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Kvismaren is one of the most important staging sites for common cranes in Sweden and an internationally important wetland for rare birds. The nature reserve is a Natura 2000 special protection area and is assigned under the Ramsar convention of wetlands.
Kvismaren consists of two large reed areas, East and West Kvismaren, which partly have restored to create two shallow lakes, Rysjön and Fågelsjön, in aim to protect and enhance a diverse birdlife.

The two shallow lakes (e.g. roost sites) and the surrounding agricultural landscape creates a suitable and popular staging site for common cranes. The highest numbers of cranes in Kvismaren are reached during autumn before they are continuing their southward migration to South-western Europe, but also during spring migration and for young or non-reproductive cranes during summer

Further, Kvismaren is a key area also for waders, birds of prey, bean geese Anser fabilis fabilis, greylag geese Anser anser, pink-footed geese Anser brachyrhynchus and barnacle geese Branta leucopsis.

Maps, pictures, visitor guides and more information can be found at:

Örebro County Administrative Board:

Kvismare Bird Observatory:


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Söderfjärden is located about 10km south of Vaasa/Vasa, a small Finnish coastal town. It is a round farmland area about 2300ha in size, formed by a meteorite impact which happened more than 500 million years ago.

It is one of the most important resting areas for cranes and geese during autumn in Finland. The number of cranes, which cannot be compared to those present in renown areas of Germany, France or Spain, is nevertheless significant for the country.
Cranes fly back every evening to their sleeping areas in the archipelago close to Söderfjärden and they set off at sunrise. They feed on barley in postharvest stubble as many geese and ducks also do.
An annoying issue is that Söderfjärden is not a nature reserve and cranes are often disturbed by geese hunters

In the spring, first cranes come after mid-March but they stay only for some hour or a day before they continue their migration continues to their nesting sites in the north. Most of the cranes follow up to the NW, over the Gulf of Bothnia towards Sweden, the other cranes go north following the Finnish coast and some of them stay there ( representing the local population) and spread out in all directions.

There are now many parking lots along small roads in the western parts of the area. You will use them if you come by car. Previously this was a real problem because the roads were for farmers and their agricultural machinery.

Observations and counting cranes are made by members of a local bird club MLY http://www.merenkurkunlty.net/ (only in Finnish)
Most regular watchers are Aarne Lahti, Matti Maskulin and Harry Seppälä.

In the centre of the area there is a Visitor Centre supported by a local village association, Sundom Community Association. Web pages http://www.meteoria.fi/ made by Association contains more information of the area and are worth of visit, too.

In the Visitor Centre there is a bird-watching tower and a car park.

Information : Harry Seppälä

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The reserve of Arjuzanx, a favourite site and a stopover for the cranes drapeau france

A former mining area from which the French power company EDF extracted lignite, the site of Arjuzanx has become, after its restoration, a sensitive natural site of great value at European level.
From 1983, the first Common Cranes began to return to the area, which has since become a National Reserve ; every winter, several tens of thousands of cranes use it as migratory stopover while 25,000 to 30,000 of them seek shelter, from mid-October to mid-March, in what has become one of the main wintering sites for the Common Crane in Europe.

photo grus grus

The attractiveness of this place comes also from the fact that, nearby, there are huge farmlands areas (cornfields) which provide the cranes with the food source they need to stay there all winter long.
The area around Arjuzanx is crisscrossed by their daily journeys. From dawn, they leave their bedding areas in order to join the feeding grounds, and, at the end of the day, they find back the tranquility of Arjuzanx's rest places where they return until it gets dark








Lire la suite...drapeau franceThe « camp militaire du Poteau » or Captieux shooting range is a site of major importance for birds.
The Common Crane is the emblematic species of this site as it can host up to 10% of the european population of this species. It is also a very important place for the Eurasian Curlew, especially in its lower parts.


Located in the eastern part of the Landes plateau, on the territory of 6 communes (Retjons, Lencouacq, Luxey, Callen, Lucmau and Captieux), on two depatments  (Landes and Gironde), this military site is mainly used by the French air forces for training. It covers 9175 hectares.

