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drapeau france

Saison 2022/2023

Lac du Der

Informations : LPO Champagne-Ardenne, Faune Champagne-Ardenne

Date Nombre
18/02/2023 20-25 000 (e)
12/01/2023 4 000
29/01/2023 7 450
15/01/2023 6 450
30/12/2022 > 4 200
18/12/2022 43 600
4/12/2022 14 600
27/11/2022 33 625
20/11/2022 24 320
13/11/2022 Brouillard - Fog
6/11/2022 68 750
30/10/2022 ~ 85 000
26/10/2022 59 685
23/10/2022 68 580
16/10/2022 21 920
11/10/2022 > 5 000
10/10/2022 624
05/10/2022 217
25/09/2022 151
21/09/2022 > 82
14/09/2022 61
10/09/2022 58
29/08/2022 >35
27/08/2022 58
 9/08/2022  30

 (e) : Estimé

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Der Chantecoq Lake : a regulator

Covering 4,800-hectares, lake Der-Chantecoq is the second largest artificial lake in western Europe. This reservoir was created to regulate the river Seine to avoid its devastating floodings in Paris and to support its flow in summer. The lake is fed by a canal that branches off the river Marne in Saint-Dizier and the outflow is a canal that joins the Marne in Arrigny.

Interest of the lake for birds

Situated on a major migration route between the northern breeding grounds and the wintering areas of France, Spain and Africa, it started attracting numerous species of birds as soon as it was created in 1974.
The filling up of the lake between December and June followed by its drain between July and November make the landscapes change drastically. When the water recedes, mudflats appear, attracting waders, ducks and geese, gulls but also the emblematic Common Crane thanks to which this site has acquired its international reputation.

Photo : Christine Tomasson
Photo : Christine Tomasson
Photo : Christine Tomasson
Photo : Christine Tomasson
Photo : Christine Tomasson
Photo : Christine Tomasson
Grues dans un chaume de maïs - Photo : Francis Desjardins
A la ferme aux grues - Photo : Francis Desjardins

The lake and the cranes

Lake Der-Chantecoq is very attractive for the Common Crane. It provides this bird :

  • a vast open space which is ideal for this wary bird
  • predator free islands where thousands of cranes can gather every evening and spend the night from October to March
  • pastures, meadows, oaks providing acorns, and fields (corn fields in particular) all around the lake
  • a vast undisturbed space, as the access to most of the lake is forbidden at this time of the year.

This lake is the main stopover and wintering site in Europe for this species. Every year, between 200,000 and 350,000 cranes stop there, either for a few hours or to overwinter. The last record dates back to 11th November 2014 when 206,000 Common Cranes where counted as they were leaving the lake early in the morning ! Some 20,000 to 30,000 cranes now regurlarly overwinter there.
This lake is a wintering site of major importance in Europe for many species of birds, therefore its preservation is essential.


History of the counts

A particular attention is paid to this species and numerous data have been collected :

Translation : Gérard Rolin