, herons and cormorants. The great egret is also seen regularly in the autumn-winter and often in large numbers.

The Crane Farm (Saint Rémy Bouzemont – 51) 

Created at the initiative of the LPO Champagne Ardenne and owned by the Joint Union of the Der, Crane Farm will enable you to admire the cranes from a hide in the best possible conditions. The number of cranes that arrive at the farm depends very much on the food offered to them. The number of cranes visible increases generally over the season as the resources are exhausted in the surrounding corn fields. Access to the hide is free.

The Ramerupt pond (Petit Mesnil – 10)

Two small hides have been built on this lake of 26 ha which is managed by the Conservatoire du Patrimoine Naturel de Champagne-Ardenne. You can see many birds here, including the white wagtail and the kingfisher.

Bird watching in Champagne-Ardenne

LPO Champagne-Ardenne Der Nature
Ferme des Grands Parts
51290 OUTINES
Tel: 03.26.72.54.47 Fax: 03.26.72.54.30

To learn more

CANE: Champagne-Ardenne Nature Environnement
Maison du Lac du Der-Chantecoq
51290 GIFFAUMONT CHAMPAUBERT Tél.: 03.26.73.29.41 Fax : 03.26.73.85.06