This was an isolated and unhealthy place and, therefore, it was chosen to create a shooting range. Pastoralism was in decline in this sandy and marshy part of the Landes plateau which is situated on two main watersheds and it would have been too expensive to drain the area to grow pinetrees. Drainage works have improved the accessibility to this place without altering the relict original landscapes created by sheep grazing, that you no longer find anywhere else in this region. These landscapes are associated with different types of natural or man-made wetlands (e.g. artificial ponds).

(Documents d’objectifs Site natura2000 FR 7200723 « Champ de tir de Captieux)

Watching cranes :

Cranes can be watched at sunrise when they leave their roosting place or in the evening when they come back from the nearby corn fields where they usually feed. Seing thousands of cranes in their noisy V-shaped flights is an unforgettable moment. To make the best of this scene, which can be different every day, we advise you to stay in one of the gîtes (B and B’s) which are involved in the ecotouristic project of the « Landes de Gascogne ». Your guests will put you information about Cranes and their migrations, bird-watching equipment, maps… at your disposal.

Birdwatching weekends are also organized for those who want to discover more, to share exclusive moments and to exchange with other people.


Grus Gascogna

To ensure the preservation of the Common Crane on our territory, partners have federated  since 1992 in a project of study, protection, information and ecotouristic development.

The Pulken visitor site in Kristianstads Vattenrike is a popular crane watching destination. In spring migrating cranes are fed here to prevent damage to newly planted crops. From the birdwatching tower visitors from near and far can enjoy the cranes’ courtship dance. The large number of cranes come in late March and early April depending on the weather. 

Feeding cranes at Pulken reduces damage caused to farmland and allows people to watch the cranes dancing at close quarters. Cranes particularly like newly sown corn and wheat. This can result in substantial damage to spring crops.

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The Biosphere Office has been working with farmers, the Bird Society of North-East Scania and the County Administrative Board to reduce the damage since 1997. The Crane Group feed the cranes with corn in a separate field at Pulken Outdoor Museum in cases where the arrival of the birds coincides with spring planting undertaken by farmers.
This minimises the damage caused to newly planted arable fields and allows the cranes to feed undisturbed.

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The cranes are a great attraction to everyone interested in birds, who can enjoy the cranes from the outdoor museum. Tourists and birdwatchers have helped provide a source of revenue for the tourism industry. The birdwatching tower at Pulken Outdoor Museum has been adapted for wheelchair users, and in 2014, the Biosphere Office created a new exhibition on the cranes and the history of the site.

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Kristianstads Vattenrike covers an area some 35 x 35 km in size that includes a variety of natural environments. The River Helge å flows through the landscape into the Baltic Sea, though wetlands and seasonally flooded grasslands, past leafy forests and sandy arable land. These diverse natural habitats are home to a wide range of animals and plants.

In 2005 Kristianstads Vattenrike was awarded biosphere reserve status. Since then it has served as a model for sustainable development under the motto “Benefiting nature and people”. There are some 600 biosphere reserves worldwide. Kristianstads Vattenrike is the oldest of the five biosphere reserves in Sweden.

Kristianstads Vattenrike is an ideal place to observe birds all year round.

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As the cranes fly north, ducks and waders take over the seasonally inundated grasslands around Pulken. White-tailed eagles can often be seen around the River Helge å in winter. There are lots of birdwatching towers dotted around Kristianstads Vattenrike. Our top tips include sites such as the Linnérundan Trail, Håslövs ängar, Hercules and Äspet.

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drapeau franceLa Janda The area known as La Janda is a huge agricultural area in southern Cádiz province that was once one of the biggest lakes and wetlands in Europe with a surface area of 3,700 hectares. The Common Crane used to breed on the lagoon until 1954.

Unfortunately a process of drainage was started in the middle of the 19th century and completed in the late 1960s, destroying this wetland paradise that was once on a par with Doñana in terms of ecological importance.

