The "Lac du Der-Chantecoq"

logo lac du Der

"Lac du Der-Chantecoq"

Photo Diane Castanet
Photo : © Diane Castanet


Access All over the year The best places
to observe
The " lac du Der " in FranceSite

Since 1974, when the lake was flooded and was declared as a reserve, numbers have grown sreadily. The lake is so attractive for Cranes that it does have the effect of narrowing their migration front. Its 4800 ha make it to be the biggest artificial lake of France.

"Der" comes from the celtic word : "chêne" which means oak

"Chantecoq" is the name of one of the 3 villages swallowed when the lake has been created. The 2 other one are Nuisement- aux-bois and Champaubert-aux-bois.



Access to the "lac du Der"Access

The Der is a comfortable and fast access from Paris, England, Belgium and Germany












All over the year...


The filling up of the lake between January and June followed by its drain (until October) make the landscape and surroundings change.
Quickly many birds have taken advantage of the this large reservoir.
At the end of the summer, many migrating shorebirds can be observed. During winter and spring the lake welcome many ducks
The lake is also very attractive for Common Cranes. Ths lake's Islands are safe roosts and the opening of the agricultural landscape provides the wary birds with good views all around.
Wintering species can of course be observed and especially the white-tailed Eagle.
In summer, migrators back from tropical countries join sedentary birds. Little bittern, Gadwall, Black kite, Marsh harrier, Common Tern, purple Heron, Black headed gull can be watched

The best places to observe

From the dykes
Les étangs d'Outines et D'Arrigny
La presqu'île de Champaubert

La "Ferme aux Grues"

Le bassin Nord
Le Port de Giffaumont
Le Port de Chantecoq

A From the dyke

The best spot to observe birds especially in autumn and winter


B Les étangs d'Outines et d'Arrigny

From the Chantecoq's carpark, follow the footpath on the right of 'La Maison de l'Oiseau et du Poisson". From the observatory you can observe Ducks, Herons, Cormorants….

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C La presqu'île de Champaubert :

From the church, you can observe : Divers, Goosander, Smews, Osprey

D "La Ferme aux Grues"

La ferme aux Grues

Drawing : R. Thibault - CPNCA

An experiment has been carry ou to fix cranes in safe areas by providing therm with specific farming and food supply so as to reduce the birds'impact on farming activities. From the observatory of the 'Ferme aux grues' , you could easily observe cranes.

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E Le bassin Nord


The water level stays relatively high the whole year because of a dam separating this basin from the rest of the lake.

Observation of : eiders, velvet scoters, Goosander and smew.

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F Le Port de Giffaumont

This spot is relatively crowded during summer. Thus, the place is much more interessant in winter : grèbes, divers, ducks...


G Le Port de Chantecoq

A excellent spot to watch cranes, ducks, swans, herons, cormorants

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