Today it is an agricultural land that still retains important natural values that are enhanced when unusually heavy winter rains temporarily flood the basin.

La Janda retains natural vegetation along the drainage canals and, because of its geographical location, attracts thousands of birds migrating across the Strait. There are several habitat types, huge prairie type arable fields, sparse cork oak woodland, reed lined drainage ditches and some traditional flower meadow and pasture.

Lire la suite...Currently, La Janda and the surrounding areas are very heterogeneous with regards to vegetation, including one of the few wild olive dehesas of the Iberian Peninsula, and pasture and cultivations that include an interesting community of grassland species, such as Common Crane, Collared Pratincole, Black-winged Kite and Montagu’s Harrier. Moreover, it is the only place where the Great Bustard may be seen in the whole area of the Strait.

We must also mention the important role played by the many drainage channels for aquatic species, as they provide marshland vegetation on their banks; and also the recent creation of rice paddies that have provided another habitat for those species.


Information : Arkadiusz Broniarek-Zięba

drapeau franceIntroduction.

The site of the lakes in the Aube department is comprised of three lakes : the Amance lake, the Temple lake and the Orient lake. Together, their surface is approximately 5,000 hectares. Surrounded by forests, those lakes have been created in 1966 for the latter and during the 1990s for the two others. Their main purpose is to regulate the flow of the Aube and Seine rivers in order to prevent devastating floods in the Paris region. In summer, the lakes are used as suppliers of water, enabling a better navigability for both rivers and improving groundwater recharge.

A very important axis for the waterbirds.

The three lakes are located just on a migration corridor which crosses the damp region of Champagne, a very important axis particularly for the waterbirds. Consequently, they represent first rate stopover or wintering sites for many species between the nesting sites in northern Europe and the wintering areas located in Spain and Africa.
Due to their rôle, the lakes in the Aube department are subject to a specific hydraulic regime. There is an annual « tide » (in fact a massive drop in the water levels), the water receding between July and November and coming back between December and June. Wide mudflats appear by the end of summer, when the first migratory birds, such as shorebirds, arrive.

The lakes and the Common Crane.

The Common crane is seen on the lakes, particularly the Temple lake, where the species form roost sites. Their numbers are far less than those present on the Der lake, located approximately 40 kilometers northeastward. Each year, thousands of cranes make a stopover at the lakes in the Aube department, the record being on 11 Novembre 2014 with 21,000 birds counted that day.
Furthermore, a few thousand of them winter there.


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Created in 1976, the National Nature Reserve "Michel Brosselin", located in the heart of the Marais poitevin, protects 207 hectares of natural wet meadows. The alternation of "drops" (moist depressions) and "beautiful" (drier high parts) form a microrelief favourable to biodiversity and 272 species of birds have already been observed there.

The first known observation of Common Crane dates back to 1974 and since winter 2006-2007, a roosting place appeared on the nature reserve. Birds also use the other roosting place already known, the saline meadows in the Nature Reserve of the Bay of Aiguillon.

grugru 10 grue cendree konig
Photo : Christian König

Once rare in Vendee, this species is now become a regular host, even if this department is located far away from its usual migration corridor. This is due to the exceptional crossing of cranes in the autumn 1982, during which several thousands of birds had been deported by violent winds from South-East, that the wintering is gradually set up in the sector.

The presence of large feeding areas of also (cultures of the polders and marsh meadows) and the necessary quietude for the roost, offered by the two natural reserves, allow the cranes to find there ideal wintering conditions. Currently, several hundreds of birds regularly make a halt in South-Vendee between November and March. This number, if it remains modest, is nonetheless a bit amazing for the french West-Central Atlantic.

For the peace of the cranes and the rest of the avifauna, access to the Nature Reserve of Saint-Denis-du-Payre is regulated and prohibited outside opening periods. Discovery events are nevertheless possible on reservation. Information on these animations on the website of the reserve.

Information : Katia RAIMBAULT (National Nature Reserve « Michel Brosselin »)
Translation: Sylvie Gendeau